Ecommerce initiatives on social media platforms have evolved in fits and starts. However, it’s hard not to get excited about the social commerce potential considering the billions of views on TikTok with the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt.
Merchants can consider a number of new developments, especially to target Gen-Z shoppers. Here is a list of recent social commerce updates, including new initiatives, marketplaces driving sales with social networking features such as live streaming, and monetization efforts on social platforms.
TikTok has launched a Shop beta program, inviting sellers to try it and provide feedback before the public release. The program lets creators and merchants showcase and sell products directly on TikTok through in-feed videos and a product showcase tab. Users without an invitation can still register to join the beta program.
TikTok has also launched Pulse Premiere for publishers to sell advertising adjacent to their content and retain half the ad revenue. Pulse Premiere is an extension of TikTok’s Pulse program, which lets marketers place their brand next to the top 4% of content on the platform.
Meta recently announced tools to improve its Shops ecosystem. Shop ads will open broadly to U.S. businesses under Meta’s Advantage portfolio, so all ad automation tools reside in one place. Also, Meta will make setting up a Shop with in-app checkout easier and will test new Shops tools such as ratings and reviews, buyer email opt-in, and dynamic product pages. As part of its expansion of Shops ads and checkout tools for businesses, Meta will no longer support Shops without checkout in several markets.
Pinterest Shuffles is a Gen Z-focused collage-making app Pinterest launched last November. Pinterest is testing ways of integrating Shuffles collage content, starting with shopping. New features will include the ability to shop all items from a collage, including reviewing brands and prices or identifying alternatives.
Pinterest has also opened third-party advertising on its platform and has selected Amazon as its first partner, reaffirming Pinterest’s commitment to developing shoppable content. The partnership with Amazon will bring more brands and relevant products to the platform combined with a seamless on-Amazon buying experience for consumers. Bill Ready, CEO of Pinterest, stated, “This aligns with our goal of making every Pin shoppable to enable as many users as possible to bring their dreams to life.”
Poshmark, a fashion resale marketplace, has launched Posh Shows, a live shopping product to shop and sell on Poshmark. Available in the U.S. and Canada, Posh Shows enables sellers to leverage live video and social commerce to reach 100 million users. Posh Shows are designed to make selling simple and social.
Amazon’s Inspire is a new in-app shopping feed personalized to shoppable photos and videos tailored to consumers’ interests and engagement. Inspire helps shoppers explore new products, discover ideas, and shop content created by other consumers, influencers, and brands. Vendors or sellers enrolled in Brand Registry with an active Brand Store can use qualifying photos in Inspire. Customers can submit product reviews.
Also, Amazon has launched an immersive shopping experience called Anywhere to discover and buy physical products from Amazon stores without leaving a game or app. Anywhere’s first launch is in Peridot, a social augmented reality pet game. Integrating Anywhere into Peridot brings an immersive shopping experience to the social environment and virtual world.
Snap has introduced Augmented Reality Enterprise Services (ARES), a new method for businesses to integrate Snap’s augmented reality technology with virtual experiences for clothing, eyewear, and footwear, allowing shoppers to sample and share products with friends as part of the shopping experience. Men’s Wearhouse recently partnered with Snap, giving prom-goers access to Snap’s AR Mirror to try on prom fashions and share their looks on social networks.
Twitter’s recent social commerce efforts help publishers monetize editorial content. Subscriptions, a rebrand of Twitter’s Super Follows feature from 2021, allows users to subscribe for access to exclusive content and subscriber-only Spaces. Twitter plans to include newsletters and other features as bonus content. According to Elon Musk, Twitter will also allow media publishers to charge users per article.
Walmart launched Creator, a portal for creators and social media influencers to monetize shoppable products from the retailer. Participants monetize content through affiliate links, connecting the Walmart Creator portal to their social channels on Facebook and Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitch, and Snapchat. Creators can track and view performance in Walmart Creator’s analytics dashboard to understand how customers engaged with promoted products. Creators can also apply to be a part of upcoming brand campaigns.