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'Shoppertainment': How video-sharing platforms are redefining the way brands are connecting with customers and driving sales

The convergence of online shopping and entertainment, as seen on TikTok Shop, is empowering business owners with improved engagement and conversion rates

TikTok Shop is helping business owners connect with new customers through livestreams. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Just a year ago, when businesses were thinking of taking their marketplaces online, they might not have considered short-form video sharing platform TikTok as an option.

But this is assuredly no longer the case with the arrival of TikTok Shop in Singapore, a marketplace allowing merchants, brands and creators alike to showcase and sell products directly on TikTok.

Having been launched in June last year, TikTok Shop may be a relatively new player in the so-called shoppertainment arena, but its gross merchandise value (GMV), or the total value of merchandise sold over a period of time, has grown by 31 times since June 2022, and it now draws in 52 times as many livestream viewers as it did seven months ago. 

What is the reason for its meteoric rise in popularity?

The answer can be attributed to a few things, the foremost being TikTok’s colossal user base. With its 1 billionth user rolling onto the platform last year, TikTok boasts one of the largest – if not the largest – user bases of any video-sharing platform on the internet. 

Sellers and creators thus both have a massive consumer base to tap into, vastly broadening their reach and impact beyond what other platforms have to offer. 

For instance, TikTok Shop has been a vital point of connection between sellers and consumers. Luxury goods retailer Luxefindsbybl currently offers an extensive catalogue comprising the likes of Hermes, Dior and Chanel, but it started out with just a handful of followers on their TikTok channel.

It amassed more than 2,000 followers after selling on TikTok Shop for just two months, and the number continues to grow by the day.

“TikTok Shop has also helped us reach new customers,” says the retailer.  

Since it started live streaming on the platform in October 2022, Luxefindsbybl’s has seen a 10 per cent GMV uplift – bucking the overall slowdown in luxury bags in the fourth quarter of 2022.

TikTok Shop is also helping to facilitate collaborations between retailers and content creators. For instance, it will be partnering Singaporean cosmetics seller ShinebyRozs and Malaysian beauty TikTok creators Mia Azahar, Nelysa Norazlan and Sallywhoo – who boast a collective following of over 7.2 million users – on an exclusive product launch in Singapore. The launch will take place in the next few months.

Creating engagement through livestreams

 

PRISM+'s livestream viewership has grown five times since the company's adoption of TikTok Shop. PHOTO: PRISM+

Direct-to-consumer technology brand PRISM+ has also reaped benefits taking the shoppertainment approach. 

Since its adoption of TikTok Shop, PRISM+’s livestream viewership has seen a fivefold increase, with the 11.11 sale period alone drawing in over 50,000 unique viewers. The product impressions made through livestreams have proven effective as well. PRISM+’s TikTok Shop transactions swiftly crossed the $2.1 million mark following the series of livestreaming sessions leading up to November 2022.

“TikTok comes with the unique proposition of being a digital platform first, and is one of the leading platforms for the livestreaming format,” says Mr Jonathan Tan, founder and managing director of PRISM+.

“The social aspect of interacting with the livestream host in the comfort of their own home is something that appeals to audiences here.” 

But TikTok Shop isn’t just a platform for product discovery — its ability to convert these product impressions into transactions is unparalleled, Mr Tan continues.

“Its move to explore the livestream e-commerce space is a seismic one on its part and we can expect the platform to be a major player in this region for many years to come.”

The other reason for TikTok Shop’s success lies in its trademark simplicity. Part of what makes TikTok so popular is its ease of use, which carries over to its e-commerce aspects as well. 

“So far, it has already shown a huge glimpse of its promise – offering a seamless experience for shoppers through its integrated checkout facilities, allowing them to toggle between shopping and viewing the livestream uninterrupted,” says Mr Tan. 

New fanbase for content creators

This seamless user experience hasn’t just helped brands and sellers find success — it’s been the perfect platform for creators expanding their reach.

Veteran streamer Jeraldine.j is one of shoppertainment’s pioneers, having built up a steady following since 2020.

In keeping with her penchant for striking while the iron was hot, she was among one of the first to jump aboard TikTok Shop.

Having stayed in China for 10 years before, she had personally witnessed the successes of other live streaming platforms, and knew TikTok Shop had all the makings of the next runaway hit.

“I knew the same would happen in Singapore for TikTok, so I knew I had to get myself involved in it when they started pushing live streaming content,” she says.
Her early adoption continues to pay off — her most recent 24-hour livestream secured her over S$500,000 in sales. 

Building a following in shoppertainment is not easy, she is quick to say. But TikTok Shop has made hosting livestreaming sessions much easier, with its easy cart out process, simple interface, increased access to vendors and its dual-screen function that facilitates easier collaboration with other content creators.

Actor Allan Wu livestreaming on TikTok Shop. PHOTO: TIKTOK

Even those who have never worked on livestream content have managed to gain new audiences. Allan Wu’s television work on runaway hits like The Amazing Race Asia have already made him a household name in Asia. Livestreaming on TikTok Shop further expanded his fanbase.

While he was introduced to the initiative just a few months back by a friend, he has steadily become more confident in creating more shoppertainment-centric content, particularly due to the support provided by TikTok Shop.

“TikTok Shop is a relatively new initiative that TikTok has rolled out here in Singapore, so they have been very supportive in helping their partners learn about it and getting them up to speed,” says the actor. “They have made it very easy to work with TikTok Shop sellers and have done a good job in attracting a new audience."

“TikTok Shop has also provided a lot of support in providing insight and helping everyone grow their own brand.”

So there has never been a better time for content creators to try it out. “It's a great way to connect and interact with a potentially new fanbase, and it's also an effective way to hone your speaking skills while engaging the audience,” he says.

TikTok Shop remains committed to finding new ways for brands, sellers and content creators to expand their reach and grow their operations on the platform. Every day, customers continue to discover the latest trends in shoppertainment, and sellers and brands alike continue to be inspired by the newest campaigns.

Limited-time campaigns, for instance, are a win-win situation for all parties. The 11.11 Mega Sale, which ran from Nov 4 to 11 in 2022, saw a 674 per cent uplift rate in GMV, and 2.1 million total views across TikTok Shop livestreaming sessions. 

And there is still more to come in the TikTok Shop pipeline. So what are you waiting for?

Step up your ecommerce game with shoppertainment and join TikTok Shop now.

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