SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 1 – Instead of being at the mall like all the other last minute shoppers, how about shopping on social media? Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, and now Twitter: all major platforms go into e-commerce with a direct element. It’s a recent trend that has gotten a boost from the global health situation and could soon be worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
Will social networks become the preferred shopping platforms? The number of payments being made online has increased with the spread of the pandemic, and smaller merchants are increasingly turning to social networks to continue their business. It is a trend that has not escaped notice from various online social networks.
Shopping Channels 2.0?
In the lead-up to the holiday season — and in particular, Thanksgiving in the US, YouTube has announced “YouTube Holiday Stream and Shop,” a week of live shopping deals hosted by platform creators. The shows were in partnership with brands like Walmart, Samsung and Verizon.
Instagram has already tried its hand at live shopping with its “10 Days of Live Shopping” event, which took place in September 2021. This event provided an opportunity for some stars to promote their brand like Selena Gomez with her own makeup brand “Rare Beauty” and Olivia Parlermo with “Olivia Palermo Beauty”.
So, is tele-shopping a new fad thanks to social networks? In May 2021, Facebook announced a weekly “Live Shopping” session that would take place every Friday. The platform described it as a way for brands to showcase their new products and directly answer consumer questions, but above all to take advantage of the presence of internet users to increase sales. Because with the many stay-at-home mandates put in place during the pandemic, the use of social networks has increased exponentially, as well as e-commerce. At the beginning of November, Pinterest revealed the launch of “Pinterest TV”, a series of several direct shopping episodes.
Meanwhile, in late 2020, TikTok had already organized a live shopping event day in association with Walmart, sparking the platforms’ interest in e-commerce.
Influencers as collateral for brands
Being where consumers spend most of their time is a goal for brands: “Discovery and inspiration can happen anywhere, and we want to make sure we meet our customers wherever they are,” said William White, Walmart’s chief marketing officer. The US retailer recently teamed up with Twitter to offer its first live shopping event. For the occasion, the social network of singer Jason Derulo has signed up as host of a “shoppable” live online event.
“Twitter livestreaming gives companies the ability to interact with their most influential fans,” Twitter explained on its official blog. After the first round of testing with some brands, Twitter confirmed that further collaborations will be launched with “more US merchants in the coming weeks.”
In a study revealed in July 2021, 61 percent of respondents said they like a brand more when it engages in a trend on TikTok. Consumption habits are increasingly influenced by … influencers. On YouTube, 89 percent of internet users said they believe in the recommendations made by creators on the platform.
According to a study by McKinsey, live commerce could represent a 423 billion USD (1.78 trillion RM) market in 2022 in China, where it all began. – ETX Studio