Is TikTok finally being challenged for its social commerce crown?
Written by: Adam Bewley
What is happening with social commerce? Well, it seems the answer is Amazon. While TikTok may have revolutionised the way a whole generation shops on social, Amazon has changed the way the whole world shops online. So, a social commerce partnership with the two largest social platforms – Facebook and Instagram – seems a logical step for the retail giant.
The world of social commerce is worth billions of dollars. Social trends drive huge sales volumes, and brands must keep pace with the fickle shopper mindset. And while brands can’t predict what will be in vogue tomorrow, let alone next week, there’s one thing we do know. A seamless experience is everything. (REF: Business Insider – note social user growth)
Meta x Amazon – what will the partnership look like?
To tackle this head-on, Meta and Amazon have teamed up to make the social commerce checkout easier than ever before. Customers will be able to link their Facebook and Instagram profiles to their Amazon accounts, opening a world of personalised product discovery. Users will have the ability to shop from ads in-feed, seeing real-time pricing, Prime eligibility, and delivery estimates – all without leaving the app.
The three big things this does for the race to the crown of social commerce:
Social users can finally checkout without leaving the app. We know there’s an 80% chance of checkout abandonment across the US and Europe, so anything to enable a better direct-to-customer marketing experience will inevitably drive more revenue.
Amazon is a trusted shopping platform – and so it will give shoppers confidence. And, with Prime eligibility built in, people also know their order will come quickly.
Goodbye ‘targeted’ endless Amazon paid carousels. Hello seamless, personalised product catalogues served in-feed across Facebook and Instagram.
To compound this, Amazon has just announced they have signed a similar agreement to their Meta partnership, with Snapchat in the US; this brings the same level of integrated, in-app Amazon shopping experience to the fast-moving, younger demographic of Snapchat. Tapping into the impulsive, and trend led purchase mindset found in younger audiences is a smart move.
What does this mean for social commerce going forward?
This integration is currently only available in the US, but it sends a very clear message to TikTok: other platforms are catching up. It’s an exciting development, but there are challenges on the horizon.
As this new offering comes across the pond to Europe, I suspect that there will be a big challenge around data sharing and privacy/cookie tracking by the three major players (Meta, Snapchat, Amazon). GDPR compliance will also play its part, even with minimal data sharing, as confirmed in the fine print.
Something that the partnership will also still have to tackle, for example is how advanced TikTok search is, and the grip that TikTok and its influencers hold on users’ shopping habits.
It could be the start of a true social commerce challenge, or simply killed off like Meta’s other attempts to take on (like the removal of dedicated shopping tabs, or the axing of live shopping). And TikTok will almost certainly have new shopping features up it’s sleeve.
But however this plays out, one thing’s for sure: social commerce isn’t going anywhere.
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