Tightening advertising budgets amid the economic slowdown isn’t just an issue in the U.S. The Chinese ad industry is in a similar position, with many brands relying on shopping holidays such as Singles’ Day (Nov. 11, a day celebrating those who are not in relationships) for much of their revenue. Over the years, the success of Singles’ Day has been fueled by advertisers' understanding of both their audience and how consumers engage with various platforms.
As a major innovator in the world of mobile commerce, TikTok's sister app Douyin has captured the hearts of Chinese users through its use of livestream shopping. For Chinese users, livestream shopping has become a way of life, irrespective of the season.
TikTok has begun implementing similar shopping ads on its platform. So how can U.S. brands jump on this phenomenon and see meaningful results?
With the rise of influencer marketing, product discovery is no longer a linear process, and brands should take advantage of the growing number of ways to engage with consumers within the marketing funnel. Like Chinese social media apps, TikTok provides a “discovery flywheel,” where the path to purchase is non-linear, as re-engagement and conversion can happen across any stage of the funnel, from search and reviews to content creation. Users feel more comfortable interacting with all aspects of the app experience and, as a result, trust their influencers and vendors more.
As TikTok's LIVE Shopping Ads launch in select markets, we'll see brands align even more closely with influencers to push their products. Beauty, fashion, electronics and fast-moving consumer goods are among the verticals that work particularly well with live streams. They allows for in-depth product reviews and audience engagement unavailable through TikTok's other short-form ad formats, such as in-feed ads.
U.S. brands should also take note that livestreaming should not be a one-off event. Regular stream scheduling and promotional pushes from your chosen platform's influencers will help create a community and fuel future user purchasing decisions.
It’s easy to see the benefits of livestream commerce. However, brands must be cautious in their execution, especially when selecting influencers and ensuring they target the right audience.
Given the growing similarities between TikTok and Douyin’s mobile commerce capabilities, U.S. marketers have a unique opportunity to learn from their Chinese counterparts and implement similar strategies.