TikTok Shop launched for the USA in September ‘23 many creatives and influencers have used it to great effect. “social commerce represents one of the fastest-growing channels for Shopify merchants,” Marketing Hub, TikTok Shop is one of many forms of social commerce – so should you use it for your ecommerce business?
Benefits of using TikTok Shop
- Large reach – TikTok has over 1 billion monthly active users. Kylie Jenner’s beauty brand, Kylie Cosmetics, was consequently, able to make the most of this leverage. They were one of the initial companies to allow customers to purchase products straight from its TikTok videos.
- Lower costs – Customer acquisition costs can potentially be lower compared to other paid advertising channels and in this way leveraging influencer marketing can also control costs.
- New revenue channel – removing friction points on the customer journey has long been understood to improve the customer buying process. Whereas, TikTok Shop is one of many social commerce providers that enables direct native commerce opportunities rather than just brand awareness plays.
Challenges of using TikTok Shop
- Customer delivery – larger retailers have struggled to work with TikTok to deliver goods to customers. Making sure you are getting the right information from TikTok to fulfill your orders can be challenging when you are running a larger organization, with multiple sales channels and larger order fulfillment centers. “It was painful getting not only our products synced with TikTok Shop, but managing the orders and customer management was [hard],” BK Beauty’s Jauregui, as featured in Modern Retail.
- Owning the customer purchase history. Not having full control over the customer purchase journey can lead to issues. The consumer relationship with the brand is so important to having loyal and repeat customers. “If you can’t communicate to them directly…..they have to come to you” Amer G. Praella, talking on LinkedIn . Adding more friction points and making it harder for the consumer to maintain their relationship with your brand. There have also been production issues “there was about 200 TikTok Shop orders that didn’t sync with BK Beauty’s Shopify storefront. “We didn’t have the built-in inflows to discover the issue. We saw some issues pop up on the TikTok side of the fence, showing that there were orders that had not been shipped in time. We had to figure out some workarounds to get those orders in. And so there was a lot of manual intervention required to process those orders,” said Jauregui.
- Producing content – this can be a challenge to create a large amount of site specific content that can’t always be easily repurposed elsewhere. Do you mostly use horizontal video – TikTok uses vertical so this can mean a huge production issue.
Using a Social Commerce software solution
- Create a seamless user experience. Many software solutions allow you to host your videos in different locations, giving you the ability to get the details and information you need for your business needs. Allowing you to have better control of the customer experience.
- Integration and Scalability. By having your own software solution you are able to choose a solution that integrates with your ecommerce choices and an ability to scale.
- Measuring success. By choosing the right software solution you have the capacity to get the right metrics to measure success for your business. You need to know that you are measuring accurately those things which are important to drive sales and customer satisfaction.
- Other Social Media Sites. TikTok is a massively popular social media platform, but it may not be the place where your audience is. Having a social commerce solution that allows you the flexibility to be where your business needs you to be is important.
- Cost. Software solutions all come at a cost. There are various different models aimed at different types of business needs. You can find different solutions for different budgets.
- Infrastructure. Having the right infrastructure in place to creating an environment for a successful liveselling opportunity is important. You’ll need to have marketing and some level of production support, and investment.
- Size. Smaller businesses may struggle to have the full breadth of expertise within their business to make the most of an inhouse software solution.
So what should you do?
Social Commerce has huge growth potential for many businesses – driving more informed and engaged sales. Tiktok Shop has huge potential for many businesses, particularly those with a large following and a smaller organizational structure. For those businesses who want more control over the process and ownership – there are other options. Software social commerce services, such as eStreamly provide companies with the capability to create Live selling Livestreams and shoppable videos. These can be hosted on social media sites as well as on your videos. These services give businesses control over the user experience. Making the most of social commerce requires businesses to understand their audience and their business structure. Create the opportunity for your business by starting to think about how you want the process to work for your organization!