Why 2023 Will Be The Year of Influencer Marketing And How to Maximize It
Can you guess how long the average person spends on social media?
145 minutes per day. That’s over a month each year (36.75 days, to be exact!).
With people increasingly glued to their influencer marketing’s meteoric rise was inevitable.
Creator collaborations play a huge role in driving leads and sales for many businesses, especially eCommerce and retail brands. So much so that 80% of shoppers have made a purchase after an influencer recommended the product.
Like social media apps, the influencer marketing world is constantly changing. Therefore to run engaging and profitable campaigns, you’ll need to keep a keen eye on the trends shaping the industry and use them to adjust your strategy.
To help you get a head start, we’ve compiled the hottest trends set to brace 2023 and some expert tips to hit a home run with your influencer marketing strategy.
Let’s dive in.
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Top influencer marketing trends to watch for 2023
To set your brand up for success with creator collaborations, it’s essential to study the road ahead to create a fitting strategy. Let’s run through the most significant influencer marketing trends for 2023:
Customer acquisition costs continue to rise
Thanks to rising costs, you now need to pay more to play and even more to win in ad channels like pay-per-click. This is clearly bad news for eCommerce brands that use such marketing strategies as their bread and butter for customer acquisition.
Luckily, the influencer marketing industry is not only cost-effective but is still growing and is expected to reach $16.4 billion in 2022. Also, the vast size and variety of the influencer marketing industry can fit any budget. These characteristics make influencer marketing an excellent alternative to get more eyeballs on your products and acquire new customers.
Consumer trust in traditional ads will continue to wane
Fatigue and distrust towards traditional ad channels like celebrity endorsement is fast becoming the norm. Why? People value authenticity and trust suggestions from those they like and trust, which happens to be their friends, family, and influencers.
To put this into perspective, 70% of teens place more trust in creators than in TV personalities and celebrities. To succeed in 2023, you’ll need to pick influencers with great reputations and engaged audiences.
eCommerce platforms get involved in influencer marketing action
We aren’t the only ones who noticed the rise of influencer marketing; leading eCommerce solution providers have caught on too. Shopify and Walmart Marketplace have created influencer connection platforms to make finding and working with the right influencer simpler.
So, if the potential workload had you postponing giving influencer marketing a try, there’s never been a better time to get involved.
Learn more about how to leverage Shopify Collabs to boost your marketing.
Video promotion goes viral
With apps like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube gaining a global reach with innovative video-led content, creators are finding new ways to bring products to life through video. From short and engaging inspirational reels to engaging and informative unboxing videos, the options for developing a strong brand and showcasing offers are plentiful.
60% of millennials are more inclined to take advice from a YouTuber than a traditional media personality. So tap into different video formats and channels to capture your target customer’s attention in 2023.
Social commerce is on the up and up
More shoppers have started to interact with social shopping opportunities, with avenues such as live shopping and social stores gaining ground fast. As a result, social commerce rakes in $89.4 billion each year worldwide. Brands that can blend their social selling initiatives with influencer marketing will fare well in 2023. Put the social selling trend to the test in 2023 with social selling features on your pages or setting up events and stores with influencers.
What are the benefits of influencer marketing for eCommerce brands?
When you’ve seen success with tried and tested marketing options like pay-per-click ads and email marketing, you may wonder whether you really need to give influencer marketing a try. But influencer is in a league of its own and is a worthwhile investment when executed correctly. Here are some benefits you can look forward to:
- Accelerated sales: Influencer content’s viral potential allows you to turn clicks and likes into sales fast. And with the right strategy, you can produce profitable campaigns time after time.
- Maximize your ad budget: The diverse range of influencers available means you can split your ad budget among different creators, from micro-influencers to celebrities, allowing your cash to go further. This means more cash left over for other campaigns and projects too.
- Make your products more discoverable: 86% of shoppers flock to Instagram to find new products. Influencer marketing campaigns can explode your brand’s reach and give you more chances to convert.
- Unearth new profitable audiences and niches: Influencers cover many niches, industries, and topics. As you work with different influencers, you can find lucrative sub-niches to scale your business.
- Access more user-generated content (UGC): UGC is huge for winning buyers’ trust and building. Influencer marketing provides the ultimate opportunity to build a portfolio.
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How to dominate the checkout with influencer marketing?
To succeed at influencer marketing, you’ll need a realistic budget, some creativity, and a curious spirit. Once you’ve checked these off your list, it’s time to put together a winning strategy. Let’s cover some steps to take:
Choose your social media channels and influencers wisely
If you want to hit it big with influencer marketing, you must get two things right: your platform options and influencer selections.
With 60% of shoppers taking to Instagram to find new products and 500,000 influencers on the platform, Instagram is the go-to platform for creator campaigns.
But don’t stop at Instagram. Research other platforms your target customer spends time on and test them with small campaigns. Double down on the niches, audiences, and stories that work and cull those that don’t resonate. Some social media platforms you can experiment with include:
Who you work with will play a huge role in determining whether your influencer campaigns are a hit or miss. Some areas to ensure you and the creator are the right fit are:
- Brand look and feel
- Mission and beliefs
- Audience members
Tell great stories to increase engagement
People learn and connect through stories. So, naturally, the best influencer campaign has a captivating storyline that hooks viewers in and encourages them to learn more. To craft your own scroll-stopping storylines, use your product’s unique value proposition as a guide and expand from there.
For example, say you own a vegan, celiac-friendly snack line. You could share your customers’ stories on how their quality of life has improved by having access to more delicious snacks that won’t harm their health. You could also use any charitable initiatives you’re involved with to share how your products are making a positive impact.
Repurpose influencer and UGC content into ads
Mixing influencer and customer-generated content from your campaigns into a PPC ad is a fantastic way to increase your reach. It also maximizes your influencer content utilization to help you squeeze more conversion out of them. There are many content formats you can request from customers and influencers. For best results, start with:
- Videos (Short, Reels, and long-form)
- Testimonials and reviews
Test collaborations with micro-influencers
When it comes to who makes up influencer marketing space, micro-influencers take the top spot, with their market share hitting 91% in 2021 and still growing. So, take this opportunity to find creators that match each of the customer personas you target.
You can also find micro-influencers in niches you’re eager to break into or have products launching in soon. For instance, if you have a fitness brand but hope to break into swimwear, you can find micro-influencers in these niches and test them simultaneously.
Mesh influencer marketing content into your social stores
Social stores are growing in popularity and are the perfect place to house some of your well-crafted influencer content. You can even take things up a notch by working with creators to be the cover of a collection or item in your portfolio and share the news via the influencers page to drive even more eyeballs to your social shop.
Leverage influencer marketing tools
Whether you aim to stay local or want to deliver multi-territory campaigns, there are tools available that help you find and monitor the influencer partners, store contracts and agreements organized, payouts, and more.
Examine what areas you need help with and use tech solutions to fill the gaps. Here are a few to help set up and run your first campaigns:
- Discovery and collaboration platforms: Shopify Collabs, Pixlee, Phlanx
- Campaign design and management: Grin, CreatorIQ, AspireIQ
Make the cash register ring with influencer marketing
In 2023, a new breed of influencer marketing is coming to a screen near you. To ensure your campaigns are relevant and engaging, get up to speed on developing trends now, tweak your tactics, and start testing.
Remember, people flock to social media to engage with their network and find new and interesting things. Keep these reasons at the forefront of your mind when planning campaigns, so they feel authentic and people-centered rather than sales-y.
Finally, involve your target customer in your influencer campaigns to drive reach and engagement and make it easy for potential buyers to take the next step, whether it’s signing up for an email list or buying your products.
Soon you’ll have another profitable marketing strategy you can depend on to scale your business to new heights.
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The Ultimate Guide to Twitter For eCommerce
Pulling in over 237 million daily users and $5.07 billion in revenue (92% of which came from ad sales), Twitter is a social media titan in its own right.
But when it comes to driving eCommerce sales, Twitter is still a relatively untapped opportunity. This is fantastic news if you’re scaling an online store, especially as the eCommerce market becomes more competitive.
So, what’s Twitter for eCommerce all about?
In this post, we’ll explore what using Twitter for online selling looks like and how to use this bustling channel to catapult your eCommerce business to new heights.
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3 unmatched ways Twitter can help you exceed business goals
Every ambitious eCommerce brand has huge goals, whether it’s making your brand a household name or building a mega product portfolio. Chances are you’re one of them and searching for the next idea to give your business a competitive edge. Twitter may be the undercover opportunity you’ve been waiting for. Let’s run through some ways Twitter can help you crush targets:
1. Drive more engagement
Getting more leads is essential for improving your close rate. It all starts with healthy engagement rates on your marketing content to spur shoppers to learn more. As prospects and customers talk about your brand, it extends your business’ reach. As a result, you’ll create a continuous loop of brand discovery and have more people kickstarting their buyer’s journey.
2. Expand to new customer bases
Few things compare to the thrill of finding a new, profitable audience to market to. You can not only skyrocket growth but can also find your next winning product and increase your business’ market share. Also, if you partner with influencers, you can tap into even more sub-niches. For example, if you’re selling direct to consumers, you can look out for more B2B clients working with influencers in the space since 82% of B2B content creators use Twitter.
3. Build a noticeable brand voice
One of the great things about Twitter is that it allows you to have a say on topics like no other social media site. As you share your brand personality, knowledge, and advice, you can become the go-to authority in your niche statement and attract your tribe.
Take Walmart, for example. Scroll through their Twitter profile, and you’ll instantly notice their fun, upbeat branding. Walmart also positions itself as a customer-centric brand by highlighting its customer support in its bio and sharing details on panel discussions about areas like Fashion and baby care.
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How to use Twitter to explode eCommerce growth
To use Twitter for your eCommerce business successfully, it’s vital you have the know-how, resources, and creativity. We’ve got you covered on the knowledge front. Let’s dive into some steps you can take to make Twitter marketing a winner:
Polish your profile
Your profile is your business’ online real estate, and the first thing potential customers will land, so make it count. Implement the following pointers to optimize your profile:
- Profile picture: Use your company logo or photo of your most popular item to make your brand instantly recognizable.
- Bio: Write a killer brand description highlighting your USP, shout out your current product drops, or let customers know about exciting initiatives you have coming.
- Relevant link: Add a link to your bestselling item, about us page, or top-performing landing page. Split test and change your link according to your running promos and ads.
- Community: Invest time in building a following of your target audience. Reach out to people that fit your target customer personas, be active in your comments sections, and follow influential figures to build a network.
- Competitor analysis: Check out who your competitors are following for guidance on who to follow, engage with, and topics to cover.
Research relevant keywords and hashtags
Hashtags will be critical in getting more eyeballs on your Twitter content. Create a list of broad keywords to start your search, and use a hashtag research tool like Hashtagify, Sprout Social, or Agorapulse to find more specific hashtags. Some things you can use to generate hashtag ideas include:
- Trending topics and pop culture
- Words shoppers use to describe your products
- Words customers use when explaining the issues your products solve
Also, if you want to drive a sense of community, support a cause, or create a buzz around a launch, use a branded hashtag. For example, the makeup brand Nars Cosmetics uses a clever play on words to build a community under the hashtag #NARSissist.
Develop engaging content
Your Twitter feed offers the opportunity to stand out and shine. Use it to entertain, educate, and inspire your audience. Make your content the star of the show, by creating a content calendar and scheduling posts to stay consistent and build momentum with the algorithms. Here are some tips to fill your timeline with awe-inspiring content:
- Give out useful tips and tricks, and make bold statements. Most Twitter users appreciate brands that stand for something and don’t sit on the fence.
- Blend fun content with inspiring imagery – take ASOS’s lead, who share memes and jokes alongside crisp snaps of their latest fashion drops.
- Share user-generated content to show off your product’s best features and how they have benefitted your customers.
- Mix in images, videos, and links from other content creators.
- Don’t be afraid to repurpose content from other social channels.
- Work with influencers to drive awareness. Test different storylines, influencer audience sizes, and styles to branch out into new markets and attract different customer types.
Work the Twitter Chat for more conversions
Use Twitter’s direct messaging feature to get to know your audience and build rapport. For example, if you get a new follower, you could thank them by offering a discount code and share you appreciate their support. Keep your communications light, short and relevant to avoid coming across as a spammer, sales-y, or intrusive.
Take advantage of Twitter shopping features
Twitter has a few eCommerce functions you can experiment with to find the best fit for your brand. Check out each one’s features below and select a tool or two to kickstart your selling journey on the Twitter platform:
Shop Spotlight (previously the Shop Module)
Use this dedicated carousel to showcase up to 5 products on your Twitter profile. Shoppers can scroll through the content, and the photos are clickable, allowing you to “spotlight” and drive traffic to specific items.
Build a mobile-optimized storefront for free with up to 50 items and draw prospects towards it with the enticing “View Shop” button that’ll appear on your Twitter Profile. Note, Shoppers will have to pay for items off Twitter on a separate payment portal, but it’s an exciting start to social commerce on Twitter.
Get real and raw with your shopping experience by hosting a live shopping event like the late-night shopping shows of the early nineties. Twitter will house the photos, details, and links to the showcased products under the video to access shoppers easily. Twitter also has engagement-boosting features like a live tweet discussion feed, a “Shop” banner and tab, and a “latest” product tab.
Get shoppers excited about your upcoming product launches with this hype-generating feature. Your images and videos will appear in your audience member’s Twitter feed, and they can set product alerts to get notified when your items are available for sale.
Tip: Don’t forget to optimize your fulfillment process to accommodate sales from your Twitter marketing. If you don’t have the resources to complete this in-house, get help from a reliable 3PL.
Implement Sponsored Tweets
While generating organic leads on Twitter is great for keeping margins high, building a stable flow can take a while. Use sponsored tweets to boost your content’s reach and accelerate lead generation.
Since Twitter will charge you every 1000 impressions, it’s vital you’re strategic in your ad setup. Use sponsored ads to drive awareness and engagement, luring funnel shoppers into a sequence of Twitter like an email marketing campaign. This approach will be a more affordable way to build connections with your target and drive conversions.
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Turn Twitter into a goldmine
As Twitter’s eCommerce initiatives lurk behind the shadows of uber-popular Instagram, Tiktok, and Pinterest shops, it’s easy to overlook this fantastic opportunity. eCommerce businesses that have taken a chance on Twitter have exploded their customer base, strengthened their brands, diversified their marketing streams, and boosted sales. So with some creativity, experimentation, and strategic hashtagging, there’s no telling what 280-character tweets can do for your eCommerce business.
Due to the nature of Twitter, being successful on this social channel as an eCommerce business will take some work. Study your market, learn how your target customers operate on Twitter and test various content styles and topics to build a winning strategy. Soon you’ll have a successful Twitter marketing strategy that keeps shoppers coming through your online doors, card in hand.
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How to Generate And Use Social Proof in Your eCommerce Marketing
Need a way for your eCommerce brand to stand out? Turn your attention to acquiring and sharing social proof. From glowing product reviews to heartfelt customer shoutouts, social proof is one of the most effective ways to get your target customer’s attention, build trust and close more sales.
82% of consumers have purchased, researched, or thought about buying after seeing friends, family, or influencers post about something. To help you take advantage of this underutilized hack, in this post, we’ll dive into what social proof is and what it’s not. We’ll also highlight why getting social proof should be a priority when scaling and share some ways to secure attention-grabbing social proof.
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What is social proof exactly?
Social proof is a term born from the idea social influence impacts the way people behave, swaying their beliefs and breeding conformity. In action, this could look like getting a recommendation from a friend for a coffee brand you’ve never heard of and taking a chance on them by purchasing.
Social proof comes in many shapes and forms, which brands mix and match. Some formats useful for eCommerce marketing include:
- Word of mouth referral
- Video and text testimonials
- Professional recommendations, e.g., A doctor’s sign off
Each type of social proof will carry different authority levels depending on whether a third party generated it and who your target is. For instance, recommendations from an employee on your website will be met with less enthusiasm than a review from a fellow shopper on a regulated review site. Telling the world about your product’s benefits isn’t social proof and falls more into the broader marketing category.
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3 Reasons why social proof is a must-have for eCommerce brands
Perhaps your products have viral status, and more people are hearing about your brand each day or you may have mature sales and marketing strategies that have sales pouring in. Either way, it can be challenging to see the value of social proof as anything more than an acknowledgment of your hard work. But social proof can help your brand in many ways. Let’s run through a few:
1) Gain new shopper’s trust
Want to know one of the top things social proof generates for your brand?
Knowing a product has been tested and approved by peers reduces the perceived risk factor of buying, making shoppers more open to learning about your brand and completing the checkout process pause-free.
Recommendations and reviews can also reduce buyers’ remorse when shared as part of your post-sale marketing. These are just some of the reasons reviews play a critical role in a product’s success on a marketplace and why platforms like Amazon have had early reviewer programs and now the Vine program.
2) Improve conversions
Reviews don’t just make your brand look good; they make its bank balance, Average Order Value, and Customer Lifetime Value healthier. For example, Social proof can increase conversions by as much as 270%, and higher-priced products can benefit from a jump of up to 380%. Also, shoppers are likely to spend 31% more when a brand has fantastic reviews.
3) Boost brand authority
Social proof from the right people and in the correct quantity can take a brand from an unknown newbie to a rising star. And, if you’re an established player in the eCommerce world, getting shoppers’ approval tells other consumers why you’ve stood the test of time. In other words, the more social proof your brand acquires, its brand authority becomes stronger.
How to generate social proof on autopilot
No matter what audience size you have, you can garner social proof to drive more leads and sales. You’ll need a well-thought-out game plan to acquire different types of social proof. To get started, here are some ways you can gather reviews, shoutouts, recommendations, and more:
Run giveaways and contests
Giveaways aren’t just great ways to build your email list; they’re also a great way to garner social proof. For example, say you have a teeth whitening line, you could create a competition for your customers, offering 6 month’s worth of products for the best:
- Before and after pics
- Selfies with and displays of your products
- Answers on why they love a particular item
Partner with influencers
Social proof produces the best result when you take a blended approach. So break away from the norm and trial different content types to create social proof with influencer marketing:
- Q&A sessions
- Diary style/day-in-the-life content
- Inspirational images and short video clips (e.g., for social media reels)
- Social media takeovers
- Meetups for your most loyal followers to meet their favorite content creators
- Share seals of approval from regulated bodies and industry experts (e.g., FDA, doctors)
Top tip: Not sure how to execute an influencer campaign? Check out brands in different niches with a winning strategy like Showpo, GymShark, and Frank Body.
Incentivize customer content creation from customers
Despite 9 out of 10 consumers reading reviews before making a purchase, on average, just 10% leave reviews. So sometimes, even your loyal customers need a little nudge to get talking. Give shoppers a reason to leave honest reviews by giving perks that they’ll be interested in. For example, you could offer a discount code, unlock a special deal on their next purchase or offer loyalty points.
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5 simple ways to drive conversions with social proof
Now that you know how to create different forms of social proof, the next step is to position them to supercharge conversions. Here are some ways you can fill your sales funnels and pockets with social proof:
1) Embed social proof into your web design
A fantastic way to get social proof in front of your potential customers is to mix it into your web design. Examine other brands’ social proof strategies for inspiration on how to present it in a way that’s native to the sales platform. For example, if you have a website, you could:
- Have a page dedicated to reviews and testimonials.
- Add a widget to product description pages to list reviews for the associated product.
- Place reviews on your landing page and in email designs.
2) Blend social proof into your social media strategy
Give your reviews, recommendations, and testimonials the shine they deserve by displaying them on your social channels. Test different formats like video, star ratings, and text to find which style resonates the best. Don’t forget to add a call to action for shoppers to buy the item and a link to the product in your bio to increase conversions.
Look through comments sections for shoutouts and impromptu testimonials your fans may leave on product posts and request permission from them too. Also, take note of how shoppers display their social proof for more ideas to trial.
3) Use case studies for wholesale account outreach
Whether it’s a sell-out launch, a 3-month long wait list, or increased profits, sharing case studies from your wholesale and corporate accounts can help you attract more customers. Zoom in on crucial stats representing the positive changes your brand has brought other businesses and include positive quotes from customers to provide additional context and validity. You can also include snapshots from case studies in your outreach and adverts to up your meeting booking rate and account sign-ups.
4) Highlight key numbers
There are some instances where tooting your own horn is entirely acceptable, and sharing your store’s most impressive milestones is one of them. So if you’ve secured 0 to $1 million in 60 days, 100,000 customers, 5 years in business, or something similar, it’s time to let the world know. This tactic will uplevel your brand value in consumers’ eyes, inspiring them to start their customer journey. Some other achievements you can share include:
- Amount of positive reviews
- Units sold
- Units remaining
5) Get social media verified
Something about that little blue ticket on a social media profile makes people stop and pay attention. Yet verification is an overlooked way to showcase brand notoriety. So, research which social platforms your ideal shoppers spend the most time on and take action to get your brand verified on them. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to this task, hire a social media marketing agency to help you achieve the respected verified status.
Be the brand shoppers rave about
Gone are the days when shoppers formed their buying habits solely on word of mouth; social proof has gone digital. From online reviews to influencer mentions and expert recommendations, consumers are becoming more comfortable with the online vetting of products and brands.
With the right approach for gathering and distributing social proof, you can get more eyes on your stores, improve your product’s perceived value, and upgrade your brand’s reputation.
So start today. Collect and share notes, pictures, and videos from happy customers and share them with the world. Soon your products will be selling themselves with a trail of satisfied customers in tow.
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6 eCommerce Slack Communities To Join
Whether you are an eCommerce newbie or a seasoned professional, it’s imperative for business owners to connect with other professionals, experts, and potential partners. These connections and opportunities to network are invaluable when it comes to learning more about the industry, seeking or sharing advice, and growing your business.
However, reaching the right people can be challenging. Social networking apps like LinkedIn make it easier to meet and connect with new people. However, these platforms don’t always make instant messaging easy and it’s more difficult to communicate at scale. Then, there are in-person networking events, workshops, and conferences, although these can be costly and time-consuming endeavors. Fortunately, in today’s ever-digital world, there are platforms like Slack available to help you get better connected.
If you aren’t currently using Slack, here’s what you need to know along with 6 eCommerce Slack Communities to join.
What is Slack?
Slack is a messaging app for businesses that connects professionals to the information they need. It’s faster, think instant messaging, better organized, and even more secure than email. This makes it perfect for communicating with your team, vendors, or like-minded business professionals.
At its core, Slack is a tool for collaboration and conversation. This enables people to exchange instant messages privately, in group settings or “channels”. Similar to email, you can attach files, share photos, and, perhaps best of all, you can communicate entirely with GIFs. What more could you ask for?
Unlike social media and social networking platforms like LinkedIn, Slack is designed with communication in mind. Think of it like ICQ, but for professionals. When Slack first came onto the scene, it was used exclusively by teams as an intra-office communications platform, but the technology has evolved in recent years. Now, Slack can be used for both intra-office communications and for external communications, such as Slack Communities.
What are Slack Communities?
Remember the old-school forums? Slack Communities are similar, except better and more engaging.
Slack Communities are digital congregations, similar to Facebook Groups but with an instant messaging component. Unlike Facebook Groups, Slack enables file transfers and direct peer-peer calling (which, of course, you can do with Facebook friends via Messenger). There are hundreds of Slack Communities dedicated to every topic under the sun.
Within Slack Communities, you’ll find #Channels which are group discussions with dedicated topics (like General, Marketing, Advice, Water cooler/random chats, and more). When you join a Community, you have the option to join all or some of the channels available. Most communities will request that you not add new channels without prior consent from Community Managers. These managers are usually available to help you find the channels best suited for your needs.
Why join Slack Communities?
Slack’s eCommerce communities are perfect for gaining practical knowledge and connecting and networking with other eCommerce professionals. Through these communities, eCommerce merchants and developers can engage with one another to learn, share, and celebrate successes.
In many Slack communities, events like Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions are held featuring experts who can answer questions, share experiences, and offer up useful advice. These events provide an up-close-and-personal look into the lives of industry experts and leading eCommerce professionals to help you expand your knowledge and grow your business.
If it’s advice and opinions you’re seeking, Slack communities are a great place to poll your peers.
Reasons to use Slack Communities include:
Slack Communities can be a great way to find new hires for your growing eCommerce business or to find companies or individuals, with whom you can partner for specific business needs like marketing, logistics, or even HR.
Give a little, take a little. Slack Communities are a gold mine for eCommerce professionals seeking advice for all manners of things related to running an online business. In fact, there are Slack Communities designed solely for sharing best practices and advice on everything you need to know about eCommerce!
From peer-to-peer marketing amongst community members to staying on top of current marketing trends, content creation, or learning more about marketing in general, Slack Communities are a great place for all of the above and more.
Finding new ways to add value to your existing customers can be a full-time job. Fortunately, collaboration is made much easier with Slack Communities. From joining forces for unique digital shopping experiences to co-hosting pop-up shops in local communities, Slack Community networking can lead to an abundance of collaboration opportunities.
When you’re considering expanding into new markets, either geographically or in terms of products for sale, it can be daunting to determine your next steps. Slack Communities can be a wealth of information about different markets and can help you find support in new areas too.
Suppliers/Vendors or Partners Discovery
If you’re looking for new partners, Slack Communities might be the ticket. Connect with suppliers, vendors, third-party logistics partners, marketing firms, and even influencers through the myriad of Slack communities specific to eCommerce.
6 eCommerce Slack Communities to join
Now that you know why you should consider joining a Slack Community, you might be wondering where to begin. If you don’t already have a Slack account, that will be your first step! Get signed up for Slack by signing up with your business email (or use their Single Sign-On with Google or Apple).
There are a lot of Slack Communities out there and deciding which ones to join can be overwhelming. Here are a few of our favorites:
Drip is a marketing platform that enables eCommerce brands to run multi-channel marketing campaigns quickly and easily by gathering and organizing customer data. The product allows brands to make personalized, omnichannel customer journeys at scale to improve conversions, boost sales, and grow revenue.
The Drip Ecomm-unity is a curated community of Drip experts, eCommerce industry professionals, founders, and international operators from some of the coolest eCommerce brands, email, SMS marketers, and creative thinkers. The Ecomm-unity features several useful channels including:
- #EcommEssentials: everything eCommerce-related
- #Troubleshooting: the place for Q&A, support, and more
- #ChitChat: a space for conversation – casual or otherwise!
- #EmailMarketing: a space to discuss email workflows, bounce rates, abandoned carts, and more
- #SMS: a place to talk text marketing
Shopify Partners Community
Arguably no one knows eCommerce quite like Shopify. If you aren’t familiar with Shopify, it’s an eCommerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. It’s cloud-based and hosted and provides a seamless, all-in-one platform to support eCommerce businesses from the creation of an online store, right through to the close of a sale.
The Shopify Partners Slack Community is for app developers, theme developers, Shopify agencies, and other ecosystem partners who work towards enabling merchants. This is a huge community that’s very active and includes members from all over the world. It’s also the official channel for Shopify Partner Townhalls. To join the Partner Community, you must have an email registered with an official Shopify Partner.
Not a Shopify Partner? Don’t sweat it. There’s the Shopify Community too! The Slack Community brings together fellow Shopify store owners, partners, Shopify team members, mentors, and educators. It’s a space to share ideas, learn from one another, brainstorm, and just connect. You can apply to join the Shopify Community using your personal or business email, with business being preferred. There are no anonymous members, so be sure to include your business name and your full name when you request. It’s also important to include all of this information on Slack when you join.
eCommerce Academy Community
The Slack eCommerce Academy is a global community of founders, entrepreneurs, and eCommerce professionals that learn how to build, grow, and scale eCommerce businesses together.
The most popular channels include:
- #General: The Marketplace Academy, where founders, entrepreneurs, and fans of marketplaces get together and discuss everything there is to talk about when it comes to online marketplaces.
- #Founders: A channel dedicated to learning, teaching, discovering, and sharing tips, articles, and experiences as it relates to founders’ experiences.
- #Hiring: If you’re looking to build or expand your team, learn about hiring, or simply network, this is the eCommerce Academy channel for you.
- #Pains: We’ve all got them! This is the channel for airing your woes and troubleshooting solutions.
- #GrowthHacking: The channel for anyone seeking to grow their business.
eComm Talk Community
eComm Talk is a Shopify lovers’ community where Shopify users and enthusiasts can connect, ask and answer questions, and make lasting relationships with colleagues.
Some of the channels you’ll find include:
- #AMA: The Ask Me Anything space where AMAs are held periodically, featuring Shopify experts.
- #Development: A general chat channel dedicated to the topic of development. Expect to see questions and discussions related to dev work and get answers to your dev questions here.
- #Marketing: If you want to discuss your marketing efforts and how to level them up, this is the channel for you. Learn how to better market your stores/apps, share your best tips, and boost your sales.
- #Themes: Shopify themes deserve their own channel! Join this channel if you want to talk about theme creation, selling themes, or troubleshooting theme development.
- #Jobs: Hiring? Looking for a new role? This is the channel for you!
CRO Growth Hacks Community
OMetrics is a leader in affordable AI chatbots and conversion rate optimization tools and services specializing. The company specializes in chatbots, lead bots, business lead generation, and A/B conversion optimization testing for eCommerce sites. In short: they’re in the business of helping you grow.
It’s no surprise, that the OMetrics CRO Growth Hacks is a Slack community dedicated to all things growth via CRO, SEM, SEO, email, business strategy, and everything in between.
You’ll find channels like:
- #General: The everyday, general conversation space for team-wide communication and announcements.
- #CRO_hacks: Conversion Rate Optimization is the name of the game here. Learn about CRO hacks to level up your landing pages, email campaigns, and website.
- #SEO_hacks: Ready to take your search engine optimization even higher? This channel is for discussing SEO best practices and hacks, sharing wins, and asking questions.
- #Business_hacks: From business strategy to pivoting your company, questions about employee management, and even more, this is the channel for all of your overall business needs.
- #Site_Critique: Want some constructive criticism? You can drop your website’s URL in this channel to request insights and feedback from peers and experts.
Online Geniuses Community
If you’re unfamiliar with Online Geniuses, they’re one of the biggest SEO and digital marketing Slack communities out there! This community is dedicated to helping members improve their SEO and digital marketing to realize a greater return on those investments and grow their businesses through sharing and connection.
Online Geniuses has more than 35,000 vetted members of its global community including VPs, CMOs, freelancers, consultants, and agency owners from every corner of the digital marketing ecosystem. They regularly host Q&A sessions with industry experts to deliver valuable information to members on topics of interest running the full gamut of digital marketing.
Slack Communities are an effective way for eCommerce professionals to connect with and learn from their merchant counterparts, industry experts, developers, and other professionals involved in the various areas of the eCommerce ecosystem. You can join as many or as few Slack Communities as you choose, based on your unique interests and business needs.
By joining Slack Communities, you can build your skills, grow your business, and even make some friends along the way.
How to Sell On TikTok: Tools, Best Practices, and Step-By-Step Guides
TikTok is a popular app that boasts over three billion downloads and is currently the sixth most-used social platform in the world. In fact, it’s now more popular than Instagram among Gen Z users in the United States.
Known for the catchy and viral nature of its content, TikTok has become a powerful marketing and eCommerce channel for brands and individuals alike. In this article, we’ll discuss how to harness TikTok for your business, and share some useful tips at the end.
What is TikTok?
Its easy content creation and collaboration for amateurs and professionals has turned TikTok into a powerful marketing and eCommerce tool.
Brand benefits of TikTok
Here are some of the advantages brands can draw from the platform.
1) Greater reach
Through TikTok, you can tap into a massive pool of over one billion active monthly users located in more than 150 markets. What’s more, one out of four of those users exclusively use this social media platform.
What’s more, TikTok is still rapidly growing. As reported by Hootsuite, the platform gains eight new users every second and an average of 650,000 daily. And, according to data.ai, it’s expected to reach 1.5 billion users by the end of 2022.
2) Ease of use
TikTok’s focus on short-form content means producing videos and watching them also takes up less time and effort. Anybody can record anything and post it in a few moments.
Since the app automatically plays videos as you scroll through your feed, you can easily watch user-generated content and get hooked. The following usage statistics for various countries provide evidence of the platform’s addictive nature:
- U.K.: An average of 27.3 hours per month, which is the most time spent on TikTok
- U.S.: Comes in second with an average of 25.6 hours per month
- Canada: Places third with an average of 22.6 hours monthly
3) Entertain your audience
A Global WebIndex survey found 60% of TikTok’s visitors spend time on the platform to find funny or entertaining content; meanwhile, 45% use it to fill up their spare time. Other common uses include:
- Posting and sharing original content
- Keeping up with the latest events
This means traditional, dry content will most likely flop on the platform. Instead, addressing these user motivations can help brands thrive on TikTok.
4) Brand building
Heightening brand recognition on TikTok is possible for businesses of all sizes. For example, the stationery and gifts brand Sommer Letter Co. — owned by artist Kyle Sommer — uses TikTok in the following ways:
- As a blog that offers followers/customers a behind-the-scenes look at the brand’s growth journey and creative process.
- As a forum to answer frequently asked questions and provide tips for fellow artists and businesses on TikTok.
- For personal interactions with customers and answering questions about Sommer, like what her favorite art supplies are.
This approach has garnered the brand 163 thousand TikTok followers and 1.8 million likes. Sommer even sends surprises to some of her best customers.
TikTok business tools
The platform also allows brands to set up a TikTok For Business account, where you can advertise and access other tools to help grow your business.
1) TikTok Ads Manager
The TikTok Ads Manager lets you create and manage TikTok ads based on your brand’s needs. It requires zero expertise, so you can conveniently access a global audience across the platform and its family of other apps.
2) TikTok Creator Marketplace
The TikTok Creator Marketplace (TCM), meanwhile, introduces you to the platform’s massive pool of influencers (for free). You can partner with them based on your industry, budget, and goals, which simplifies the process of finding the right one.
3) TikTok Creative Exchange
The TikTok Creative Exchange helps you produce the best brand content. With it, you can connect with experts to create native-looking videos for your TikTok ad campaigns.
The Creative Exchange recommends and matches you with the best marketing partner based on your project’s needs. You can then easily collaborate and sync your videos to the TikTok Ads Manager to launch your campaign.
4) TikTok Shop
Lastly, TikTok Shop is a feature that allows TikTok businesses to showcase and sell their products via shoppable videos and livestreams. Entertainment, eCommerce, and interaction combine to help you offer people a smooth and community-driven in-app shopping experience.
How to use TikTok for eCommerce
TikTok is an excellent tool to build communities, brands, and revenue. There are various ways to use TikTok for your eCommerce business beyond just a sales channel. In this section, we’ll go over a few ways you can use this platform.
1) Build your community
Nurturing connections among TikTok users can help eCommerce businesses thrive on the platform. In fact, TikTok’s What’s Next Report 2022 revealed users loved engaging with brands and products on its platform:
- 73% of people felt more deeply connected to the brands they interacted with on TikTok.
- Meanwhile, 67% said TikTok motivated them to make a purchase — even though they weren’t planning to.
Conducting campaigns that encourage TikTok users to get involved is one way to achieve this type of engagement.
The U.K.-based fashion retailer Pretty Little Thing uses this type of approach. To build its presence among its target audience of 16- to 24-year-old women, the brand showcases the transformations women can experience through its diverse collections.
Pretty Little Thing also offers followers opportunities to feature or collaborate, win discounts, and share their opinions, which encourages them to engage on TikTok. This has garnered the brand 1.9 million TikTok followers and over 36 million likes.
2) Test new products
Some brands use TikTok as a space for product development — an approach puzzle company Blue Kazoo has adopted, with great success. Through the comments section, the company receives customer feedback and uses it to identify trends and make product changes.
Blue Kazoo has also reached out to artists through TikTok and emails to submit designs for new puzzles. As a result, the company has connected with three artists, has enjoyed more sales, and has new products in its pipeline.
3) Provide customer support
TikTok can also be used to answer customer concerns. For instance, the skincare brand Starface — known for its star-shaped hydrocolloid pimple patches — uses its feed like a live-action FAQ page. Through tutorials and Q&As, the brand addresses questions such as:
- “How many stars are in a pack?”
- “Should I apply it after my moisturizer?”
Using their TikTok presence this way allows Starface to offer its followers a knowledge base for its product and engage with them on a personal level. To date, the brand has 1.2 million TikTok followers and 22.7 million likes.
4) Implement influencer marketing
Collaborating with social media influencers on TikTok is another way to bolster your eCommerce efforts. It’s so powerful, in fact, that brands are making an ROI of $5.78 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing.
To utilize TikTok’s short-form style and viral nature, you can easily partner with a creator to produce branded promotional content on the TikTok Creator Marketplace.
Take the beauty brand Benefit Cosmetics as an example. Through TCM, it was able to work with 22 Gen Z/Millennial creators and Vamp — an influencer marketing agency — to launch the Benefit Brow Challenge.
This campaign, produced for the release of Benefit’s new Brow Microfilling Pen, resulted in 22 videos launched in a synchronized fashion. It went viral and generated more than 3,500 hours of views and 1.4 million impressions off of just 4.5 minutes of creator content.
How to use the TikTok Creator Marketplace
Now we’ll walk you through how to use TCM.
Step 1: Create a TikTok For Business account
First, complete this form to sign up.
You can do it either via email or phone, and TikTok will send a verification code before you can complete your registration. Or, if you have one, you can also use your existing TikTok account.
Step 2: Find and select an influencer
Once you have access, start looking for a TikTok creator you want to work with.
You can search for potential partners using filters like Country or Region, Age, Gender, Reach, Audience, etc.
The most notable, however, is eCommerce Anchor, which displays qualified creators who’ve enabled TikTok’s eCommerce anchor function. This lets them insert a link that directs viewers to your product or external landing page.
Meanwhile, clicking on a creator’s profile lets you view the following information:
- Core Metrics: Key performance indicators including Total Reach, Engagement Rate, and more
- Sample Videos: A creator’s sponsored and non-sponsored videos, even their most recent and most popular
- Audience Demographics: This shows their audience’s gender, age, the percentage of a creator’s active vs. inactive followers, and the brand device used (Apple, Samsung, Huawei, etc.)
- Performance Trends: Shows data on followers, views, and engagements over the last three months
Step 3: Contact your chosen influencer
To get in touch with your chosen creator, you must first fill out a contact form.
It’s mostly basic information, but since TikTok prohibits some industries from advertising, you’ll have to specify yours. You’ll also need to select your main goal for working with the creator, which includes options like gaining more brand exposure, increasing website traffic, etc.
Lastly, in the Suggested Talent Fee section, you can choose between To be negotiated and an Initial suggested fee.
Step 4: Wait for the influencer’s content
After you and the creator iron out the campaign details, all that’s left is to wait for the video to be uploaded. Once that’s done, post it and see how it does.
Step 5: Monitor your campaign
TCM has a reporting tool that allows you to observe your campaign’s performance.
To ensure these insights are available, make sure the creator you hired associates their sponsored video with the proper campaign and discloses that the videos are sponsored.
5) Advertise to your audience
Hootsuite reports that ads on TikTok reach 17.9% of all internet users who are 18 years old and above — which translates to 884.9 million people.
The ability to advertise to this massive audience is a huge opportunity for eCommerce brands, and TikTok makes it possible through its Ads Manager and Creative Exchange.
How to use the TikTok Ads Manager
Getting started with the platform’s advertising tool is simple. First, log into the Ads Manager with your TikTok For Business account.
Step 1: Select your objective
Then, click the Campaign button and choose among the seven ad objectives under the Awareness, Consideration, and Conversions categories. Take note, however, the Catalog Sales objective is still in beta and only available in supported regions.
Step 2: Set your campaign name and budget
Here are some tips to remember:
- Your campaign name can be up to 512 characters. Also, make sure it’s unique and memorable.
- If you have enough money (or want) to assign limits for certain ad groups instead of the whole campaign, set your budget to No Limit. Otherwise, you can set a Daily or Lifetime budget.
- For the App Installs and Conversions objectives, campaign budget optimization is available under the Lowest Cost bid strategy.
- TikTok is testing a Suggested Bid feature for optimized cost-per-click objectives.
Step 3: Name your ad group and choose placements
You can include up to 999 ad groups per campaign, and each one’s name has a 512-character limit. Be aware your placements are dependent on your location. Other notes regarding placements are:
- Automatic Placement: Optimizes ad delivery for you
- TikTok Placement: Ads appear in the For You feed
- News Feed App Series: For ads in TikTok’s other apps
- Pangle: TikTok’s audience network
Step 4: Look at Automated Creative Optimization
For new advertisers, TikTok recommends turning this setting on, which you can do before uploading assets for individual ad creation. It lets TikTok make combinations of your images, videos, and ad text for you. Then, the system only displays those that are performing well.
Step 5: Select your target audience
You can select either a lookalike or custom audience. You can also target your ads based on criteria including Gender, Age, Location, Device Details, and more.
Step 6: Set your ad group schedule and budget
You’ve done it for your overall campaign, now it’s time to do the same for the ad group. Simply choose its daily or lifetime budget, then its start and end times. Based on your time zone, under Dayparting, you can also choose to run your ad at specific times of the day.
Step 7: Select your bidding and optimization options
Choose whether your optimization goal is conversion, clicks, or reach (although it can be determined automatically by your campaign objective).
Then, set your Bid Strategy:
- Bid Cap: Maximum amount per click (CPC), per view (CPV), or per 1,000 impressions (CPM)
- Cost Cap: The average cost per result for optimized CPM
- Lowest Cost: The ad system generates the highest number of results possible at the lowest cost
Lastly, choose between two delivery types:
- Standard: Evenly distributes your budget over the campaign’s scheduled dates
- Accelerated: Spends your budget as quickly as possible
Step 8: Create your ad(s)
Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Choose from three formats: image, video, or Spark ad. If you’re using TikTok only rather than the family of TikTok apps, you can only choose either video or Spark ads.
- Add your photos or video. Within Ads Manager, you can also create a video using the video template or video creation tools.
- Choose a default thumbnail or upload your own.
- Input your text and link. On the right side of your screen, check out the preview of your ad, then add any relevant tracking links.
- Finally, click Submit.
Here’s some other relevant information to help you make your choices:
- Your ad will go through a review process before going live
- An ad group can have up to 20 ads
- Each ad’s name can contain up to 512 characters, but it’s only for internal use and doesn’t appear on the ad
- According to TikTok research, using the TikTok video editor can decrease cost per action by up to 46%
- With Spark Ads, to use content, you’ll need to get in touch with the creator(s) and get an access code from them.
How to use the TikTok Creative Exchange
If you want to take it a step further, you can use TikTok’s Creative Exchange to connect with an expert and produce stronger content. Access it through your TikTok For Business account, then follow the steps below.
Step 1: Turn in your project brief
- Go to I’m an advertiser and click Get started.
- Choose Create project and fill in the necessary Business information, Project details, and Content details.
- Select how much campaign performance data you’ll share with your creative partner.
- Finalize everything, then click Submit.
Step 2: Select a creative partner
- Open your project.
- Click Select creative partner.
- Explore the recommended partners and learn about their work by clicking View more.
- Click Select to choose your desired partner.
Your creative partner will be automatically assigned if you don’t choose one within 36 hours of your project’s submission.
Step 3: Add your project assets
- Click Assets, then select Edit under Existing creative assets.
- Add your brand assets’ (e.g. images, videos, and animations) URLs.
- You can directly Upload up to five files to the platform.
Step 4: Add collaborators
- Click + in the upper right of the page, just above Edit.
- Select the collaborator’s level of access: Manager, Editor, or Commenter.
- Either enter their email address or share the project link with them.
- Once the collaborator accepts your project invitation, you can get in touch with them by clicking the chat icon.
Step 5: Monitor your project’s progress
You can track your project’s progress — which is grouped into Pending, Production, and Complete — using the bar on the left side.
Step 6: Communicate with your creative partner
- After your creative partner shares their work, click Deliverables.
- In the Creative Concepts module, click the Preview button.
- Review the concept or download it to your computer.
- Leave your feedback and comments with your creative partner through chat.
- Once you’re satisfied, click Approve so your partner can begin video production.
Step 7: Review and approve your partner’s work
You can review your creative partner’s uploaded video drafts by clicking Deliverables and accessing the Videos module. Leave your feedback via the comments panel, then approve their work or request further edits.
Step 8: Sync approved videos to TikTok Ads Manager
- Once you’ve approved your partner’s work, go to Deliverables and access the Videos module.
- Choose which videos you want in your ads and click Sync to Ads Manager.
- You can then go to TikTok Ads Manager and use the videos in your campaigns.
Step 9: Share performance data with your partner
- To share campaign insights with your creative partner, click Performance.
- Then, under Creative partner permission, select Edit.
- Select the level of data you want to share, and click Confirm.
6) As a direct sales channel
TikTok Shop lets you use the platform as a sales channel. The U.K.-based perfume brand PerfumeBoss Ltd. joined TikTok Shop in October 2021 and hosted its first shoppable livestream two days after onboarding.
Afterwards, the brand committed itself to hosting more than five of these livestreams per week and experienced superb growth in the following areas after a two-month period:
- Net Revenue: 438%
- Order Volume: 369%
- Followers: 32%
How to get started with TikTok Shop
If you want to do the same, getting started is simple. Take note, however, that TikTok Shop is only available in Indonesia, the U.K., and Northern Ireland for now.
Step 1: Prepare your requirements
You’ll need your TikTok For Business account to sign up and, based on your destination market, you can register as one of two types of sellers.
Only citizens are allowed to apply as individual TikTok Shop sellers, and you’ll be required to provide government-issued IDs like:
- Your passport
- National ID
- Driver’s license
As for corporate entities, here are the documents you’ll have to prepare:
- Your business license
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Company Registration Certificate
- Proof of eligibility under applicable law to sell products/services via TikTok Shop
Step 2: Turn in your application
After turning in your documents, TikTok Shop will evaluate your application based on its registration guidelines. You’ll then be notified to undergo account verification and will learn whether or not your application was approved.
Step 3: Set up your profile
Once you pass, you can set up your seller profile. Here’s what you’ll need to provide:
- Your TikTok Shop name — which you can no longer change once submitted
- A valid and accurate warehouse and return address
- Bank account information that aligns with your identification documents. Also, corporate sellers should use a business bank account
- If you want to use brand names or any intellectual property, you’ll need to apply for proper authorization
Step 4: Start selling
If your TikTok Shop passes all the necessary procedures, you can start posting and selling your products. For further information, visit the Seller University.
For other markets
For markets that are unable to join TikTok Shop, you can still participate in TikTok Shopping through the platform’s partnerships and integrations with other eCommerce marketplaces.
If you have a Shopify business, you simply need to download and install the TikTok Shopify app. Through it, you can produce video ads, track metrics, and manage your orders. It also integrates with your TikTok Ads Manager and lets you manage your TikTok Shopping tab.
For BigCommerce stores, you can now download the platform’s TikTok for Business app through your Channel Manager. It automatically installs TikTok Pixel on your storefront, which allows you to monitor your advertising campaigns. You can also:
- Sync your BigCommerce catalog to TikTok to create dynamic ads
- Add a Shopping tab to your profile page with product links that redirect customers to your BigCommerce store
Selling on TikTok through its integrations with other marketplaces like Square and Ecwid is also possible. Just prepare your requirements beforehand and follow the necessary procedures.
TikTok best practices for eCommerce
Finally, here are some tips to boost your TikTok eCommerce efforts.
1) Create immersive, shoppable livestreams
Providing your customers with better immersion can accelerate your brand’s conversions. In fact, brands have reported conversion rates of up to 30% when they use livestream shopping.
Here are some ways to produce more engaging and immersive livestreams:
- Adding elements like Q&As, reviews, and chat creates a more interactive experience — something buyers miss when browsing an online marketplace
- Product demonstrations/tutorials, featuring influencers or industry experts, and offering behind-the-scenes looks makes shopping more personal and educational
- Implementing an “event” type of format that includes mini-games and prizes entertains your audience and keeps them interested
2) Improve experiences with augmented reality
Incorporating augmented reality (AR) can offer people a fun and convenient online shopping experience. It can serve as a creative branding tool as well as allow the target audience to preview how your products fit, boosting their confidence before purchasing.
One such example is the online retailer ASOS which, in 2020, tested an AR feature that gave shoppers a glimpse of how its clothing would look on different-sized models. The brand’s experiment received positive responses on Twitter.
AR can also improve your conversions. According to one study, virtual fitting rooms can make online shoppers more curious about a product and increase their intent to purchase.
3) Choose the right influencers
Find influencers that fit your brand’s niche. The fashion-tech startup WANNA, for example, was working on the relaunch of Wanna Kicks, the company’s AR app that lets users virtually fit a wide selection of kicks.
It wanted to reach a young audience through TikTok, namely Millennials and Gen Zers, to boost the app’s downloads. To release relevant content, WANNA worked with TikTok creators who spoke the same language as sneaker enthusiasts.
In turn, these creators made videos that demonstrated how to use the Wanna Kicks app in a fun way. The campaign matched what WANNA’s audiences liked and garnered 15 million views, 75 thousand app installs, and a 15.91% engagement rate.
4) Get creative with your challenges
Catchy challenges can do wonders for TikTok eCommerce. Through fun hashtag challenges, the American fast-food chain Chipotle has driven up its sales and Chipotle app downloads.
One example is the brand’s #ChipotleLidFlip Challenge, created in 2019 to spread awareness of free delivery for digital orders during Cinco de Mayo. Users were encouraged to record themselves flipping a burrito bowl and adding their own spin on it.
Chipotle even partnered with huge creators like David Dobrik, and the challenge produced 111 thousand videos in its first six days. This, in turn, generated a record day in digital sales, app downloads, and delivery orders, especially among the Gen Z audience.
The Lid Flip Challenge generated almost 320 million views on TikTok, but another challenge Chipotle created fared even better: The #GuacDance Challenge, which encouraged guacamole fans to flaunt dance moves dedicated to avocados, has garnered 1.1 billion views.
Wrapping up — Learn how to sell on TikTok to access a powerful eCommerce channel
TikTok provides brands with the tools they need to thrive on the platform. It makes advertising and marketing simple, collaborating with content creators easy, and helps businesses offer seamless in-app shopping experiences for their customers.
And, given its massive audience and viral nature, TikTok can easily help businesses grow and reach new audiences — as long as they’re willing to get creative. Overall, the social media platform has built itself up into a major force that can help your eCommerce business flourish.
Live Shopping: How to Use Livestream Videos to Boost eCommerce Conversions
Could live shopping be the future of retail?
For years now, the rise of eCommerce has generated conversations about the “death of the high street.” Online shopping is ingrained into our daily lives thanks to the convenience of being able to buy at the click of a button.
Yet, the in-store experience of browsing products in person and speaking to salespeople for more information is something eCommerce businesses have struggled to compete with — until now.
Live shopping is the latest eCommerce trend for acquiring, engaging, and converting new customers. It turns online shopping into an interactive, engaging experience by combining the technological capabilities of eCommerce with the entertainment value of social media and the nostalgia of at-home shopping models.
With more than 55% of shoppers using online video when shopping in-store, it’s no surprise live shopping is taking the eCommerce industry by storm.
So, what is live shopping, and how can it boost conversions for your online store?
What is live shopping?
Live shopping, also known as livestream shopping, has digitized the home shopping experience through the use of social media, apps, broadcasting software, and websites.
Using teleshopping (think QVC or the Home Shopping Network) as a model, live shopping modernizes this concept by adding digital, social, and engagement elements. It combines the broadcast aspect of teleshopping with the eCommerce function of online stores and the communal aspect of social media.
Alibaba launched the first live shopping channel, called Taobao Live, for the Chinese market in 2016. Its premise was simple: to evoke the teleshopping experience of the 1990s and early 2000s with livestream broadcasts that let people simultaneously watch and shop online product presentations.
Nowadays, we can see many retailers and eCommerce platforms leveraging live shopping for their consumers. According to Coresight, live shopping generated $60 billion in global sales in 2019. By 2022, Chinese sales are expected to reach $423 billion.
As interest in live shopping grows, we’ve seen the addition of new features such as chat function, live Q&As, reviews, and influencer marketing. These app additions intend to improve the customer experience and thus increase the popularity of live shopping.
Apparel and fashion items are the most common to be featured in live shopping with a 35.6% share, according to McKinsey. The category is followed by beauty products (7.6%), fresh food (7.4%), consumer electronics (4.6%), and then furnishing and home decor (nearly 3.6%).
We expect these numbers to go up as consumers continually seek new experiences with the brands they follow.
Any eCommerce owner who wants to boost conversions should take advantage of live shopping to enhance their buyer experience and build closer relationships with their buyers.
What are the benefits of live shopping?
Live shopping apps can help eCommerce retailers and marketplaces increase the value of online shopping for their consumers.
The benefits of live shopping include:
- Accelerate conversions with immersive shopping
- Provide the emotional experience of retail therapy
- Offer real-time feedback and support
- Improve brand appeal and build customer rapport
To help you understand what this could mean for your online store, let’s explore each of these benefits in more detail.
Accelerate conversions with immersive shopping
Live shopping can accelerate conversions by offering greater immersion.
With the addition of live interaction through Q&As, reviews, and chat, live shopping creates a sensory experience for online shoppers that can’t be achieved when simply browsing online marketplaces.
Types of immersive experiences you can incorporate through livestream shopping apps include product tutorials and demonstrations, interviews with industry/product experts and trusted influencers, or “behind the scenes” videos that offer a sneak peek of the product.
Interactive in-event elements such as games, quizzes, and prize draws can also help keep viewers entertained.
Keeping live shopping viewers engaged can help move them along the customer buyer journey, guiding them from the awareness stage through to purchase. Companies using livestream shopping have reported conversion rates of up to 30%, which is 10 times higher than traditional eCommerce.
Provide the emotional experience of retail therapy
Live shopping adds an emotional aspect to online shopping.
Emotion often plays a huge role in our shopping behaviors. In fact, one survey found that 40% of shoppers use retail therapy as a way to destress. People shopping in-store are also more likely to impulse shop and add more items to their cart compared to when shopping online.
By offering online shoppers a direct line of communication with their favorite brands, live shopping helps bring the emotional experience of in-store shopping to the eCommerce world.
Being able to recognize and use emotional data could be one of the most important opportunities for companies, according to Deloitte. The emotional connection between a brand and a consumer is what drives brand loyalty and advocacy. Sixty percent of long-term customers use emotional language to describe their connection to their favourite brands. This shows how emotion can nurture brand loyalty and help transform one-time shoppers into lifetime customers.
Offer real-time feedback and support
Livestream shopping encourages buyers to make a purchase by giving them real-time information and interaction such as reviews, product recommendations, and the opportunity to ask questions. This real-time feedback loop helps keep customers engaged for minutes or even hours, which, in turn, increases the likelihood of them buying.
Before making a purchase, shoppers will typically go through a research phase where they weigh their shopping options and consume information to help them make a purchase decision. Hosting a live shopping event that features product demos and gives viewers the chance to chat with retail advisors in real time could help sway on-the-fence customers.
Improve brand appeal and build customer rapport
Live shopping events are an effective tool for generating brand awareness and prompting trials.
Engaging influencers or industry experts as co-hosts or guests on live shopping events can add authenticity and credibility to your livestream shopping. This relationship will also allow you to connect with people who follow and trust these influencers or experts. This expands your reach outside of your usual network of consumers and can increase your brand appeal.
Get to know your customers and use this information to feed your live shopping topics. You can then build rapport with your customers by opening up a direct line of communication and offering them an experience that meets their needs and interests.
Winning the trust of your ideal customer can, ultimately, drive more conversions for your online store, making it a win-win situation.
Who uses live shopping?
While Taobao Live by Alibaba may have been the first live shopping platform, they aren’t the only retailer riding the trend; many retail giants, individual sellers, and online marketplaces have also recognized the capabilities of live video shopping.
Luo Zhenyu, a famous TV host in China, used various livestreaming platforms to auction off his personal book collection during a live shopping event that was almost three hours long.
In 2020, Walmart and TikTok partnered on a pilot test of a live shopping event using TikTok’s new shoppable product feature. This event, hosted by Walmart, would allow TikTok users to shop Walmart’s fashion lines without having to leave the TikTok app. It also made use of popular TikTok creators to produce an interactive and social experience for viewers.
Popular teleshopping company QVC has also launched its own live shopping app within its website. Online shoppers can visit the QVC Live Stream online to shop items on-air, much like their traditional TV broadcast.
From small retailers to large household names and designer brands, retailers around the world are embracing live shopping.
How to add live shopping to your sales toolkit
If you’re interested in incorporating live shopping into your online sales toolkit, you need to familiarize yourself with the live shopping process. This will result in a seamless and successful transition to the live shopping experience.
Livestream shopping options
First, choose the best livestream shopping app or platform to meet your needs. When doing this, consider if it’s an app your audience is familiar with and is willing to use.
You should also review the app pricing structure and whether they charge a commission on sales or have minimum entry requirements for new sellers. Run a comparison of the apps you’re interested in before making a final decision.
Live shopping events on social media
Twitter announced they’ve added livestream shopping to their platform in November 2021. The social media site has an easy-to-use UI and different ways to engage shoppers, such as a hashtag prompt to join the conversation, shoppable banner, and shop tab beneath the livestream broadcast.
Social media giant Facebook offers a live shopping feature to online retailers that want to connect with their audience and sell to them in real time through the Facebook Page live video feature.
Before selling products live on Facebook, retailers will need to set up:
- An eCommerce Facebook page
- A Facebook Shop
- Live shopping in the Facebook Commerce Manager
If your customers tend to hang out on Instagram, you can also use Instagram Live Shopping to sell your products on an Instagram Live broadcast. To showcase their range of growing eCommerce tools, Instagram hosted a successful “10 Days of Live Shopping” event in conjunction with various celebrities and major brands.
Live shopping for marketplace retailers
If you sell products on Amazon, you can tap into Amazon Live, Amazon’s own live shopping platform. Using the Amazon Live Creator app, you can host livestream events to help online shoppers discover your brand, see your products in action, and shop with you online.
Walmart Marketplace has partnered with Talkshoplive to expand their live shopping offerings. In 2021, they embedded a video player on the Walmart.com website where customers could purchase products shown in the video. In 2022, they’ve announced eight new livestream shopping events to look forward to.
eCommerce platform Wish has released their own video feature called Wish Clips, which allows sellers to share shoppable videos 5 to 30 seconds long. Shoppers can click on products within the video to learn more, and merchants can see performance metrics from within their Wish dashboard.
These tools provide an excellent way to amplify your product reach on competitive marketplaces, especially during popular seasons and important shopping days such as Prime Day or Black Friday.
Livestream shopping platforms
Outside of social media and digital marketplaces, online retailers can use independent livestream shopping platforms to host their own live shopping events. These apps can seamlessly integrate with your existing eCommerce store and offer easy, real-time checkout flows so viewers can shop with your brand without leaving the stream.
Shopify sellers have access to a number of livestream shopping app integrations that can transform traditional eCommerce stores into interactive experiences that better connect with customers and increase conversion rates.
The live shopping app Hero allows sellers to switch between one-to-many video and one-to-one chat to offer customers personalized support. Meanwhile, Livescale offers gamification and interactive content to drive engagement and encourage impulse purchases.
Other live shopping platforms include Flux Panda and Maestro. Do your research and choose an app that offers the right features for your audience and live shopping event type.
Wrapping up – Use live shopping to boost conversions
No matter the size of your eCommerce store, you can leverage livestream videos to engage your ideal customer and boost conversion rates.
Shopify and Amazon sellers have the benefit of seamlessly integrated livestream shopping platforms, making it even easier for them to provide online customers an interactive shopping experience.
At MyFBAPrep, we can make your livestream shopping experience even smoother by handling your D2C fulfillment and warehousing needs. This way, you can maximize your conversion rates through livestream shopping while we handle the influx of new orders for your Amazon or Shopify store. You bring in the customers, and we handle the logistics — it’s that simple.