TikTok – The Next Big Thing for eCommerce

Reading Time: 5 minutes
TikTok - The Next Big Thing for eCommerce
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Social networking and eCommerce travel hand in hand. Facebook, Instagram or Twitter keep you relevant in all things internet. The concept started as a way to communicate with distant family and friends. It has now morphed and adapted into a multi-use platform with the same application.  

The question is, what does that mean to you, an eCommerce business owner?

When you can break international barriers with a fun, communal and easy to use point of communication, anyone could become a customer!

What is TikTok?What is TikTok?

Tiktok saw its roots in the 2014 application musical.ly. Musical.ly was made to encourage better quality social media interactions. Users could do this through short (a minute or under) videos that feature easy to add music overlays and easy to use editing capabilities.  

The public could now make better quality “content” faster. They could feature popular music without worrying about licensing on a simple to use medium. What started as a platform to share lip-syncing videos grew into a creative space boasting a hundred million daily users

By 2017 the application was competing with cemented heavy hitters like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram. As a result, TikTok’s parent company Bytedance purchased Musical.ly for $800 million and renamed it to the application we see today. 

How does it work?

The application can be used to overlay music, dialogues from movies, sounds from memes and just about any snippet of audio that could hold contemporary relevance. Users are able to then edit and upload 15-second videos or loop the video into a 30-second clip. 

Keep in mind, you don’t need an account or to post yourself to consume the content available on the application.

Are people really using TikTok?

The application has been downloaded over 1.5 billion times, as of 2019. TikTok is currently the most frequently downloaded app on Apple’s App Store and has pushed past the likes of Youtube, Instagram and Snapchat.

With over 800 million active users worldwide and an adapted version named Douyin for China, TikTok should definitely matter to your professional organisation.

As of 2018, 40% of TikTok users were between the ages of 16 and 24. That leaves 60% of their 800 million users to fall under various categories of employment, walks of life and purchasing abilities. 

What Makes It So Popular?

TikTok is the latest in adapting live streaming to social media platforms. Sharing real-time experiences with an audience builds on user experience. Social media began with text, developed into the picture and then to video; every medium easier to consume than the last. 

The live streaming aspect offered profile holders the ability to convey information and communicate with viewers while the information is being relayed. The streamer appears more approachable to the audience encouraging them to interact with others viewing the live stream and possibly with the profile holder. 

The content is light and upbeat. A growing database of celebrities are also partaking in TikTok. With the in house quarantining over the COVID-19 pandemic, users are quick to log into TikTok for a seemingly never-ending stream of quick laughs and amusement.

Adapting TikTok to your eCommerce enterprise

Adapting TikTok to your eCommerce

On average, users spend 52 minutes a day on TikTok. Wondering how to become a part of the consumption? Here’s what you can do:

  • In-built advertising models

Much like Facebook Marketing, TikTok offers its own set of tools. Build your inbound marketing suite by incorporating any of the multiple advertising methods that can be adapted for your brand. The top of the list include;

1. HashTag challenges

Content creators develop HashTag challenges by attaching a specific, often sponsored, hashtag pertaining to the content in the video. The creator encourages other users to mimic the video contents tagging it with the same hashtag. 

In a retail scenario, users are able to shop the products associated with the hashtag within a separate in-app tab. The TikTok online shopping experience offers soft and easy flowing purchasing.

American home decor company Kroegers introduced the #TransformUrDorm challenge with the help of 4 of TikToks’ biggest stars. They encouraged users to upload before and after decor pictures of their dorm rooms using the above-mentioned hashtag. As a result, they were able to bring in 447 million views over all the different tagged user videos.

2. Biddable advertising

Adding a quick and concise advertising video is a possibility with TikToks biddable ads. The app allows you to slot in marketing material without disrupting a users feed while they’re scrolling through. 

They offer the ability to narrow down your audience using demographic filters such as age, gender and location.

TikTok ads offer three models;

  • Cost Per View (CPV): Allows advertisers to pay based on the viewers looking at the advertising. Ad length must be six seconds.
  • Cost Per Impression (CPM): Allows advertisers to pay every time the ad is featured in a users feed.
  • Cost Per Click (CPC): Allows advertisers to pay any time their advertisement is clicked. 

3. Brand takeovers

This allows you to capitalise on the space available on mobile and computer devices. Whenever your advertisement plays, it occupies all the space on the screen encouraging customers to click if interested and move to a linked page.

A great way to encourage foot traffic to your webpage. However, this kind of branding is limited to only ONE advertiser a day. 

4. Branded lenses

Augmented reality takes the form of filters on social media. This allows you to adapt premade elements to lay over pictures while you take them, almost like virtual stickers. 

Encourage curiosity about the brand by offering your brands rendition of a facially accentuating filter with strategic brand placement.

Read more about TikTok’s advertising features 

  • Models based on your brand

1. Outside the box advertising

Break conventional marketing models by introducing new and interesting concepts adapted to your brand. As TikTok isn’t primarily used for the same, try that “crazy” idea out. Community guidelines aren’t as strenuous, allowing you to be as unpredictable as you’d like. 

You never know what could go viral.

2. Content for everyone

While you may have decided on your target demographic, TikTok is a great way to experiment with appealing to everyone. Show off your organisation’s zeal by participating in a number of different challenges across the application. Step into the world of duets, show off your favorite meme or get the whole team together and dance! 

Staying authentic resonates with everyone. Doing what you like and enjoying it, helps your audience understand the values of your brand and your willingness to adapt and cater your brand to anyone. 

Allow TikTok to help you create easy to view content that accentuates the exuberance of your brand. As an eCommerce portal, the transition from an online social media platform to a virtual point of purchase is quicker and more seamless.

TikTok for eCommerce could expand your reach to prospective customers in a way you’ve never seen before while adding an extra POP! in your marketing step. 

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