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5
min read time
September 20, 2023

The Rise of Live Shopping is best suited on Facebook and Instagram vs. TikTok

The New York Times praised TikTok as the future of social commerce but overlooked Facebook and Instagram, where live shopping truly is thriving.

The Rise of Live Shopping is best suited on Facebook and Instagram vs. TikTok
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The New York Times recently published an article touting TikTok as the future of social commerce with the launch of TikTok Shop in the US. But while TikTok garners attention, the article overlooks where live shopping is truly thriving - on Facebook and Instagram.

The seamless integration with e-commerce stores that platforms like Sprii provide is exactly what major brands are seeking for live shopping. A prime example is Flying Tiger Copenhagen, the Danish variety store chain, which has just announced it will launch live shopping events in the UK in collaboration with Sprii.

Flying Tiger Copenhagen has previously tested live video events on TikTok. While these helped build engagement, they lacked connection to sales. By leveraging Sprii, Flying Tiger can now tie live streams directly to its online store. Viewers can instantly shop featured products without leaving the video.  

Flying Tiger Copenhagen operates over 970 stores in 35 countries. Photo by Flying Tiger Copenhagen.

This is the frictionless experience that is truly needed in order to convert ‘social media buzz’ into verified sales. Flying Tiger Copenhagen recognises that the real potential lies in integrating live video natively with its own e-commerce site, rather than relying solely on a third-party platform. More and more leading brands are coming to the same conclusion and turning to solutions like Sprii.

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Real innovation is on Facebook and Instagram

The New York Times article cites CMO of American Eagle saying that live shopping in the US hasn't replicated its Asian success. He mentions how ‘Seamlessness is key’ - making it easy for Gen Z to click from video to purchase. It’s for this reason that TikTok lacks this kind of seamless experience at the moment, and as thus, the real innovation is happening on Facebook and Instagram.

Platforms like Sprii integrate live streaming directly into brand e-commerce stores. Shoppers simply click video to website to checkout, never leaving the platform. This frictionless path is what makes social commerce succeed.

Platforms like Sprii integrate live streaming directly into brand e-commerce stores. Photo by Sprii.

TikTok Shop may grow in reach, but its future commission structure raises concerns. As the article notes, TikTok is sacrificing revenue to lure sellers and users with generous discounts. This prompts questions around sustainability and when commissions will erode margins. Solutions like Sprii empower brands to control promotions and pricing.

The article also highlights the proliferation of random, cheap products on TikTok Shop from foreign sellers. For brands focused on quality, this ‘un-curated’ marketplace is unappealing.  

Additionally, while TikTok Shop may expand, I believe that the live streaming capabilities on Facebook and Instagram are superior for social commerce. As the article mentions, TikTok is moving away from live shopping. Yet live video remains integral to selling successfully on social platforms.

You should own your data, not TikTok

Relying solely on TikTok Shop means brands cede control over the full experience. But leveraging Sprii's seamless integration allows brands to manage live streams, promotions, products, and sales channels themselves. - as well as owning all the data.

TikTok Shop does present a major new revenue stream for the platform. However, opaque commissions and product assortment issues pose risks for sellers. And requiring brands to direct sales through TikTok itself hampers flexibility and control.

Live shopping's real potential lies with platforms like Sprii that integrate natively with e-commerce sites. Photo by Sprii.

In contrast, native solutions on Facebook and Instagram like Sprii offer true frictionless social commerce. Brands can pioneer live shopping, but yet tied directly to their own e-commerce stores, maintaining complete control while tapping into that much desired ‘Social Media Selling Power.’

While TikTok garners buzz, the real potential lies with platforms integrating natively with e-commerce sites. For cutting-edge live shopping, look past the hype to solutions that are seamlessly bridging social media and online stores.  

That's where innovation is happening today.

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Macdara Duncan
International Sales Director
Author
Macdara Duncan
International Sales Director

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