Tik-Tok, Instagram- Is Social Media the New Marketplace for Ecommerce?
Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook- we are seeing the social platforms once used for communication emerging as the new ecommerce marketplaces competing with Amazon and Walmart. In late October, Tik-Tok partnered with Shopify to offer more direct sales and in-app shopping. Shortly after, Instagram (Tik-Toks rival) revealed a new user interface that directly navigates users to the shopping page; and reels where eCommerce companies can link their shops to product pages on their websites to create direct conversions.
Here at Clearinity, we don’t usually delve into ecommerce marketing. Still, these two trending updates to Tik-Tok and Instagram provide some valuable insight into why most ecommerce businesses should be planning on moving to a cloud-based inventory management system sooner than later.
Tik-Tok Partners With Shopify
On October 27th, just a few days shy of the nation’s largest presidential election, Tik-Tok partnered with Shopify. For those that have kept a close eye on Tik-Tok’s business moves, it didn’t come as a surprise that Shopify and Tik Tok partnered to create a Tik Tok channel for e-commerce business owners. The social platform had been slowly releasing in-app shopping features for quite some time. However, the release of the robust Tik-Tok Shopify channel for shop owners astounded many.
Shopify created a Tik-Tok channel that allows Shopify commerce owners to connect their Tik-Tok business accounts and release “in-feed” shoppable ads. Ads are generated automatically and curated to match Tik-Tok’s audiences beautifully. This feature not only comes as a quick and efficient way for business owners to market, but it also allows them a broader audience reach than ever before. The Ads have clickable links and directly drive traffic from the app to the Shopify stores allowing for a seamless sales cycle. It’s also just one way Shopify and Tik-Tok tried to highlight their social capital as they released a hashtag challenge that showcased BIPOC ( Black, Indigenous, and people of color) business owners the same day. A branded hashtag challenge is when a brand asks people to perform a particular task and tag them using a specific hashtag.
Both Shopify and Tik-Tok have said they plan on more features rolling out soon. We can expect social commerce to keep growing and expanding. Other platforms are now competing in social commerce as well, as Instagram users experienced in early November.
Instagram replaces the notifications button with the shopping explore page.
Instagram users around the world woke up to a different user interface on November 17th. The app had included updates to their user dashboards with a new reel explore button and a shopping icon. These buttons replaced the easy access to check notifications and one-click upload for photos as they were placed directly in center view. These changes came in the wake of Tik-Tok’s partnership with Shopify in late October.
These changes are not just a user interface change or even a user experience change. It’s a fundamental business model change for Instagram. What once was an app to look at beautifully curated photos is now focusing on shopping and video marketing campaigns. For users, this means that they will now have more advertisements fed to them while participating on the app and more access to small ecommerce businesses in one click. For business owners, it means that they should anticipate changes in the audience and drastic increases in sales. Although these changes look like a cash grab, social commerce will ultimately impact ecommerce business owner’s inventory management models. Without the right preparation, this could ultimately damage ecommerce businesses that don’t handle their inventory.
Now more than ever is the time to invest in a cloud-based inventory management system.
With social commerce becoming a part of everyday life for a large part of global capitalist society, ecommerce business owners must be on top of their inventory now more than ever. Using outdated inventory tracking models such as spreadsheets and handwritten notes will ultimately hurt your business when you go to market on these social media marketplaces. We know here at Clearinity that to best be prepared for sustainable and exponential growth, ecommerce business owners need to centralize their data and make it easier for themselves and their teams to communicate about inventory stock, operational processes, and financials.
Don’t be caught with “out of stock” statuses. Don’t guess on inventory numbers and become buried in oversupply issues. Reconcile your finances faster and more efficiently so you know how much you can buy! Cloud-based data allows you to track everything in one place and create more organization to continue using your marketing effectively and efficiently.