6 mins

Who here enjoys treating themselves to a little something whilst browsing the web? Now hands up who purchases something they’ve seen advertised or marketed on social media? And finally, hands up who purchases products in the app? Through new streamlined updates, apps such as TikTok, Twitter and Instagram have become pivotal players in the e-commerce world and made it even easier to get busy buying. Let’s take a few minutes to explore TikTok shopping.

What’s going on? – Shop S-Mart!

TikTok recently announced further updates to its partnership with e-commerce giant Shopify. Implemented last October, TikTok introduced tons of tools for users and businesses to play around with through the app, including the ability for Shopify merchants to optimise their TikTok marketing strategies directly from the Shopify dashboard. 

Now, Shopify users who also have a TikTok For Business account can add a Shopping Tab to their TikTok profile, allowing them to synchronise their catalogues and create a storefront on their profile. 

Additionally, a product links feature has been integrated into TikTok, allowing users to tag products through their videos. Like Youtube’s link annotations, clicks on the tagged products will direct users toward the merchant’s storefront. 

How’s it being used?

As expected, influencers are already using these new features to their advertising advantages. Kylie Jenner has elevated her brand, Kylie Cosmetics, allowing users to purchase her products directly on TikTok.  

These new features are currently in pilot testing throughout the US and UK but will roll out officially in the upcoming weeks. 

In a statement, Harley Finkelstein, president of Shopify, said, “Creators are paving the way for a new kind of entrepreneurship where content, community, and commerce are key…By enabling new in-app shopping experiences and product discovery on TikTok for the first time, Shopify is powering the creator economy on one of the fastest-growing social and entertainment platforms in the world. We are excited to help this next generation of entrepreneurs connect with their audiences in more ways—and with TikTok as a visionary partner.” 

If you’re interested in joining the pilot test and seeing what the TikTok and Shopify partnership has to offer, you can request to join through Shopify’s TikTok channel.  

How is this useful? – From A to Gen Z 

We’ve discussed how TikTok is a powerhouse platform for supercharging your brand (which you can read & watch here). However, there are some eye-opening stats from the TikTok For Business website that we wanted to highlight to emphasise the platform’s value when it comes to e-commerce.

  • 52% of users say they find new products from ads on TikTok.
  • 61% of users feel that advertising on TikTok is unique. 
  • 43% of heavy TikTok users say that the advertising on TikTok blends in with its content. 

Alongside this, Kantar released some, even more, eye-opening Global User Insights about all those Gen Z TikTokkers out there, including: 

  • 33% of users say they spent less time watching TV or video content since they started using TikTok. 
  • 25% say they have purchased or researched a product advertised on TikTok. 

With all this information at hand, alongside these newly implemented features, getting your business on TikTok has never been more essential. With hashtags (#) such as TikTok Made Me Buy It gaining over 4.8 billion views, it’s crucial brands engage with their audience using all the creative additions TikTok is offering.

We’re all in this together – Social media and e-commerce tactics 

It’s not just TikTok that’s repaving the way and developing their in-app shopping experience…

Instagram

In 2020, as part of Facebook’s strategies to improve e-commerce, Instagram introduced Instagram Shopping, allowing people to visit a shop from a business’s Instagram profile or through feeds and stories. Once users are at the shop, people can browse products, explore collections and purchase products – seamlessly through the in-app browser, without leaving the app from shops with checkout

Additionally intriguing is the rollout of ads in Instagram Shopping. 

Firstly, this allows e-commerce businesses to use product tags to expand the reach and drive engagement of their shoppable content and products. Secondly, allowing a business to re-engage people that have shown interest in their products, by using shopping engagement, customer audiences can pull them back into the funnel and continue their shopping journey. Finally, it can help you to find new shoppers who are similar to your existing customers by using ‘Shopping Lookalike Audiences’.  

These are new and exciting additions to Instagram’s portfolio. However, it does come with controversies. The shop has recently replaced the popular Activity Tab, which has led the creative community to debate whether Instagram is furthering itself from its origins.  

Twitter

Last year, Twitter added its shopping module whilst also testing out carousel ads for user profiles. The carousel feature allows marketers to add 2 to 6 images or videos to one advertisement, allowing for an uninterrupted transition between products. 

These features are available to all Twitter advertisers via the Tweet Composer or through the Ads API.

The new additions have already proved valuable, with Twitter stating a 15% increase in click-through rate relative to the single-asset ad formats. The company also cited a Neilsen study that found 3 or more ad formats increase campaign awareness by 20%. 

It will be interesting to see how popular carousel ads relating to products and shopping on Twitter prove to be in the long run. For conversions, it might be a struggle as the platform is typically not used for product consumption. However, it could be very advantageous for brand discovery and awareness. 

The integration of e-commerce tactics within social media is becoming the norm… But why is that? 

Goodbye, Cookie Jar. Hello, In-App Buffet!   

You probably already know this, but you want to keep users in an app for as long as possible. You’ll want this so you can gather as much information as you can, re-engage users and then keep them engaged after the fact. 

In the wake of Cookiegate, marketers have lost one of the most effective and engaging tools in the jar; third-party cookies (which you can read up on here). With these restrictions now limiting the placement of ads on external sites, in-app shopping is the new best strategy. 

Not only does it allow marketers to advertise internally through a platform, but it also allows us to market uniquely!

Create a seamless story through Twitter’s carousel ads, make bold and bright ads that catch the users eye through Instagram, or create something click-worthy in TikTok! We may have lost a cookie, but we’ve gained a whole bakery of untapped marketing techniques. 

If you’d like help maximising your awareness and engagement strategies or want to explore the possibilities of e-commerce through social media, get in touch with our team now!  

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