Marketing and Promotion

TikTok’s Live Shopping Pilot Attempts to Make Sellers’ Lives Easier

TikTok’s Live Shopping Pilot Attempts to Make Sellers’ Lives Easier

TikTok has a new partner that can help the social media giant push product to consumers as part of its recently launched shopping pilot.
Cymbio, a solution designed to enable brands to start selling on multiple marketplaces at once and offer dropshipping capabilities, revealed it is helping power the controversial platform’s TikTok Shop feature, which gives brands a potential reach of 150 million U.S. consumers.

TikTok Shop is available in the U.K., as well as Southeast Asian countries including Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore among others, and is expected to expand beyond trial mode in the U.S. market by the fourth quarter of 2023.

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The shopping feature is designed to enable merchants, brands and creators to easily showcase and sell products directly within the TikTok app. Where Cymbio’s technology comes in is by embedding a brand’s product data and information to TikTok’s in-video, live shopping offering.

Apparel brands like PacSun, Revolve and Willow Boutique are among the first sellers that have joined the trial. Users who want to shop these brands’ products can tap on the shopping bag icon on the brand’s profile to view their catalogues and complete the checkout process without leaving TikTok’s app. TikTok says it will take a 5 percent commission on each in-app sale a business makes.

Cymbio’s digital commerce enablement platform is built for brands of any size to access a centralized platform where they can have a hands-off approach to their back-end operations in an effort to scale sales across various channels. The platform can automate the management of marketplaces, dropship and social media sales and operations, including data integration, set-up, mapping, taxonomy, onboarding and daily management of a brand’s operational needs.

With Cymbio, for example, brands leveraging TikTok Shop can automate the processes of listing products, managing inventory, streamlining order processing, fulfillment and tracking orders and analytics.

“Partnering with Cymbio is a great choice, allowing for seamless and quick connectivity and automation to our platform,” said Sandie Hawkins, head of TikTok Shop, in a statement. “Brands such as New Balance can easily monetize on TikTok, reducing shopping friction and engaging buyers at the exact moment of interest. We look forward to seeing this partnership flourish and helping brands grow.”

The company has provided its services to major names in the fashion industry such as New Balance, Authentic Brands Group, Steve Madden and Camper in an effort to help them get in front of new customers and channels. Through Cymbio’s platform, these brands have been introduced to retailers and marketplaces including Farfetch, Kohl’s Corp., Macy’s Inc., Dillard’s Inc., Saks Inc., Urban Outfitters Inc., Walmart Inc., Zappos and others. 

“We are thrilled to partner with TikTok, enabling brands multichannel opportunities to reach a brand new, highly engaged audience via TikTok Shop,” said Roy Avidor, chief executive officer and cofounder of Cymbio, in a statement. “We are humbled and excited to expand and value TikTok Shop as a high-growth opportunity for brands of all sizes.”

Social commerce in general has had plenty of attempts to get off the ground, but U.S. consumers have never committed to buying off of the platforms. After pushing its Shop feature heavily during the COVID-19 pandemic, Instagram removed the Shop tab in January and shuttered its livestream shopping feature on March 16. Instagram’s sister social network Facebook also shut down its live shopping feature in October to shift its focus to its short-form video feature Reels.

But TikTok apparently has been able to at least convince people to buy a product elsewhere after seeing it on the app — perhaps influencing the company’s decision to go forward with TikTok Shop. The phrase “TikTok made me buy it” has garnered 7.4 billion views across videos on the platform, in fact, and the hashtag has generated a whopping 47.2 billion views.

TikTok continues its attempt to capitalize on social commerce as doubts seep in about the future of the platform in the U.S. amid concerns of its data collection methods.

In a five-hour hearing on Thursday, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew was grilled by Congress over the firm’s use of consumer data, its parent company’s potential ties to the Chinese government and the app’s impact on mental health.

Lawmakers across the aisle have been critical of the platform, with some calling for either an outright ban on it and others calling for a sale by the China-based parent, ByteDance. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday that TikTok “should be ended one way or another, and there are different ways of doing that.”

To date, U.S. lawmakers have offered no evidence of TikTok harming U.S. national security interests.

Shoe Brand Superga and Steve Madden Agree to Part Ways as U.S. and Canadian Partners

Shoe Brand Superga and Steve Madden Agree to Part Ways as U.S. and Canadian Partners

For a little more than 10 years, Steve Madden has been the exclusive licensee and distributor of the Italian shoe brand Superga in the United States and Canada.
At the beginning of next year, that will switch over to The Foundation, a Los Angeles-based company that works with a number of apparel, , home design, lifestyle, tech and food and beverage companies to expand their brands and increase business.

“We are so excited to bring Superga into The Foundation. It is an incredible brand andhousehold name with a rich legacy that we plan to continue to evolve and expand whilestaying true to the loyal customer base who has been shopping at Superga for decades,” said Ari Langsdorf, cofounder of The Foundation.

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Superga has a long history of making footwear. It was founded in 1911 in Turin, Italy, when shoemaker Walter Martiny first started making rubber-soled footwear for local farmers. More than a decade later, the company created its famous “2750” model that became very popular.

In 1951, the company merged with Pirelli Tire Company to increase production. But in 2004, Superga was acquired out of bankruptcy by Basic Net SpA, whose portfolio includes Jesus Jeans, Briko and Sebago, for around 13 million euros.

After that, Superga began to expand. In 2011, Steve Madden’s corporation acquired the license to sell, market, and distribute Superga products in North America. Soon, Madden hired Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen to join the brand as creative directors for the Italian shoe label in the United States.

The twins then launched a collection of Superga shoes as a collaboration with their luxe ready-to-wear line, The Row, in conjunction with a Superga store opening in 2012 at 78 Crosby Street in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. The store is still there.

TikTok Users Crave Entertainment, Unboxing Videos and Luxury Experiences

TikTok Users Crave Entertainment, Unboxing Videos and Luxury Experiences

TikTok users are 92 percent more likely to buy Louis Vuitton products, and 81 percent more likely to buy Versace, than the average internet user.
But to fully capitalize on the short-form video app, fashion brands had better be prepared to entertain people, to participate in trends, and to engage the right content creators who can connect with millions of followers in a way that no brand can.
Those are among the findings of a new report unveiled Tuesday and prepared jointly by TikTok and data research and insights company Launchmetrics. Titled “TikTok’s Takeover: The Power of Creators & Content in 2021,” it notes that 68 percent of users on the platform have been inspired to find out more about a brand or product.

“By leveraging popular trends on TikTok, brands can boost engagement, expand reach and showcase some creativity and personality,” according to the report.
Launchmetrics gathered data on TikTok between Jan. 1 and May 31 and found that creators like Dixie D’Amelio, Noah Beck, Xenia Adonts and Nava Rose are driving 72 percent of the app’s share of voice, far outpacing the share of voice of brands, celebrities, partners and media.
Tapping into trends is key, as 61 percent of TikTok users say they like brands better when they create or participate in a trend. Three out of four users say entertainment is the main reason for using the app.

While hardly a new idea, unboxing ranks as a key trend as these videos have generated some 12.6 billion views. Similarly, “showcasing” either luxurious products or homes is a popular video subject, with videos carrying the #designer hashtag generating 2.8 billion video views and 67 percent of TikTok users saying they have found ideas about new products or brands after seeing them on the platform.
To wit: #tiktokmademebuyit is one of the top-performing hashtags on the platform, Kristina Karassoulis, head of luxury partnerships at TikTok, noted during a press conference held over Zoom.
Luxury experience videos — often about vacations or other “first-class” experiences — are extremely popular, while product tips and tricks have generated 10.6 billion video views with the hashtag #hacks. The top post in the latter vein, on Fashion Nova’s page, depicts nine ways to wear a string bikini top.
But the real “golden ticket” for fashion and luxury brands is to hook up with a top creator, whose challenges, trends, skits or memes tickle TikTok’s Gen Z user base.
“Creators are your new supermodels, but they’re relatable,” Karassoulis said. “I learned more about the Chanel Boy bag on TikTok than from Chanel.”
The study includes snapshots of 10 creators, including D’Amelio, whose affiliation with Valentino has won the Roman fashion house plenty of attention. According to Launchmetrics’ tallies, the Media Impact Value of her posts came to an average of $626,700 over the five-month period.
Beck, who initially rose to fame as D’Amelio’s boyfriend, boasts 29.2 million followers and boasted an average MIV per post of $208,100. One for Ralph Lauren depicted him spritzing on a fragrance after showering and then becoming magically dressed in the all-American brand.
“By collaborating with a young and fun creator such as Noah Beck, brands have the opportunity to leverage his impressive following as well as associate with his fun and positive attitude and authentic voice,” the report contends.

Wisdom Kaye made his mark this year with the #FrontRowChallenge trend, in which he showed off what he would wear at top designer fashion shows. He received 1.5 million likes and $355,000 in MIV with his video plugging brands including Prada, Gucci, Rick Owens and Saint Laurent.
As part of the study, Launchmetrics quizzed about 100 people working in fashion and beauty p.r., marketing and communications and found that 68.8 percent of them invest in TikTok to engage with consumer groups, while 25 percent said the main driver was to be on trend.
There were detractors: 22.2 percent said budget constraints prevented them from engaging creators on the platform, while one third did not due to a lack of proper tools to identify and manage creator relationships.
Among challenges, 6.2 percent of professionals said they had difficulty demonstrating the value of creator campaigns to C-level executives within their company, and 25 percent cited difficulty creating and tracking the right KPIs to assess the performance of creators.
Some 69 percent of fashion professionals said they prefer to work with so-called “micro creators,” with followings of between 10,000 and 100,000, while half of them select creators based on content quality.
Most brands measure the effectiveness of such campaigns by the impact on sales and web traffic.
TikTok boasts about 100 million monthly active users in the U.S. and another 100 million in Europe, according to Launchmetrics.
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