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Community Commerce on TikTok: The Future of Online Shopping

30 Aug

In recent years, we have seen how oversaturated the social media market has become with products. Every other YouTube video features sponsored content, and Instagram is overrun with constant ads. As you scroll you can’t help but notice the ingenuity of these sponsored posts, it surely does not drive your interest to buy them. And frankly, it’s boring!

In the midst of all this, TikTok has become a driving force in sparking customer interest for brands from all niches. From portable cleaners to books, we have seen products fly off the shelves quicker than they can be replaced. All thanks to Community Commerce.

Word-of-mouth marketing meets the Flywheel

According to WARC (World Advertising Research Centre), a type of commerce known as “community commerce” particularly relates to the concept of engaging, compelling content that just so happens to involve companies. This phenomenon emerged on TikTok, becoming a breath of fresh air in modern e-tail and giving word-of-mouth marketing a much needed upgrade.

Brands can now use the momentum created by the feedback loop to transform the shopping experience to better fit current trends and users’ needs. TikTok’s unique For You page algorithms ensure that specific content is shown to users with those same interests, making targeting audiences for brands more straightforward than ever.

Moreover, TikTok’s content is actually entertaining. No person goes to buy mascara from seeing a sponsored Insta post anymore, but a genuine TikTok review from their favorite creator may be a different story.

TikTok research conducted by Flamingo in 2021 says that 73% of users feel a deeper connection to brands they interact with on TikTok compared to other platforms. Perhaps, this is the time to find a new approach.

TikTok Shopping for the rescue

So, how can brands actually use it? To aid brands’ marketing strategies, in 2021 TikTok launched a collection of tools, TikTok Shopping, which empowers businesses and transforms creators’ content into purchasable entertainment. These allow users to directly find and buy products they encounter on their For You page. No more searching, no more googling. These tools allow brands to streamline the customer’s shopping experience.

Collection Ads

It enables advertisers to use instant gallery pages for their business.

This is a step towards building a seamless shopping experience for users and better discovery mechanism for products with product ranking as core foundation for different users.

Dynamic Showcase Ads

A feature based on data about your items and app user activity, automatically converts your products into adverts and displays them to the most interested viewers.

Product Links

Using these widgets, retailers may draw attention to related products in an organic video and direct viewers to product websites. Please check in advance if this feature is available for your market.

Live shopping

Shop directly from a LIVE by tapping the pinned products or browsing the shopping basket icon. Introduce and sell your products in an entertaining and engaging way. Engage directly with your audience and provide a one-of-a kind product discovery and shopping experience. Currently, the feature is available in the UK, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam.

You’ll believe it when you see it

If you have TikTok (which you probably do) chances are, you have witnessed some, if not all, of these viral trends. Thanks to the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt phenomenon, products can now take off overnight.

Remember the time everyone went crazy about that baked feta pasta recipe? That video gathered 920 million views, sending feta cheese sales through the roof and causing Aldi to bring back the fan-favorite cheese.

But what about established, well-known brands? Well, they don’t get left out, either. The beauty brand’s 2022 MACStack mascara release was met with an overwhelming response from the TikTok community, ranking #1 in Ulta Beauty weekly sales and gathering 73 million #MacStackMascara mentions. SVP of MAC Cosmetics North America André Branch has said that #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt ‘is so real’. He’s not wrong.

Among others, we’ve got a portable cleaner tagged as #LittleGreenMachine, a Salmon Rice Bowl recipe, or a 1989 novel getting reprinted for 35 thousand copies. The truth is, the examples are endless and they keep on coming.

Trust us, when we say – this is just the beginning of what’s to come. As we move towards an age where it is increasingly important for customers to see the thought behind a brand’s strategy, to engage and create with the businesses they are buying from, Community Commerce will see its inevitable rise in 2022.