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Can Big Tech and Big Box Make Social Commerce Seamless?

Seamless click-to-buy experiences that fuse together social media discoverability and buying impulse and shorten the path to conversion are stepping into the spotlight more as seen in a flurry of announcements from big box to Big Tech.

Trend-wise it’s growing apace with smartphone-centric shopping patterns greatly accelerated by the pandemic, and now becoming part of an expectation among consumers who want less friction and more contextual value in where they discover products and how they pay.

Along these lines, Reuters reported Thursday (Aug. 18) that Walmart “may launch a platform that will use social media influencers to help the retailer and its 100,000 third-party sellers promote their goods and services online, according to trademark filings.”

“Walmart filed trademarks for ‘Walmart Creator’ and ‘Walmart Creator Collective,’ which would provide social media consulting and ‘the promotion of goods and services of others through influencers,’ according to the July 27 documents seen by Reuters,” the report stated.

See also: Walmart May Boost Use of Influencers to Promote Products

Although desktop browsing still has juice, the bigger action is in mobile. and United States merchants are ahead in many aspects of mobile and digital shopping experience.

According to the “2022 Global Digital Shopping Playbook: U.S. Edition,” a PYMNTS and Cybersource collaboration surveying 3,100 businesses and over 13,000 consumers in six countries, the U.S. “continues to set the bar on frictionless cross-channel-capable shopping, with U.S. merchants earning the highest average Index score of any country for the second consecutive year in 2021. The average U.S. merchant earned an Index score of 108.1 in 2021 — slightly lower than the 109.8 average score in 2020 but still higher than merchants in any other country.”

Monetizing Discoverability

Social media platforms busily monetizing creator and influencer feeds and delving into livestream selling — or failing to — was fast a furious this week.

Snapchat said Monday (Aug. 15) it’s Snapchat+ subscription service snapped up 1 million subscribers in its first six weeks at $3.99 a month, announcing new filters for creators and power users as it recently saw social monetization campaigns from Tiffany’s, Coca-Cola and Pampers, among others.

Twitter has been touting its new tie-up with Shopify, noting in a recent press release that a new Twitter sales channel app available in the Shopify app store “is an important step in helping merchants unlock opportunities to reach shoppers on Twitter at those precise moments of discovery, inspiration and consideration.”

Read more: Shopify-Twitter Deal Highlights Social Media’s Growing Role in Retail

The Twitter sales channel app for Shopify merchants can connect to their Shopify account “onboard onto our Shopping Manager — the entry point to our suite of Twitter Shopping tools where merchants can access and manage our shopping features. In addition to having access to the Shopping Manager, merchants can also access the other free tools we are building for professionals.” Inventory sync and a product highlight capability are part of it.

Meanwhile at Amazon, the eCommerce titan is testing TikTok-like, in-stream photo and video shopping in-app. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday (Aug. 17) that “Amazon is testing a feature in its app that would show users a TikTok-style photo and video feed of products for shoppers to share with other users,” known in beta as “Inspire.”

See also: Amazon Lures Influencers to Fire up Livestream Shopping in US

WSJ said the Inspire app is a widget in the Amazon app and site that “brings shoppers to a feed that shows a stream of images and videos of products, with shoppers able to like, share and ultimately purchase items. While most of the feed now appears as still pictures, … researchers said the portal also features video content.”

Ironically, both TikTok and Facebook backed off livestream social selling pilots, TikTok due to lackluster initial results, and the Meta family of apps, notably Facebook and Instagram with their respective Reels, moving into the video limelight, as Instagram first announced last year.

Facebook doubled down on helping creators monetize Reels, highlighting in a Saturday (Aug. 13) blog post several ways that creators are monetizing shortform video now.

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About: The findings in PYMNTS’ new study, “The Super App Shift: How Consumers Want To Save, Shop And Spend In The Connected Economy,” a collaboration with PayPal, analyzed the responses from 9,904 consumers in Australia, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. and showed strong demand for a single multifunctional super apps rather than using dozens of individuals ones.


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