It seems the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt trend hasn’t jumped to live shopping.
TikTok is known for viral commerce, with videos on the site boosting sales of everything from cleaning products to feta. Still, there are strong signs that livestream shopping is not among the platform’s strengths. Marketers say the live-shopping genre faces challenges, even beyond TikTok, for a number of reasons: customers prefer on-demand viewing instead of the scheduled live streams, and the creators, who would run the live sales, may not be natural sellers.
Uncertainties have been swirling around the prospects for livestream shopping in the U.S. and Europe, as more apps try to jam commerce directly into their products. Live shopping has been famously successful in Asia, especially China, where “Super Apps” have taken hold, providing all social media, commerce, services and content in one place. But Chinese-owned app TikTok reportedly had difficulties bringing live shopping to the U.K., which has shined a new light on why this consumer behavior is still elusive in Western markets.
U.S. consumers are not as hooked by livestream commerce, according to Rachel Tipograph, the CEO of MikMak, an ecommerce analytics platform that works with brands to power shopping events on TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and Pinterest.
“Think about live events in the U.S., it’s usually sporting events or major award shows,” Tipograph said in a recent interview. “Outside of that, everything is on demand.”