TECH NEWS: ‘A perfect fit for us’: How a DTC wedding ring brand is testing shopping on TikTok

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November 18, 2021 by Kimeko McCoy

Manly Bands is a direct-to consumer ring company that believes social commerce will be the future of online shopping. The five-year-old Utah-based company became a beta test for TikTok Shopping, a partnership with Shopify. This allows merchants with business accounts to add a shopping tab and create a mini-storefront that directs shoppers to the store.

This is a move to leverage TikTok to diversify the brand’s media mix and to capture a larger share of the short-form app’s 1 billion members audience, according Stephanie Bregman, chief marketing officer at Manly Bands. At present, the DTC brand leverages mostly organic content posting, layering in paid ads and shoppable posts to its nearly 1,700 followers.

” We want to eliminate any friction points during the purchasing process,” Bregman stated. “By allowing customers to see what we have, it makes it easier for them to locate what they are looking for .”

The DTC brand uses Instagram for similar social commerce efforts, but TikTok’s viral nature enables brands to grow their audiences faster, she stated.

It’s not clear what the impact of shoppable TikTok postings has been as Bregman refused to provide details about sales. She did note that CPMs on TikTok were less than half the cost of Facebook’s, making TikTok an attractive advertising option. She stated that this shows that TikTok can provide cheap traffic — [it’s], which is a lot cheaper than Facebook right now.

Back in 2019, Digiday previously reported that Manly Bands was spending big on Facebook and Instagram advertising, moving away from display advertising to focus on video ads.

In September, TikTok launched a number of new shoppable options, including the shopping tab, product links and live shopping. According to a blog post from TikTok, it will launch TikTok shopping API, where businesses can integrate the products directly into the app and eventually include those products in their organic content.

It seems like the social commerce arms race has heated up. TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram have all rolled out e-commerce capabilities. If brands wish to reap the benefits of e-commerce, they will need to act quickly, according to Brandon Biancalani (manager of paid advertising at Modifly).

“This is a huge opportunity right now, particularly when a lot brands are in this space,” Biancalani stated, adding that brands need to “pioneer that” and create a larger funnel before other brands begin competing and CPMs increase .”

While not as popular as in China, U.S. social commerce is growing. According to eMarketer, social commerce has already surpassed $30 billion thanks to the uptick in online shopping and social media consumption brought on by the pandemic.

Biancalani stated that TikTok users are known for being adverse to advertising, using the app to “edu-tainment”, as opposed to inapp purchases. Therefore, brands will need to tread carefully, be incorporated in TikTok culture, and refrain from pushing products.

” If they do it right it could be a chance and they could push themselves into a new wave in marketing on TikTok,” said he. “But the emphasis is on doing it right.”

Looking ahead, Bregman said Manly Bands will continue to invest in social media advertising, estimating a 30% increase in social spend next year while simultaneously further diversifying their media mix to include things like TikTok. (She didn’t provide any further details. )

“We are aware that generations are changing, [as are] what mediums they use to find information and products to buy,” she stated. “With the kind of brand that we are, with our brand humor and our creative juices, [TikTok] was a perfect fit for us to put a lot of our energy towards that medium.”

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