"TikTok Made Me Buy": Live shopping heats up in the middle of the holidays


The merger of shopping and television is not a new concept (after all, the Home Shopping Network was founded in 1982), but the emergence of social platforms and the ease of one-click shopping via PayPal, Apple, Instagram and TikTok are been transformed. the experience in one that allows for seamless interactivity, unusual entertainment concepts and less "call now!" difficult sales.

It's not just Twitter; TikTok, YouTube, and NBCUniversal explored the space this holiday season, using it as a test bed for formats and betting that live shopping, which is already a huge business in China and elsewhere, is about to explode here. .

"If you look here in the US, we are at the tipping point of what live streaming commerce can be," says Josh Feldman, director of advertising sales and partnership marketing at NBCUniversal. "The stats I've seen are that we're going to be at $ 11 billion in sales as a country this year, and that will likely double pretty quickly."

NBCUniversal has been active in the space during the holiday season on both linear TV and digital platforms, choosing influencer Remi Bader to host a live shopping event called Impulse Try on the company's social media, Peacock and Comcast Xfinity during the end. week. There is also an America's Big Deal live shopping program, which is broadcast on the USA Network. 
The connective tissue through these efforts is the talent that makes the sale. Bader was joined by "Bravo-lebrities" during its live broadcast, while America's Big Deal leans on its star, Joy Mangano. YouTube, meanwhile, had a week-long list of live streams of the likes of chef Gordon Ramsay and famed creator MrBeast.

"Packaging is everything and adding credibility to a format is key," says Tony DiSanto, CEO of Diga Studios, which produces America's Big Deal. "It's not just the idea, it's the combination of the idea and the talent that brings credibility."

One thing that unites these efforts is the desire to create something fun, but ultimately the goal is to sell products and balancing these needs is key. “As you begin to diversify to bring content like this to traditional entertainment networks, it's essential to make sure commerce is integrated into engaging content,” says DiSanto.

It helps to have a consumer base that is increasingly used to buying things via Instagram, TikTok, or other digital channels (during New York Advertising Week in October, the Hudson Yards neighborhood filled with people carrying shopping bags delivered by TikTok with the slogan "TikTok made me buy it").

Shawn Strickland, president of Diga, notes that during the pandemic, many restaurants switched to menus with QR codes, which in themselves can change behavior.
"It teaches people to bridge the gap between the real world and the online world, and I think it's an indicator of the potential to see a host of new formats and shows emerging from this first effort," he says.

But we're still in its infancy, and even with some of the biggest tech and entertainment players exploring space, the expectation is that the format is still nascent, with a long way to go. "The convergence of media and commerce, entertainment and commerce, is just a Wild West right now," says DiSanto. "I think we will see things in the next few years that would surprise us right now."