Social shopping has increased in popularity, with more and more social media platforms continuing to release ecommerce features to make it easier for users to purchase. From TikTok Shop to Instagram product tags and Instagram Shop, it’s never been more convenient to purchase products from brands or influencers. 

Arguably the most popular this year (so far) is TikTok Shop, a portion of the social media platform that integrates ecommerce features for quick, easy shopping. It’s one of many ways TikTok has been coming after Amazon both as a discovery engine and marketplace, but this week Amazon has made a big move to stake their claim in the social shopping space. 

This week, the marketplace announced a new feature allowing users to link their Amazon account to Facebook and Instagram, enabling them to buy goods by clicking on in-feed promotions. Additionally, Amazon confirmed a similar deal has been signed with Snapchat, allowing Snapchatters to also purchase directly from ads without leaving the platform. The new partnerships with two of TikTok’s biggest competitors, Meta and Snapchat, is a smart move by the marketplace to incorporate social shopping on the platforms where it matters most. 

Amazon has yet to provide detailed information about either partnership, however, it’s fair to assume they’ll be similar programs for consumers. It’s important to note this new feature on Meta is currently being run by Amazon, and is not available to brands that directly manage their own ads on Meta platforms. While both the Meta and Snap partnerships are exciting announcements, they are nuanced. All signs point to a slow rollout, and not something all brands can take action on today, or even take advantage of during the critical holiday shopping season.

What We Know

On Meta platforms, consumers will need to link their Facebook and Instagram accounts to Amazon through a one-time, secure process. Once they do so, the ability to purchase items directly from promotions on their feed is available to them, using their Amazon default payment and shipping information. Shoppers are able to click the ad and purchase without leaving their social media page, and the items arrive at their doorstep just like any other Amazon purchase. Similar to other types of ads and the product detail page on Amazon, the ads show users real-time pricing, Prime eligibility, delivery estimates and product details.

What Does it Mean for Brands Selling on Amazon?

Currently, in-app shopping with Amazon are ads run by Amazon, and can be for products sold by Amazon or independent sellers. The ads are currently available for select advertised products, and are not an ad type advertisers can participate in. The in-shopping capability is a new Meta ad unit co-developed with Amazon, meaning that when it opens up to brands, purchasing will be through Meta, not Amazon Ads.

Looking ahead, there are many advantages to the new feature, including:

  • Revenue increase for all parties involved
  • Opportunity for better optimization and targeting for Meta advertising
  • Increased conversion rates
  • More personalized ad creative, tailored to real-time information and whether the shopper is a Prime user
  • Data sharing between platforms

What Can Brands Do Now?

If and when Amazon social shopping is more fully rolled out and available to advertisers, brands that act swiftly will reap the benefits. While there is no immediate action necessary from brands, there are some measures they can take to better prepare themselves. First and foremost, now is the time to carve out a percentage of future budget for products that can be tested and begin to measure effectiveness. This test will involve both Amazon and social teams internally at brands, making it critical for those teams to have strong alignment, ensuring they are unified in how to quickly execute when the feature is available.

While these new partnerships are an exciting announcement, the reality is the feature won’t make a big impact on brand sales in Q4, and there are only a few small actions brands can take right now to prepare. While it may be a slow rollout before brands can really dive in, the move to incorporate social shopping is sure to bring about many changes at Amazon, Meta and Snapchat, proving who is the clear winner in the social shopping battle against TikTok. 

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