The first few months of 2021 saw a shortage of feta cheese in America. Before you click out of this article due to a seemingly irrelevant opening sentence, let us tell you that the driving force behind blocks of feta selling out across the country was a Tiktok video featuring a Finnish dish, ‘uunifetapasta’. Now nicknamed ‘the Tiktok pasta’, the original recipe Tiktok garnered 1.1 million views to date. The hashtag #fetapasta has gathered an overwhelming 650 million views.
e.l.f, a cosmetics brand, used the power of a catchy tune, or an ohrwurm as Germans would say, to go viral on Tiktok and save the company from plateauing sales. They later hosted a makeup competition for aspiring beauty influencers and held effective holiday campaigns – all on Tiktok. As a result of these efforts, the company has amassed greater than 10 billion views on Tiktok. Their original Tiktok song, Eyes Lips Face, rivaled pop giants like Megan Thee Stallion in the charts. Even in 2020, which was one of the toughest years for the beauty industry, e.l.f boasted a growth in net sales.
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Thus, it is a massive move on Tiktok’s part to have officially launched Tiktok Shopping, an in-app social commerce platform that will allow brands to directly link products to Tiktok videos with an undeniable reach.
It will also dramatically streamline the discovery of products to potential customers, given the ‘For You Page’ (which is essentially just recommended TikToks) is curated based on your activity and behavior on the app and beyond.
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In a world where people want to get as much done in as short of a time frame as possible, social commerce eliminates the necessity to search and purchase products on traditional e-commerce platforms.
A platform like Tiktok, which relies heavily on visual aesthetics and memorable music, will allow brands to bank on impulse buying tendencies of people by making their products look attractive and effective in a simple Tiktok video.
Traditional e-commerce platforms require customers to go back and forth between product categories, available options, and their cart. By the time they check out, they tend to have removed products deemed unnecessary at the moment, leading to a loss in sales. A platform like Tiktok Shopping creates a linear line between the Tiktok promoting the product and the checkout button, thus reducing friction and helping brands avoid loss.
Gen-Z, who undoubtedly make up the largest proportion of Tiktok users, have also had it with ads popping up in the middle of videos – marketers can jump right in and exploit the attractiveness of Tiktoks to keep Gen-Z hooked, which video spots failed to do on platforms like YouTube and Facebook.
If Tiktok can dramatically increase sales of a cosmetics company and all but wipe out the existence of feta cheese from America from a simple recipe video, savvy and dynamic marketers have most likely just met their match in platforms, thus starting a new era in marketing.
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