TikTok Plans To Launch Live Shopping In The US. What’s The Take For Marketers?

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

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

TikTok, owned by the ByteDance company, understands this opportunity and is willing to take risks to reap the benefits. But the scenario has not been 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 customers have not yet embraced them.

Instagram had to shut down its affiliate commerce program in August this year and Facebook also put an end to its live shopping feature a couple of months ago.

However, TikTok is willing to take the risk. After abandoning live shopping in the UK after it failed to meet expectations, the social platform will partner with TalkShopLive, which will provide them with infrastructure for launching live shopping features.

There are no official announcements yet as both 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’s coming soon.

How will TikTok live shopping work?

This feature will allow brands and creators to sell directly on the platform. Basically, it combines purchases with interactive live streaming, so users can shop without leaving the app.

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

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

Although live shopping has not taken off in the West, in Asian markets they are transforming eCommerce.

In China, live commerce has shown amazing results. Chinese TikTok sister app Douyin has tripled sales year over year.

Now, what’s the catch for marketers?

Live shopping is certainly taking off, but many companies are struggling 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 in some countries is still very low.”

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

How to make your strategies work?

When live shopping begins to grow in the West (and believe us, it’s predicted to happen) companies will have to consider more rigorous strategies in conjunction with the most important players in this dynamic: influencers and their communities.

Brands need to focus on creating authentic connections with their audience. 

The advantage of live shopping is credibility, so it is not only an opportunity to sell, it is also a way to provide relevant information about your products, position them and build customer loyalty through valuable interactions in real time. Is your brand ready to deliver this?

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

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