About the author : Alex Pana

Alex Pana is the Marketing Manager at Oveit, the US-based tech company that developed Streams.live. Prior to joining Oveit, he worked with 2 of the world's leading financial services companies. Over the last 4 years, Alex attended more than 100 live and virtual events, understanding how entertainment and digital payments work together. He is people-oriented and although his role is to share the word about Oveit's solutions, he loves to learn about people's experiences. Be they good or bad. He has a degree in Public Administration. This is where he first learned that small changes can result in big improvements. Having this in mind it was only normal for him to join Oveit.

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The internet has become the “battleground” of tech giants trying to capture web surfers’ attention. For years, social media was dominated by US-based tech giants. But in the last few years, a new player managed to change its status quo. TikTok, the Chinese-owned digital media platformed, took the internet by storm. Their fast iterations made them a worthy opponent for the likes of Facebook and Instagram. And their vision when it comes to commerce clearly makes them one of the go-to social media platforms for eCommerce professionals. Here is how to use Tik Tok for eCommerce.

What makes Tik Tok different?

What’s TikTok all about? It’s the place where  “viewers can watch and discover millions of personalized short videos”. The platform relies on video and its focus is on generating new trends, as we can read in the platform’s own description. What makes its content viral it’s its own algorithm assuring that the user’s feed is populated with enjoyable content.

Launched in 2016 by ByteDance, it’s expected that it will reach 1 Billion monthly users in less than 5 years, making it the fastest growing social media platform in the world. To have a better understanding of the adoption rate we should mention that in the first quarter of 2020 alone Tik Tok had over 310 million downloads. 

The western social media platform has one of the most engaged communities. With more than 90% of its users coming back on the daily basis, it’s safe to say that the platform has incredible traction. Not to mention that users spend, on average, close to one hour each day zapping through Tik Tok’s content. 

Considering these metrics, it was only normal for businesses to use it to meet their customers.

First time using TikTok for eCommerce

While short videos leave little to no room for ads, TikTok is focusing on shoppable content. Thus making it one of the most important social media platform for eCommerce professionals. 

One of the first commerce implementations saw daylight in 2019 when shoppable URLs were added to selected videos. This way, users could easily enter the shopping journey straight from the video content. This information was made available through Twitter.

print screen form Twitter showing a TikTok account used for eCommerce

source: Twitter

Last year, two crucial moves strengthened TikTok’s position as a social commerce platform:

Shopify integration for eCommerce

First, its Shopify integration. From October 2020, the integration became available for all US-based businesses. The partnership allows businesses to easily create and deliver shoppable ads on the social media platform. 

“As social commerce proliferates, retailers are recognizing that TikTok’s creative and highly engaged community sets it apart from other platforms. We’re constantly exploring new and innovative ways to connect brands with our users, and Shopify is the perfect partner to help us grow and expand our commerce capabilities globally.” Vice President, Global Business Solutions for TikTok – Blake Chandlee

source: Shopify

Shopify users can set up their TikTok campaigns on the eCommerce platform and share their shoppable content on social media. They can also use social media platform’s analytics and target their audience based on different demographic information.

Walmart using TikTok for eCommerce

Later in December, TikTok and Walmark worked together in creating their first live stream shopping session. During a live shopping session hosted by Walmart, TikTok users could buy fashion items straight from the video, without leaving the app.

banner announcing walmart and tiktok partnership for ecommerce

source: Walmart

10 TikTok creators were selected to deliver the shoppable content that featured several national and private brands. While the content focused on creating complete outfits that can be found at Walmart, the sessions were meant to combine shopping and entertainment. A very important feature of what shoppable video is all about. 

“We’re excited to engage with TikTok on this new experience and learn what’s possible for shopping on a platform that brings its community so much joy.” Walmart executive.

TikTok aims to create the perfect eCommerce environment for its users, regularly adding new features. If you decide to use the platform for your eCommerce business, you should also try to understand how the platform works. As each social media platform has its own particularities, there are some reasons that stand behind viral content on TikTok. Reasons that may be different from what makes content viral on Youtube for example. 

Creating viral content on TikTok

There are some rules that TikTok’s influencers follow in order to make their content viral. We have selected 5 of them, but there are others as well. Consider the next recommendations as starting points.

1. The 3 seconds rule 

As more and more content tries to capture viewers’ attention, this rule applies not only to TikTok but to video content in general. If your video seems boring not so engaging at first within the first few seconds, users will probably stop watching. With TikTok, as well as other social media platforms, this will be a sign – the content does not drive engagement, so it should be delivered into Feeds. The first few seconds are crucial, so make sure that you stand out.

2.Soundtracks 

The platform has an incredible music library -after all, part of its great success was based on dance video, the platform making users’ favorite songs available.

Catchy beats are always a good idea. Just like memorable lyrics. But be aware that TikTok has a separate music library for commercial purposes.

3.Hashtags

Video categories are available through different hashtags, try to find the one that suits you best. Don’t worry, there are 11 categories that have more than 1 billion hashtag views on TikTok. According to Statista, the views per category as of June 2020 are:

Yes, billion views.

4.Storytelling 

You may find it difficult, the videos’ length is not that generous here. But stories are part of who we are and people need to hear a (true) story in order to connect. This makes storytelling such an important part of any brand’s communication strategy. “Great stories are surprising and unexpected”.

5.Trends on TikTok

I don’t want to encourage you to go with the flow, but TikTok made itself famous through the viral trends that engaged millions. So when seeing a trend that can be connected to your brand, make sure that you take advantage of it. It can literally help your brand get in front of millions of viewers. 

Final points

TikTok seems to be the social media platform with the most focus on eCommerce. Rather than going towards traditional paid advertising and monetization features for their top content creators, the western company decided to shift to social eCommerce. A move that may prove to be an inspired one as shoppable content is reshaping commerce.

About the author : Alex Pana

Alex Pana is the Marketing Manager at Oveit, the US-based tech company that developed Streams.live. Prior to joining Oveit, he worked with 2 of the world's leading financial services companies. Over the last 4 years, Alex attended more than 100 live and virtual events, understanding how entertainment and digital payments work together. He is people-oriented and although his role is to share the word about Oveit's solutions, he loves to learn about people's experiences. Be they good or bad. He has a degree in Public Administration. This is where he first learned that small changes can result in big improvements. Having this in mind it was only normal for him to join Oveit.

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