Social commerce is a juggernaut in online shopping. Sales reached nearly $27 billion in 2020 alone, proving there’s so much more to social media for brands than likes and shares. Now, TikTok is joining the ranks of social shopping with its live stream feature that lets users buy items on the spot.
As always, Code3 is ahead of the curve and working with platform partners to ensure our clients and industry leaders know the latest on this up-and-coming social commerce trend. For more information, check out our upcoming webinar and keep reading to learn more.
TikTok combines the convenience of online shopping with the real-time functionality of live streaming. This feature allows users to participate in a live stream event and purchase products directly from other users, typically major brands and retailers (though influencers are likely to soon follow).
It’s a similar approach to other live stream shopping options offered by Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon. Events are usually 60 minutes long, and shoppable pop-up pins display throughout the live stream. Anyone viewing the stream can add items to a cart and check out within the TikTok app. Alternatively, viewers can wait until a live stream ends and browse the featured products.
Currently, Walmart is one of the largest retailers that has been testing TikTok’s live stream shopping features. The company has been eyeing video as a way to connect with younger shoppers—a demographic shared by the TikTok app. As many as ten TikTok content creators were featured in the live stream pilot event, which took place in December of 2020.
Although TikTok Live Stream Shopping is relatively new and retailers are still in test mode, there are some tips you can start following now to increase your chances of having your products featured.
First and foremost, keep a watchful eye on the live stream shopping feature and how it evolves in the coming months. You can easily set up a Google Alert to have any news related to the new feature delivered right to your inbox.
The next thing you can do right now is begin working with TikTok creators. Find relevant TikTok influencers in your niche and reach out. Once you establish a relationship, featuring them in a shoppable live stream could deepen your influence and result in more sales. This strategy can also lead to additional shopping experiences on TikTok.
Also, if your products are sold at Walmart stores and on Walmart.com, start building relationships with your partners at Walmart. It’s worth expressing interest in the TikTok Live Stream Shopping feature and seeing how that partnership could evolve. Connecting with the right people at the right time can help you take early advantage of these opportunities and become a leader in the space while your competitors are still trying to figure it all out.
While you’re waiting to jump on TikTok Live Stream Shopping opportunities, there are other features you can start leveraging right now.
First up, shoppable links within videos. Users can upload TikTok shopping links in videos that take viewers directly to a product. You can add links to your own content and channel or work with influencers to feature your product to their own audience.
Also, look into promo tiles and showcase tiles. Tiles are customizable sales and promotions that are added to users’ feeds and videos. The feature follows in the footsteps of China-based app Douyin, which sees the majority of its revenue coming from in-app sales, not advertising.
Last but not least, there’s always good old-fashioned social media advertising. Like many other social media platforms, TikTok offers paid advertising opportunities for companies like yours. And, with the proper expertise, you can have control over things like audience segmentation, length of the campaign, the goal of the campaign (e.g., traffic, impressions, conversions, etc.), and spending limit.
However, keep in mind that advertising on TikTok takes some finessing compared to other social platforms. The audience largely skews younger, and younger shoppers have shown a disinterest in ads and sponsored content. Combined with the fact that TikTok ads are usually more pricey than Facebook ads, it’s important to carefully hone your strategy to drive meaningful sales.
The most valuable part of any social media strategy is having the right partner on your side. Code3’s experience in media, creative, and commerce is the perfect formula to success with TikTok’s Live Stream Shopping and other social commerce initiatives.
If your brand is interested in testing TikTok live stream shopping, please reach out. We’re here to support you and welcome the opportunity to discuss how we can work together and take your omnichannel presence to the next level.
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