TikTok plans to launch live shopping in the US. What do marketers have?

The era of social commerce is in full swing! And social media has become the best place for younger generations to research brands, according to the Hootsuite Social Trends 2022 report.

In fact, 75% of Gen Z users in the US are influenced by social ads in their purchasing decisions. Which just goes to show the power of social media to turn followers into customers (if done right!).

TikTok, owned by ByteDance, understands this opportunity and is willing to take risks to take advantage. However, the scenario was not entirely favorable.

While social commerce features are a great investment opportunity for businesses, many large social media companies have had to rethink their strategies because their customers have not yet adopted them.

Instagram had to end its affiliate store program this August, and Facebook also ended its live shopping feature a few months ago.

However, TikTok is willing to take risks. After leaving live shopping in the UK after falling short of expectations, the social platform will partner with TalkShopLive to provide them with the infrastructure to launch live shopping features.

There are no official announcements yet as the two companies are still finalizing deals and no contracts have been signed. We still don’t know when the shopping feature will go live, but it will be available soon.

How will TikTok live shopping work?

This feature will allow brands and creators to sell directly on the platform. It essentially combines shopping with interactive live streaming so users can shop without ever leaving the app.

Today, the most relevant country in this industry is China, where this modality is responsible for 10% of the country’s total e-commerce sales.

TikTok began offering e-commerce features in early 2021 when it announced its partnership with Shopify, allowing business accounts to add their catalogs to a tab on their profiles. In addition, the social network has been testing live shopping in the UK since last year, making it the first market outside of Asia to test the feature.

Although live shopping has not caught on in the West, it is transforming eCommerce in Asian markets.

Live trade in China has shown amazing results. TikTok’s Chinese sister application Douyin tripled its sales year-on-year.

tiktok app 2022
tiktok app 2022

What’s the catch for marketers?

Live shopping is definitely taking off, but many companies are trying to encourage brands and influencers to sell through the app. why is that?

Some experts attribute these results to the fact that “the market is simply not ready” or that “general consumer awareness and adoption is still very low in some countries”.

Some of us believe that brands are missing out on features and forgetting about CX and how it relates to the customer journey.

How to make your strategies work?

As live shopping begins to grow in the West (and trust us, it is predicted to happen), companies will need to consider more rigorous strategies in connecting with the most important players in this dynamic: influencers and their communities.

Brands must focus on creating authentic connections with their audience.

The benefit of live shopping is credibility, so it’s not just an opportunity to sell, it’s a way to provide relevant information about your products, position them and build customer loyalty through valuable real-time interactions. Is your brand ready to deliver?

The opportunities for businesses remain to be seen (as well as how well TikTok will do in the US market), but it’s better to be prepared!

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