Social media embrace direct shopping | Technology / Gadgets

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Direct shopping could represent a market of $ 423 billion in 2022 in China. AFP photo

SAN FRANCISCO, December 1 – Instead of cramming into the mall like all the other last minute shoppers, how about shopping on social media? Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok and now Twitter: the major platforms are all going into e-commerce with a live element. It’s a recent trend that has been reinforced by the global health situation and could soon be worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

Will social networks become essential shopping platforms? The number of online payments made has increased with the pandemic, and small merchants are increasingly turning to social media to keep their business going. A trend that has not escaped the various online social networks.

Commercial channels 2.0?

As the holiday season approaches – and, in particular, Thanksgiving in the United States, YouTube had announced the “YouTube Holiday Stream and Shop,” a week of live shopping shows hosted by the creators of platforms. The shows were in partnership with brands like Walmart, Samsung and Verizon.

Instagram had already tried live shopping with its “10 Days of Live Shopping” event, organized in September 2021. This event was an opportunity for some stars to promote their brand such as Selena Gomez with her makeup brand “Rare Beauty And Olivia. Talk to “Olivia Palermo Beauty”.

So, has home shopping become fashionable again thanks to social networks? In May 2021, Facebook announced a weekly “Live Shopping” session that would take place every Friday. The platform presented it as a way for brands to present their new products and respond directly to consumers’ questions, but above all to take advantage of the presence of Internet users to boost sales. Because with the various stay-at-home mandates put in place during the pandemic, the use of social networks has increased considerably, as has e-commerce. In early November, Pinterest unveiled the launch of “Pinterest TV,” a multi-episode live shopping series.

Meanwhile, in late 2020, TikTok had already hosted a one-day live shopping event in association with Walmart, boosting platform interest in e-commerce.

Influencers as a guarantee for brands

Being where consumers spend most of their time is a goal for brands: “Discovery and inspiration can happen anywhere, and we want to make sure we meet our customers where they are. Said William White, chief marketing officer, Walmart. Recently, the US retailer collaborated with Twitter to deliver its first live shopping event. For the occasion, the social network has hired singer Jason Derulo as host of an online “shoppable livestream” event.

“Live streaming on Twitter gives companies the power to engage with their most influential fans,” Twitter explained on its official blog. After a first round of tests with certain brands, Twitter confirmed that other collaborations will be launched with “more merchants in the United States in the coming weeks”.

In a study released in July 2021, 61% of people said they liked a brand more when it participated in a trend on TikTok. Consumption habits are increasingly influenced by… influencers. On YouTube, 89% of Internet users say they believe in the recommendations of creators on the platform.

E-commerce could represent a $ 423 billion (RM 1.78 trillion) market in 2022 in China, where it all started, according to a McKinsey study. ETX Studio

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