Hit by slowing advertising revenue, both YouTube and TikTok are doubling-down on their efforts to roll out social commerce features.
This week we learned that TikTok had started testing TikTok Shop in the US, following trials in the UK and parts of Southeast Asia. The commerce features allow brands and creators to showcase and sell products directly on the platform through in-feed videos, LIVEs, and the product showcase tab.
We also learned this week that TikTok now compiles lists from the creators signed up to work with TikTok Shop. According to documents seen by MarketWatch, the lists track everything from how much product creators shift to how co-operative they are with brands undertaking affiliate marketing deals.
Meanwhile, YouTube Shorts has introduced shopping features, meaning users will be able to buy products as they scroll through the short-form videos. According to the Financial Times, YouTube is also testing new commission schemes for influencers who sell products through links in videos. YouTube users in the US, India, Brazil, Canada, and Australia are currently able to shop through Shorts. “It is very much an endorsement model, versus a more traditional advertising model or a paid-placements model,” Michael Martin, YouTube Shopping’s general manager told the FT.
The push by TikTok Shop and shopping via YouTube Shorts places both platforms on a collision course with Amazon. That aforementioned ecommerce juggernaut has its own troubles, of course. As detailed above, this week it shed 10,000 of its workforce and announced forecasts of slower-than-usual sales over Christmas.
This article first appeared on November 16 as a column for the Influencer Marketing Digest - the weekly newsletter I am commissioned to write for Fourth Floor. You can sign up to receive the newsletter here.