Does TikTok Represent the Future of Ecommerce? – Here’s What You Need to Know
A Study by Lego Showed That One Third of 8-12 Year-Olds Aspire to Become Influencers. Trust Canopy Management to Make Sure Your Ecommerce Game is Up to Date!
There’s no denying that influencer marketing has become a lucrative business model. The market grew from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $9.7 billion in 2020. In 2021, it soared to $13.8 billion, indicating a steady growth. This year, influencer marketing is projected to expand to become an astounding $16.4 billion industry.
Short video formats on platforms such as TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube has driven much of the growth, When you add the effect of the global pandemic on consumers that catalyzed social media consumption, the results are hard to ignore.
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TikTok Has Its Sights Set On Ecommerce
TikTok recently announced a new partnership to assist US merchants with advertising on their app, giving them access to core functions of the TikTok For Business Ads Manager without requiring them to leave their own business platform.
In the release, TikTok said that, “TikTok For Business is where you can unleash your brand’s creative side. A fully immersive no judgment world where there’s an audience for every voice.”
From their own ecommerce platforms, merchants can create and manage TikTok campaigns, using features like the video app’s creative tools and one-click Ads Pixel.
This innovation in ecommerce live streaming shopping is a first on TikTok in the US and allows brands both big and small to be able to engage with users who are at the forefront of the latest marketing trends.
To make their intentions more clear, TikTok followed up by announcing that they’re continuing to expand their relationship with Shopify. The thought is that by enabling in-app shopping, and making product discovery on TikTok a much more intuitive process, the Shopify/TikTok partnership takes advantage of one of the fastest-growing social and entertainment platforms in the world.
TikTok Hit the Ground Running With Live Shopping
During the (first) Amazon Prime Day 2022 sale, Amazon shoppers bought more than 300 million items making it the biggest Prime Day event in Amazon’s history. That’s up from roughly 250 million in 2021.
Amazon later admitted that a big part of their success this year with Prime Day was a sales strategy that ALL ecommerce sellers should probably take a closer look at, Livestream Shopping.
Now, according to a report from the Financial Times, TikTok is launching live shopping in the US using outsourced technology in partnership with TalkShopLive.
TalkShopLive is a Los Angeles-based platform that intends to provide the infrastructure for live streams hosted by influencers and brands.
TikTok confirmed that in areas like the U.K. and Southeast Asia where TikTok has already established eCommerce programs, it aims to provide “a selection of merchants which offer a range of product options as well as delivery options.”
Why does that remind me of a certain massive eCommerce marketplace?
A Job App on LinkedIn Hints at TikTok’s Ecommerce Future
After following TikTok’s trajectory over the last three years, it feels like it was just a matter of time before it made its way to Amazon’s ecommerce doorway.
A LinkedIn job posting might have been the first place where TikTok’s real intentions were in full view.
As evidenced by the (multiple) job postings, TikTok is clearly looking to establish an ecommerce fulfillment center and are quickly hiring to staff the associated positions.
In the postings, TikTok said that “the e-commerce industry has seen tremendous growth in recent years and has become a hotly contested space amongst leading Internet companies, and its future growth cannot be underestimated. With millions of loyal users globally, we believe TikTok is an ideal platform to deliver a brand new and better e-commerce experience to our users.”
They followed that up by saying that “we are looking for passionate and talented people to join our global fulfillment center team, together we can build an e-commerce ecosystem that is innovative, secure and intuitive for our users.”
Here are the posted responsibilities for just one of the jobs:
- Responsible for the business development of fulfillment service, delivering the business plan and carrying out the result in terms of GMV, number of orders and SKU.
- Develop and execute the fulfillment product to achieve the overall strategic business goal
- Communication Interface cross-functionally at all levels including both external and internal stakeholders for all fulfillment service matters
- Building and managing key strategic relationships with key sellers, 3PLs and Logistics Providers
- Conduct market and industry research, develop operation plans to address issues and hedge risks caused by market or policy changes if needed
- Manage day to day business development activities, track record of high performance and team improvement
What Does This Really Mean?
A recent study by Lego showed that one-third of 8-12 year-olds aspire to become influencers. That’s a big part of the reason why TikTok has been on the radar of most of the established eCommerce players for some time now and it’s enough to give all of us an idea (for better or worse) where the future is headed.
TikTok is only now starting to take advantage of the outsized influence that it has established over the last few years. And, it’s not just teens watching viral videos.
Facebook-owned Instagram was forced to react to TikTok’s rapid ascent with the release of Reels, a response to their viral video app. Google is also concerned. Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan, who runs Google’s Knowledge & Information organization intimated that Important Google services such as Search and Maps, are also being adversely affected by the different way that younger users navigate the internet.
With the rapid growth of influencer marketing directly linked to the rising popularity of short-format video on platforms such as TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube, it was only a matter of time before TikTok decided to close the circle and pocket some of those eCommerce dollars itself.
How Canopy Management Can Help
If you’re an ecommerce seller, it seems that as TikTok throws their hat into the ecommerce ring, it’s only a matter of time before the influx of new (read younger) sellers begins to take advantage of the OG player in the online-selling ecosystem. I’m referring to selling on Amazon.
The best way to bridge the gap and get ready for where ecommerce is headed in the future is to pay attention to the newer strategies that help you to put your products in front of buyers. That includes live selling, off-Amazon advertising strategies, and of course, TikTok.
You’ll also want to make sure that you’ve covered the basics with your online business. That means Amazon account management, listing optimization, and pay per click (PPC) advertising. When you’re ready to take your eCommerce brand to the next level, reach out to the pros at Canopy Management, the fastest growing Amazon and ecommerce agency in the world.
Canopy Management is a full-service marketing agency for Amazon sellers. Our team consists of former Amazonians, multi-million dollar sellers, and award-winning experts. When you consider the many ways that Canopy Management can help you grow your business, you’ll see why selling on Amazon is much easier “under the Canopy”:
- Strategic Growth Planning
- Listing Copywriting Optimization
- Listing Photography
- Product Videography
- Advertising Management
- Customer Service
- Demand Side Platform (Amazon DSP)
- Amazon Posts
- Full Service Management
- Amazon Review Aggregation