Social commerce platforms, like TikTok, are changing the game for eCommerce businesses. With an astounding user growth rate of 1157% since January of 2018 (estimated at 689 million monthly users) it is safe to say that TikTok offers massive potential to anyone looking to market and sell their products via social media. In fact, a recent survey released by Adweek states that 15% of adults and 36% of Gen Z respondents have been influenced to buy a product they saw advertised on TikTok and it’s not unreasonable to assume that those numbers have grown in recent months, with the viral hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt already at over 5.4 billion views.
TikTok is well-aware of the huge potential their platform offers in terms of social commerce, as evidenced by the following quote by TikTok Shopping’s Head of Product Javier Irigoyen at TikTok World – an event designed to support collaboration between businesses, marketers, and users.
“The magic of TikTok happens in the For You page, where e-commerce content is recommended to our users in the same way as short videos and live streams. TikTok is a place where users and brands can connect directly, and where an end-to-end shopping experience can happen organically. That’s the basis on which we’re building a long-term commerce division.”
So how can you as a brand be sure that you’re taking full advantage of all of TikTok’s venture into becoming a social commerce platform? First and foremost, take the time to get familiar with all of TikTok’s new eCommerce offerings, many of which were just announced in the last few weeks.
TikTok’s Social Commerce Features
Live Shopping with Shopify
Already use Shopify for your eCommerce? TikTok’s recent partnership with Shopify means that Shopify merchants in US and UK can now integrate their online stores into their TikTok profiles, allowing these brands to essentially create TikTok storefronts. According to eMarketer US social eCommerce sales are expected to reach $36 billion dollars this year, so integrating your Shopify platform with your TikTok business account is a great first step towards augmenting your social commerce presence and increasing your customer base. This is a massive shift from the prior eCommerce approach on Tiktok where retailers put a shoppable link in their bio. Tiktok also recently announced an upcoming Tiktok shopping API which will allow retailers to truly integrate their product pages with TikTok and send product inventory data. Take advantage of this feature to unlock easy-to-manage product curation for your online storefront.
This form of advertising allows brands to include custom, swipeable product cards in their in-feed videos. This will allow users quick access to galleries of products, allowing for faster and more efficient purchases. An early case study done by TikTok points to a company utilizing this technology to improve return on ad spending by 6x and increase overall product page visits by 50%. Since this type of ad leads to a spike in website traffic, we’d recommend using them most frequently for new product launches and limited-time deals.
Dynamic Showcase Ads (DSAs)
TikTok has partnered with SHAKR, Productsup and Feedonomics – companies known for video marketing and product feed management – to create Dynamic Showcase Ads, which allow your brand to create video ads that are personalized based on the user. We highly recommend taking advantage of these partnerships to target specific audiences via their interests (what they watch) and their commerce activities (such as how frequently they add items to their cart). While we don’t have any official metrics on these yet, TikTok has stated that early testing done here revealed higher click-through rates and conversion rates for brands.
Going Forward with Social Commerce
With all these new features (and upcoming brand partnerships with companies like Square, Wix, SHOPLINE and OpenCart), TikTok is clearly on a mission not only to become the top social commerce platform, but to be a pioneer in determining the future of social commerce. Digital teams across industries should be taking a deep look at how they can leverage TikTok’s investments in this space to increase their own e-commerce potential – the pay-off could be huge.