How to Succeed With Social Commerce on TikTok
- Unlike e-commerce, social commerce goes a step further and enables shopping not only online but on social networks.
- By 2025, social commerce sales in U.S. retail are expected to grow to $79.25b.
- Three new ad models are becoming particularly important for social commerce on TikTok, which is also called TikTok Shopping, and they are: Product Links, Product Catalogs and Live Shopping.
Popularized by dance videos, TikTok recorded more than 800m active users at the end of 2022, according to Dataportal 2022. According to the report, the social network is one of the most heavily trafficked apps, which continuously adapt to the needs of users and creators, and offer many opportunities for businesses to connect with a potential target audience. As TikTok is consequently an important channel for influencer marketing, we have published several articles on TikTok on our blog, including, for example, how to start an influencer marketing campaign on TikTok.
Then in 2022, the app, which is part of ByteDance, fully entered the world of social commerce when TikTok launched a dynamic shopping feature with a suite of tools that enhance the app experience. With global social commerce sales in the U.S. retail industry expected to reach $79.25b by 2025, according to eMarketer, TikTok’s innovation is hardly surprising. In the app’s home country of China, revenue had even been estimated at $351.65b in 2021. But how does social commerce work on TikTok?
What Is Social Commerce on TikTok?
Social commerce can be defined as follows: it is the process of selling products directly through social media. Social networks are constantly evolving this feature and improving the shopping experience from product discovery to purchase. The key is that users or buyers never have to leave the platform. Functions such as the “Buy now” button or the automatic filling out of payment forms also help.
Social commerce on TikTok works with an in-app shopping function, which is simply called TikTok Shopping. It’s an ad feature that shows users products directly and also allows them to buy them right then with a simple click. So if you use TikTok for business, you can advertise your products directly and offer them for sale on the app.
TikTok itself describes TikTok Shopping as “a set of solutions, features and tools that enable businesses to harness the power of social commerce on Tiktok,” as quoted by Social Pilot.
Tips for Using Tiktok Shopping
The product catalogs that companies can create through TikTok Shopping, will allow users to display products directly on the platform. This simplification plays into the hands of brands, as potential customers are no longer demotivated by unnecessary product research and are only one click away from making a purchase. A so-called store tab in your product catalog helps users as they no longer have to laboriously search for your online store or your products.
Image by TikTok
To use these features, you need to have a business account on TikTok Shopping. This way, your business profile on TikTok will be enhanced with the shopping bag icon tab, which will take users directly to your product catalog. As usual on all social networks, you should regularly maintain and update your product catalog on TikTok to keep it appealing.
Of course, this is where influencer marketing comes into play, as you can increase your brand’s reach by collaborating with a KOL (Key Opinion Leader), thus increasing your reach and eventually your sales. In addition, you can think about various ads.
Ads in the “For you” feed get a lot of attention, as the algorithm shows your ads to users who are most likely to be interested in your products or services.
Read how to master the algorithm on TikTok for your campaigns on the Kolsquare influencer marketing blog.
Also conceivables which are “Swipeable Ads”, which are displayed to users in a kind of gallery and have product details in the form of cards. Tailored ads are also successful, but they require thorough market and user research, as they only become successful through targeted communication. Finally, you can also think about TikTok live shopping events. For this, you should again think about partnering with influencers, if necessary, as they are particularly promising for this kind of marketing.
For example, some beauty brands already used TikTok Live Shopping to promote products. L’Oreal, Maybelline and Garnier teamed up with influencers on the app and used video shopping ads, product links and LIVE Shopping. Both Maybelline and Garnier saw a massive increase in daily sales afterward, according to TikTok on the blog for TikTok Business.
'TIKTOK MADE ME BUY IT' - the Beginning Is Made
Testimonials show that TikTok shopping can be extremely successful. LA-based entrepreneur Li told the online magazine Built In that influencer marketing combined with e-commerce is positive in the fashion space, which is very “personality and visual-driven.”
She goes on to say, “TikTok, Instagram and all these new platforms have become the new television. It’s just that they have a much broader appeal.” She says, people remained fundamentally the same. “We still like to buy things from places we trust and like, it’s just that the ceiling is much higher on social media than on traditional TV,” Li continued.
According to the company, new creative, branding and commerce options would help it usher in a new era of (influencer) marketing and reshape the future of advertising and entertainment. Meanwhile, promotional videos are harder to spot on TikTok because they are designed like any other video. TikTok itself even urged companies to partner with influencers to make ads seem more natural, along the lines of “don’t do ads, do TikTok.”
Since the app’s largest audience is the Gen Z, integrated advertising for products is even more interesting. The generation is young and trusts influencers more than traditional ads. Instead of top-down communication, they rely on recommendations from their peers, aka the creatives on the platform.
Kolsquare, a data-driven Influencer Marketing platform, helps brands to optimize each step of their Influencer Marketing campaign with help of data and Machine Learning. The solution facilitates the identification of the right profiles for a campaign amongst a catalog of over 3 million KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders), and enables the measurement and performance analysis of each campaign. Kolsquare is a team of thirty experts who accompany you throughout the year in the implementation of your influencer strategies, to help you build effective campaigns and increase your knowledge of the Influencer sector through studies, barometers and enriching insights.