Tech Bytes from Retail & Tech No 26

The latest tech news to inform and inspire


  • Walmart’s TikTok livestream. US retailer Walmart partnered with social-media platform TikTok to launch a shoppable livestream pilot in a bid to acquire new customers. Called the Holiday Shop-Along Spectacular, the livestream saw TikTok creators like Michael Le, who has 43 million followers on the app, showcase Walmart’s apparel through closet tours and fashion shows, among other formats. Users could shop products featured in the livestream without leaving the app.


  • Six-second ads. Short video ads are proving to be just as effective as longer formats, according to a study by media market-research company Magna, media trends company IPG Media Lab and social-media platform Snap Inc. The study attributes the shift to the rise in short-form premium content and advertisers becoming better skilled in making more condensed ads. Controlling for brand, six and 15 second ads drove nearly identical lifts in both brand preference (+9% and +10% respectively) and purchase intent (+5% and +4% respectively). Short ads were also persuasive among both younger and older audiences. On Snapchat, 15-second ads benefited from low skipping, allowing them to be more memorable. However, six-second ads were able to quickly get their point across to maximize persuasion. Regardless of length, the full screen vertical ads on Snapchat drove more than two times the lift in awareness than the other platforms tested.


  • Reels goes shopping. Social-media platform Instagram has launched shopping for its short-video feature Reels. Creators can now tag products in Reels and users can access product information in-app, save for later or purchase. Instagram launched Reels in August as an answer to rival TikTok. In October, Instagram also expanded its shopping features to allow shopping on its long-video format feature IGTV. Like shopping in Reels, creators can add shopping tags directly on the feature, allowing followers to tap on the item and either shop through the Instagram app or the seller’s website.


  • Pinterest helps users shop. Social-media platform Pinterest has launched new features for boards that allow users to navigate easier through Pins in the board, add notes-to-self and favorite certain Pins. Pinterest says that boards help users better organize and plan on the platform. It adds that the creation of beauty-related boards were up 44% in October compared to the same month the year prior. Pinterest notes that the lockdown has seen users shift from experience-related boards, like travel, to more planning and shopping boards. For example, the number of boards titled “everyday essential products” and “my dream closet” both grew 83% between June and November compared to December 2019 to May 2020. In searches, queries for “personalized Christmas gifts” rose 46% during the six-month period, while “luxury gifts” searches were up three times.


  • Social skincare. Skincare was the only beauty category to see gains across social media in terms of active influencers (+22%), posts (+13%), engagement (+199%) and number of views (+176%) in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period last year, according to data (from North America and Europe) presented by influencer marketing-tracking platform Traackr at a recent CEW France conference. Traackr Strategic Accounts director Bénédicte Amiot noted that although the number of beauty-related social-media posts decreased across most beauty categories, clean beauty and skinfluencers (skincare influencers) led to strong social-media engagement. For example, L’Oréal-owned skincare brand CeraVe saw the number of brand mentions on social media grow 26% in the second quarter, which Traackr attributes to skinfluencers’ recommendations. Top performing skincare brands on social media in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period last year included CeraVe, primera (Amorepacific), Shiseido, The Ordinary and Vaseline. Premium brands like Shiseido and primera saw mentions increase, particularly with products geared towards “healthy skin” and sun protection. Traackr showed that sponsored content fell significantly on all major social-media platforms in the first half of 2020, except for short-video platform TikTok. This was partly due to brands reducing marketing budgets as a result of the pandemic. While the number of active paid influencers on Instagram (-29%), YouTube (-16%) and Twitter (-43%) was down in the first half, this figure rose 368% on TikTok.


  • Beauty Tech Live. BW Confidential is pleased to announce that Javier Bach, Chief Operating Officer of Spanish company Puig is to be a speaker at the new Beauty Tech Live virtual event set to take place from April 12-16, 2021.Beauty Tech Live is the first B2B Virtual Expo & Conference that will bring together tech products, solutions and services for the beauty industry in one place. It will also be a forum for executives to share new ideas, inspiration and experiences in the area of beauty tech. The event is organized by BW Confidential in partnership with the Moodie Davitt Virtual Expo Company.