With more than 60% of weekly users engaging in social shopping behaviors on the app, it’s no surprise that TikTok is becoming a popular choice for merchants with a social commerce strategy.
TikTok Shop, the company’s new in-app shopping feature, launched in the U.S. in November 2022, and Feedonomics has already helped some of the world’s largest brands get their feeds running on the platform.
In a recent webinar with Feedonomics, Ben Moore, Global Partnerships Lead at TikTok, discussed what the platform has to offer and how merchants can improve their social selling performance.
Strategies for succeeding on TikTok
Moore pointed out that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for success on TikTok. However, there are still some steps brands can take to improve their chances of success on the app:
1. Always create a TikTok with sound on. According to Moore, 73% of TikTok users will stop to look at an ad with sound on.
2. Let creators take the lead. Work closely with creators to create content that resonates with your target audience.
3. Follow the latest trends closely and try to leverage them when appropriate. More than 60% of users like brands better when they create or participate in a trend on TikTok.
4. Keep your content authentic. Almost 80% of TikTok users agree that TikTok is a place for brands to demonstrate their personality and express themselves in a more genuine way.
5. Optimize your product catalog with a feed management platform. Allow the TikTok algorithm to work its magic by feeding it more accurate and granular product data. This allows the app to serve more personalized product recommendations to customers and facilitates improved search discovery.
Social commerce features on TikTok
There are several in-app features that give businesses the tools they need to be successful on TikTok Shop. One of those features is native checkout, but Moore highlighted some of the other tools that brands have at their disposal.
Live shopping: Livestreaming on TikTok gives brands instantaneous feedback from their content, allowing them to interact with their watchers in real time. Internationally, it has proven extremely popular, with Douyin (TikTok’s Chinese counterpart) generating $119 billion worth of sales via live broadcast in 2021. Merchants can tag their products as they’re presenting in front of thousands of users, giving those interested the ability to go from livestream to purchase in a matter of minutes.
“Going live has actually always played a huge role in the success of TikTok globally, as it’s an opportunity for creators to engage more directly with their communities, with their followers,” Moore said.
TikTok Shop Affiliate program: Brands can partner with TikTok creators to help produce content that resonates more closely with their audiences. Moore shared a new way that creators and brands can work together to create influential content.
“We also keep improving the way we work with content creators on the platform, and for that, we’ve created what we call the ‘TikTok Shop Affiliate Program,’ which connects creators with sellers through commission-based product marketing.”
Social commerce is “the new word of mouth”
Young consumers have leaned into shopping on social apps, and merchants that maximize their performance can reap the rewards. We asked Moore to explain the factors that have led to the popularity of social commerce. He pointed to three main components:
Ease of use: The growing popularity of social commerce is tied closely to the advancement of in-app shopping technology, namely native checkout, which has streamlined the shopping experience. Native checkout allows users to make purchases without leaving the social platform, creating a more seamless transition between entertainment and transaction, and reducing the resistance involved with making a purchase.
“The consumer’s click-of-a-button mindset has seen a major acceleration in the last few years, and we only see this increasing in the future,” Moore said.
Personalization: Consumers are more likely to react positively to advertising that speaks to them specifically, and social commerce platforms like TikTok use powerful algorithms to match, recommend, and curate content and products to match consumer preferences.
“I think most people here know now that platforms use data and algorithms to curate personalized product recommendations, which leads, eventually, to a more relevant and engaging shopping experience,” Moore said.
Social proof: Last but not least, Moore pointed to the “social” aspect of social commerce. Social media apps give people a way to share ideas and collaborate with one another, and TikTok’s massive popularity is a testament to the power of that basic human desire. More than 1 billion people watch more than 90 minutes of content on TikTok daily.
Brands have the ability to create engaging and authentic content that forms deeper connections with customers.
“You don’t want your user to just check your app, you want them to watch the content. So it needs to be entertaining, engaging so that you can showcase products in an attractive manner, which leads at the end of the day to higher conversion rates,” Moore said.
Feedonomics for TikTok product feeds
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