91. TikTok Shop & Live Shopping Strategies w/ Hannah Wu & Stu Conroy

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The Brand Builder Show
91. TikTok Shop & Live Shopping Strategies w/ Hannah Wu & Stu Conroy

Social commerce is fast developing into a sales channel that cannot be ignored by eCommerce brands.

With TikTok Shop in particular picking up a lot of speed, the opportunities to reach new audiences are huge.

So, to talk through this key topic we invited Hannah Wu from live shopping marketplace Lollishop and Stu Conroy from eCommerce agency Highlands.

We talked about:

  • What opportunities does TikTok Shop present
  • Will live shopping catch on?
  • How to work with influencers
  • And much more


Episode Links

Additional Resources

Talking Points

  • 00:00 – Introduction to Guests: Hannah Wu and Stuart Conroy
  • 01:28 – Stu’s eCommerce Background
  • 02:31 – Hannah’s eCommerce Journey
  • 03:38 – Explaining Social Commerce
  • 05:06 – The Potential of Social Commerce in Western Markets
  • 08:26 – Exploring TikTok Shop Functionality
  • 10:24 – Collaboration Dynamics with Creators on TikTok
  • 18:13 – TikTok Direct Purchases
  • 21:09 – Any Other Recommended Social Commerce Platform?
  • 22:18 – Staying on Top of Trends in Social Commerce
  • 25:22 – Live Shopping and Its Dynamics
  • 26:43 – Expanding Globally with Social Commerce
  • 27:44 – Exploring Lollishop and Where to Learn More
  • 30:31 – Insights on Future Trends in Social Commerce
  • 36:48 – Where to Connect with Our Guests
Ben Donovan  00:00
Hey folks, welcome back to another episode of The Brand Builder Show. And if you’ve ever wondered about how to sell your product with shopping, live shopping, social commerce, then this is the episode for you. We’re going to talk TikTok shop, selling on social media, all that good stuff and more coming up. And to do that we brought two geniuses in the space. We got Stu and Hannah on the show today. Stuart is a longtime friend, and collaborator. We work together on a number of things. And really good to have you back on the show, Stuart, and great to have you on the show today, Hannah, thanks for joining us.

Stuart Conroy  00:33
Good morning, Ben. Good to see ya again.

Ben Donovan  00:37
You are, yeah, we’ve had a good couple of years of working together on a few different things. And you’ve helped us out with a lot of different fulfillment things and, you know, warehousing, and all that kind of stuff. But this is a sort of a bit of a new move in the last sort of season into online. I keep saying online shopping, of course, it’s online shopping, but live shopping, social commerce, and but I’m super, super green on the topic. I don’t really know much about it, I haven’t given the time that it probably deserves, in terms of research and looking into it. And so I’m going to treat this episode as a bit of a fact finding mission for myself to learn more about it. But before we get into all of those questions to learn what it is, Hannah, why don’t you just give us a bit of an intro. Tell us about yourself, what you’ve been up to in recent years, and then we’ll dive into the questions.

Stuart Conroy  01:28
Yeah, I’m happy to go first, Stu Conroy. I’m a Director at Highlands, which is an agency that specializes in marketing and sales, helping brands navigate different territories, different platforms. I was a seller for 18 years. So I set the other side of the table trying to work all this stuff out as a brand. And yeah, I started selling on Amazon, what 20 years ago. And we’ll get into it. But I think there’s a lot of similarities with what’s happening on platforms, particularly like TikTok shop. And the opportunity, particularly for small businesses. I think big businesses will get into TikTok shop far quicker than, than they maybe did with Amazon. But yeah, I’m happy to share what’s happening and how we got into it. And that it’s actually quite simple for brands, if they focus on managing on it.

Ben Donovan  02:13
Sounds good man. Selling on Amazon 20 years ago, I’m not even sure Jeff was selling on Amazon 20 years ago. That is real original.

Stuart Conroy  02:21
Yeah, so obviously started when I was 12, Ben.

Ben Donovan  02:24
I was gonna say Yeah. Kinda How about yourself? What’s your world?

Hannah Wu  02:31
I’m Hannah Wu. Spelt W-U. My background is mostly in operations, logistics and fulfillment, you know, sourcing things around the world? How do we actually facilitate that? I have recently been working on a project called Lollishop, which we can come into further on. But that very much collaborates everything that we’re going to talk about. And hopefully, some of the audience will be able to, it will help some of the audience as well.

Ben Donovan  02:57
Definitely, I think it will, I think it’s obviously a growing trend. And it’s something that I’ve been aware of more just because of A, there’s a couple of people in our Brand Builder University community that are crushing it with TikTok shop right now. But I’ve always just been so busy the last year or so, that is one of those things, you know, where you feel like, if I’m going to do this, I have to give it my full attention. And I just haven’t had that attention to be able to give it and all the while it’s been bubbling up and becoming more popular, especially TikTok shop, I keep hearing about this. Like it’s there’s there’s loads of potential, I keep seeing people on like social media, talk about how they get loads of sales with TikTok shop for the uneducated, like me, give us a little bit of a lay of the land, social commerce, what even is it? How does it work from a high level point of view?

Stuart Conroy  03:48
So I mean, really, the social media platforms in general realize that they were influencing a lot of sales, and some of the numbers are ridiculous of how many how much purchases influenced, before you get to an Amazon or before you go to your Google search, you know, you’ve got that generic search or product awareness before that. So the social media platforms have, have looked to take their piece of the pie early in the stage. And I’d say you know Meta. You got live shopping and things like that on Amazon, but the social side, the likes of Meta, tried to roll out live shopping, it’s been in fits and spurts, they are revisiting it. But TikTok has really led the way. And really based on what they’ve seen over in the Far East over the last six years. It is different, a little bit different culturally over there. But the frictionless commerce idea where you see a product, you click a button, we always explained it as QVC on steroids or whatever, but just that, that front of house, so and that’s what people are now taking advantage of, you know, and we’ll come into some of the different strategies brands and sellers are employing but it really is just, you know, meeting the cost somewhere they’re being social and checking out new things, and just getting the purchase instantly.

Ben Donovan  05:06
I’ve noticed it’s massive in China specifically, you mentioned cultural differences. Do you think it’s still got a lot of potential to take off in the same way over here? Or in the Western world?

Hannah Wu  05:22
Sorry, my headphones are gone. Can you hear me? \

Ben Donovan  05:25

Hannah Wu  05:27
Sorry. Yes, I would say the majority of time is that you get brands who are hesitant, as you pointed out earlier, you have to commit to something. So you have to commit to a platform to really make anything work. And I think that’s it, I would say the Far East is having the blueprint that a lot of brands can begin to replicate. So they’ve done the legwork, more or less for us. And we can start to see how we can implement that into companies or brands in the Western. I think the majority of the hesitancy, as I said, is either a commitment, so it’s time, money, tech, know how adding in another platform creates problems in your infrastructure, how am I now going to facilitate this additional thing? Again, it depends on what your infrastructure is like, are you an SME. You’re really going to struggle, if you’re just dealing with the day to day, compared to a bigger company who might have resources to be able to do that. So those are the kinds of problems that we’re seeing. But TikTok, especially, are making it a lot easier for people to go live, to try all live, to again, have that frictionless commerce that Stu mentioned. And that’s what we’re seeing is that a lot of the social platforms are no longer allowing you to divert off. So before you could have your brand, you could say visit, you know, like you’d have a link to your website, that’s no longer going to be an option moving forward. They say it’s due to customer experience, I’m gonna say it’s probably due to their profit, whatever. But that’s kind of like, what we’re seeing is that brands are gonna be forced. If they want to use social, that they’re gonna have to pretty much play by their rules. And it’s not something to be scared of, or to, you know, like, try to go against because it’s, you know, you’re pushing like a rock up, it’d be pushing a rock up a hill. So just way of trying to get brands more on board. And as Stu said, it is a lot simpler. That I think brands realize there is a lot of buzzwords, which hopefully we can break down a few. And as against you said what social commerce actually is the journey starting on social. So it could be brand awareness, it could be the actual purchase of the item. But all it says is basically that or I guess what we explained is that social plays a big part in the purchasing journey. And that’s what obviously they’ve realized, and that’s what they’re trying to optimize and utilize. 

Ben Donovan  07:47
Yeah, I suppose for me, the big challenge has been because it does seem and even when you are, and not to be, you know, critical of how you explained it at all, but it’s so broad, you know, the way you’ve explained it, there is, I suppose, by definition is broad, right? Social Commerce is a broad topic. But I think because of that, it’s always just been for me something that I’ve just been, like, I don’t really fully understand, like, I guess, obviously building an audience on social media, promoting your products on social media. But there’s clearly something different, that can be tapped into beyond that, like with TikTok shop, let’s take that, for example. What is the goal with TikTok shop? Do you have to go live to be able to utilize it? Is it just a case of making posts that feature your products and link to your website? Like give us a bit of how does the end to end kind of play work with something like that?

Stuart Conroy  08:40
I’d say from my side, and the the easiest way to do it is just to log into TikTok. Look at live or shopping? And to answer a couple of points there. So two years ago, we basically had an empty office, nobody was coming in. So we started doing live shows with brands on Shopify, emailing the email database, get them onto the live show explaining products. And TikTok approached us and said, can we help brands go on to TikTok shop. And then their vision was a little bit more. So there’s UK and Indonesia going live at that point. And it was all, you know, live, live, live. It’s all about live shows. And there was some viral content a couple of months ago that was showing these factories in Indonesia, of factories of creators, all in this, you know, offices, yeah, and sort of selling products and going live. You know, I think one of them had seven channels going live 16 hours a day. In the West, it’s been a little bit different. Obviously, it’s launched in the US now as well. And you can leverage the different elements of it depending on your time, what other platforms you’re selling on and you’re like Hannah alluded to the time you had for it. So you can once your products are loaded, you can work with other creators, you know, smaller IKEA model, they go and do the work for you. You pay them a fee. You know, obviously you’re gonna save cost, the more you do yourself, but have you got the time to do it so. And the other side of that is videos and ads as well. So once the products are on there, it’s sharing those with wider audiences. So I get that it’s broad. But the first step is really getting the products on there. And then you can explore all these different possibilities with the creative marketplace on the back of TikTok.

Ben Donovan  10:24
And how does that work, I get my products loaded up on TikTok, and then creators can come and choose to work with me for a commission is that kind of how it works.

Hannah Wu  10:34
So TikTok have created an affiliate program. So it’s all managed through the back end of their panel. So that actually kind of simplifies the process how traditionally people would approach influencers or create those partnerships. So they again, have created that instant connection. So they, what we’ve noticed that they’ve kind of thought about all parts of the entire process for brands and are making it as simple as possible. And it was all quite new. So there are some things that probably will change quite quickly, if it doesn’t work in principle. But again, they’ve created a fulfillment option as well. So yeah, they’ve really thought about the entire cycle for brands to be able to utilize all the options available.

Ben Donovan  11:17
When someone buys a product, or they check it out, then on TikTok, 

Hannah Wu  11:20
Yes, Yeah.

Ben Donovan  11:21
TikTok are processing the payment sending you a payout?

Hannah Wu  11:25
So there’s connectors where you can you can integrate it into your own shop. So then you don’t have to have particularly have multiple panels to be able to, like manage. And so there are options in regards to like how you’ve had the data feeds and whatnot. As I said, I think the reason why most people will probably a bit hesitant is, again, it’s the commitment of knowing what to do, how to do it, is it going to pay off? Yeah, but as we say, TikTok is fantastic for discoverability. For any brands, I guess that’s the main agenda really is discoverability. And really what we think is that going forward companies or brands need to have that omni channel approach from can’t just sell on your website. Now, you’ve got to be on various platforms, you know, promoting yourself, pumping out content, working with collaborators, and yeah, influencers that whole cycle. That’s the that’s kind of what I would say, I see that most brands are the direction they need to go in.

Ben Donovan  12:21
For the brands that you work with, Stu, are they able to try all this with a minimal commitment, do you have to send loads of you talked about TikTok fulfilling products to they have to send loads of products to a fulfillment center, like maybe you would with Amazon? Or can you make sales and fulfill it from elsewhere so you can start with a low commitment? How does that side of it work?

Stuart Conroy  12:42
Yeah, you can. I mean, TikTok keep pushing the fulfilled by TikTok approach. At the moment, there’s no algorithm benefit, like you’d get with prime. I think visually, you’ll start to see the benefit, because it’s, it’s then, you know, they’ll put that stamp saying next day delivery, by those products that are in the Tiktok warehouse. Our advice to clients is, leverage the best of that there’s some good incentives to jump in to fulfill by Tiktok, with time. But we also work with integrated warehouses, where you have a 3PL backup, because, you know, because it’s discoverability, and I’m sure you’ve seen the store has been where some of these products go viral. I was with a client a couple of weeks ago, they woke up woke up to 3000 orders that they kind of weren’t expecting, because it created some, some some work. And it’s sort of so if you’ve, if you’ve got 1000, in the Tiktok warehouse, then you’ve got to get those backup solutions, which is where we work with clients. An example of another client, they’re not selling on any other platform, so they committed purely to TikTok and our work has kind of been reduced on that. So we’ve trained them, we’ve got them used to the platform, they can live three hours a day, four to five times a week. And that really helps the algorithm. So although we’re not seeing live take off as much as it has in the Far East at the moment. For those brands that are committing to it, they’re really getting that, that benefit of more views and more shares. And so but you know, not everybody can commit three hours a day or a team to three hours a day to do live selling. But yeah, that’s where it’s at at the moment.

Ben Donovan  14:19
Is there like an integration needed for a website? Do you need to have a website? Can you have if you want to transact through the website, what’s the dynamic there?

Hannah Wu  14:30
You can? Yeah, I guess it just depends on what what you have. You can have your own Shopify, I think WooCommerce like all the standard kind of platforms, you can get integration into TikTok. So the datafeeds would go back and forth, so or you could just go natively on TikTok.

Ben Donovan  14:47
Yeah. Okay. And then my suppose concern or limitation, maybe for a lot of people in our world at least would be well, I don’t necessarily want to be the face of my brand. We’re making TikToks all day long, creating all this content. The creator platform of TikTok, does that sort of take away some of that? Can you give it to them to create the content, you just give them the product and they create the content for you? How does that dynamic work?

Stuart Conroy  15:14
Yeah, very much. So. To break it down, we’ve kind of made three different types of founders. So those that love talking to the camera all day, every day. And then the second type is those that like to ask questions about their product might not be, you know, so forthcoming and give me information, but happy to share in a q&a type style. And then you’ve got the third founder, who just doesn’t want to be anywhere near it. They love their products. They’re the hugely knowledgeable about their sector, they’ve done all the data analysis and stuff, but they just don’t like doing face to camera sort of stuff. So again, the cheapest way is to go and talk about your products or talk about other products. And as you go through, you’re just going to be submitting, or losing a little bit of margin to those people, they’re helping you build the brand, which isn’t a problem. And again, time is everything. So if you can get other people talking about your products, that you know that they’re building their audiences. And we’ve seen the sort of creator fees changed a little bit, you know, but it’s like, you know, give me 20,000 pounds, I’ll talk about your product, it’s like now, this affiliate scheme makes more sense for brands, and for creators, you know, they can choose products, they, they really, you know, wants to talk about and get revenue from it. 

Ben Donovan  16:30
What kind of percentages is normal?

Stuart Conroy  16:35
Depending on the sector, so we’ve seen anything from 2% to 30%. You know, depending on on the strategy, and if it’s fashion, beauty, obviously, there’s tends to be more margin. in tech, you know, you’re not going to be given away 30%. So, the, in simple terms, I think, you know, creators want products that sell. And that makes it easier, and if they’re passionate about it, yeah. But it just, it makes it easier to get them on board pushing your product.

Ben Donovan  17:07
And you as a brand owner would define how much you’re willing to give us a percentage, and then creators can then come through and choose from the different offers that are available. Is that kind of how it works?

Hannah Wu  17:19
Yeah, I think with a influencer, you’d probably want to be looking for long term relationship as well. It’s not just going to be I’ll just promote my product, and what you generally do, reach out to an influencer or you know, someone on the affiliate scheme. And you would send them a sample, or they might already have your brand and already be kind of like a, you know, indirect brand ambassador for that product. You can negotiate your fees, and then use, as I said, you’d want to look to have a long term relationship rather than just can you do this one video for me. And I think that’s probably going to be more beneficial for brands. And you could do that through quite a few, you probably want to maybe trial, like five different influencers and see what your return on investment is for those. And again, that’s what’s good about the the affiliate scheme that Tiktok has created, it manages all of that for you.

Ben Donovan  18:12
Yeah, good, good, okay. And then when someone, say an influencer is making content about your product, they just like I told you, I was gonna ask him some basic questions. They just like tag the product. And then you can click through to the products and see the product description on TikTok, buy it there. Because you mentioned about website links being removed or not as effective even. Is that kind of how it works with the straight link through to the product?

Stuart Conroy  18:46
Yeah, you’re kind of using your website. But if you’ve got Shopify, it’s more like a catalog where you can upload you can choose which products you want to upload to the platform. And it’s not yeah, Amazon in terms of, you know, Amazon 25 years of streamlining everything that we we go to and how we can easily purchase but yeah, exactly that you tag the product and somebody clicks through. There’s a cart there, they made payment. The interesting thing as well is it’s all of the information stays on the platform. So it’s not like emails, it’s all on platform communications. So it’s a little bit different to those used to Amazon.

Ben Donovan  19:25
Yeah, what about returns?

Hannah Wu  19:28
That’s through TikTok as well. Yeah. So and then managing the entire customer journey really. 

Ben Donovan  19:35
Back end of staff and everything that manages all that what do they do it through you?

Stuart Conroy  19:42
So you can see that so the customer can engage in a refund or return and that’s all done on platform and yeah, similar to to FBA for fulfilled by TikTok in terms of them taking control, but if you’re doing it yourself, then it’s you know, you’re dealing with that engagement.

Ben Donovan  20:00
Yeah. Okay, and what kind of fees the Tiktok charge? Is it similar to Amazon? If you make

Stuart Conroy  20:05
It’s cheap and ridiculously cheap right now? Yeah. So it’s 90 days is 1.8% as a launch offer. And then 5%. And I think that not become super late, you know, Amazon’s coming out of this this as well, you know, this live and philia marketing and getting other people to talk to you. So it’s not just tick tock I think we’re gonna see. Shopify, I’ve got Shopify collabs. So it’s really into this army of salespeople for your brand, not just you. But the more, the more you can be authentic and do your own content as well, I think helps. It’s not essential, but it helps.

Ben Donovan  20:45
Yeah, I suppose I’m drawn to asking questions about TikTok, because it’s obviously not such a massive viewership, massive amount of eyeballs on it. And I think if if I was to do a live stream with Shopify collabs, on my website, it’d be like, maybe my mum would turn up, right. But if I do on TikTok, you just think there’s always the potential that thousands, tens of thousands of people might engage with it. So are there other platforms that say someone that wants to explore this for the first time? Is it just TikTok don’t even consider anything else? Or are there other platforms people should be looking at when it comes to social commerce, quote, unquote,

Hannah Wu  21:22
I think TikTok sorry, is the lowest barrier to entry. It’s got everything for you. As you said, again, it’s like if you wish to have a live on your website, you’ve got to be responsible for driving that traffic. So doing that live isn’t just going live, it’s your marketing around that. Whereas as you said, again, with tick tock, if you go live, and I’ve got, say, I’ve got a notification, I follow you. It’ll be like Ben’s gone live, and then I tune in, and they do very much the legwork for you. So again, if you’re an SME, I would definitely say I would start with Tiktok, lowest barrier to entry, it’s got everything in platform for you. Again, you’re not going to spend thousands of pounds looking for tech suites for life. I think we’ve seen up to some companies quoted up to about 50,000 pounds for that technology to live on your website. So again, SMEs, definitely I’d say TikTok.

Ben Donovan  22:18
Yeah. Okay. And how much of trends is a part of this? Do sellers need to stay on top of what’s working well on TikTok in terms of content that’s going viral is that then becomes a really key skill for founders to really develop,

Hannah Wu  22:34
I think authentication, in my opinion. And I would only jump on a trend. Personally, if I was doing strategy for a brand, I would say only jump on a trend, if it aligns with your brand. There’s no point in just being like, oh, now I’m doing something with hair, when you’re nothing to do with hair like it. It has to make sense. And yeah, authentication, I would say. That’s why also, we recommend, obviously, the brand owner, or at least someone to become that kind of visible person that people can identify with. That’s, that’s how people, like build relationships with or build loyalty more with a company. When they kind of know that person, I don’t feel loyal to BP or shell, I’m going because of the price or where it is convenient. Whereas you know, like, if a company that I do feel loyal to I feel like I know them a bit more. That’s normally because it’s a more of a personal relationship, or I know that the face of the person. Yeah, in regards. It just depends on the brand itself, I guess.

Ben Donovan  23:31
Yeah. So I’ve got a, like a brand, I’m sort of in the process of working on and in my spare time, you know, whatever that is. So he’s going slowly, but I will, I will get there. And I’ve been looking at Tiktok for it, I kind of wanted to avoid it, because I don’t like really, you know, getting on social media and being the face of stuff. But I feel like I probably will need to for this one. So from my perspective, say, for example, Stu, I’m a new client coming to you. I want to really make social commerce TikTok a real core part of what I’m doing, how much do I need to be looking at just normal social media content on TikTok? How much should I be looking at live? How much of a portion is live in the whole dynamic of what you do with your successful clients?

Stuart Conroy  24:18
We’ve got some clients that have just fully committed to live. But I’d say I’d recommend just starting with the crazy platform and doing your own content and you’ll be fine in front of camera, Ben. But that’d be the starting point. And then leverage that before you jump into life. I think. You know, 100% believe the life if you were doing live consistently, you’ll have a faster growth. I understand that. Not everybody’s got the time to do that. But yeah, so it makes really on what what brands are focusing on. And some brands that we work with are a little bit more conscious of like having creators say the wrong thing about their brand or, you know, so they, they get a bit more selective, they want to click and control it with video with live, it’s like they can say anything. So you know, it’s understanding those bits, but also like what Hannah’s built with Lollishop is that community piece? And as more brands in particular helping each other a slightly different angle to what we do.

Ben Donovan  25:22
Yeah, I’d definitely like to hear about that and ask you about that. One last question. Before we do on the live dynamic when you’re talking about live shopping, and you mentioned QVC, I’m imagining, you know, demonstrations of the products. We’re not talking about live where I just go live and do a Q&A with my audience, right? This is, you know, if I’ve got a yoga mat company, I’m gonna be doing yoga on my live and showing them the moves I could do with this amazing yoga mat. That’s kind of the Bible.

Stuart Conroy  25:51
Yeah, 100%. And I think, you know, when we were doing the original shows on Shopify, with beauty brands, to give you an idea, the average viewing time was around 19 to 20 minutes. When you when we started with tick tock, the average viewing time was about 19 to 20 seconds. So you’re getting you know, thousands and tens of thousands, hundred thousand people coming in. And, you know, not all of them are going to be interested, but it’s that sort of, you know, physical shop window, are they going past? Are you capturing them? So yeah, it’s if you can entertain and educate about how to use that product, you’re gonna get those people that want that yoga mat right there, right now. And they’re going to stop, listen, hear what why they should buy that yoga mat. And then it’s an instant purchase, and logistics all tied up. They’re getting in one to two days from that impulse purchase.

Ben Donovan  26:43
And I imagined that, well, obviously social media, you can’t really control where your audiences is tuning in from I know this. I’ve heard of issues where with TikTok, you tend to compile an audience around where the person that’s posting is posting from? I don’t know if you experience that, but if someone’s looking to expand globally, is this a good option? Or is it just, you know, for one location, like, how does that factor in? If I’ve got someone watching from multiple different countries, how do they buy my product, the logistics side of it? I’m stressing myself out just thinking about it. But what there must be some solutions there, right? 

Stuart Conroy  27:17
For the shop content, it’s geo ringfenced, or whatever exact term is. But yeah, so yeah, because we launched in the UK a couple of years ago, and it was only a UK people will see the shopping button, and it will only be served up to those audiences. And suddenly now is expanded to the US and other territories are coming soon. So it would be geo geo fenced peering. Thanks.

Ben Donovan  27:44
Get what you mean when you say that, so I imagined that maybe? Yeah, for sure. So Hannah, Lollishop, tell us a bit about that, and what kind of problem that solves.

Hannah Wu  27:54
So what we’ve created, what we’ve seen, is that a lot of SMEs have done at the time, don’t have the budget and have the resources don’t have the know how to kind of tackle these problems that we have talked about. And so we’ve created Lollishop, which is a brand marketplace, so we would act as the reseller, and we would load your products, and then we push those products up to our TikTok shop. And the reason why is it allows people to be able to utilize and explore, I guess what TikTok has to offer with again, without the commitment without having to build an audience first. And so what we find again, is, one brand might be able to commit to one hour of live, we might find another brand might be able to do three days, you know, back to back, and then nothing for the next month. But collaboratively, that really helps the algorithm because TikTok sees that, as you know, we’re consistently going live. So collaboratively brands help each other grow. We’re not putting dropship products on there. It’s brands,brand founders, it’s great products. And what we’ve seen is that we is a starting entry more or less for brands to be able to quickly go on to live on TikTok shop. And as I said, just like optimize and see what that platform actually can do for their brands. They might work with that strategically in their own TikTok shop. Well, they might get to a point where they don’t need us anymore. The model we’ve we’ve created again, is what we believe is very fair, it’s a pay as you grow model. So we’re not asking for agency fees or anything like that. So yeah, for brands is all about collaboratively helping each other grow. As I said, it’s not open to everyone. It’s great products. Great brands.

Ben Donovan  29:45
Yeah, awesome. And where can people find more out about that?

Hannah Wu  29:48
So is lollishoplive.com. And so we are we done test SRP proof of concept last year, and we know it works and at the moment we’re just is in the process of onboarding brands at the moment. And we’re due to be going live, especially before the big bind season, which is just around the corner.

Ben Donovan  30:06
Yeah, certainly, it’s getting close now. There’s, I feel like we’ve kind of covered like such a broad range of topics today. And you can probably tell that I don’t know much about this, because I’m like, randomly plucking these things out, I really am just keen to know just to give that foundational knowledge really, as it’s something that I think every ecommerce seller really should be exploring and aware of and staying, keeping their finger on the pulse. And on that note, over the next 12, 24 months, I’d love just to finish off the episode, just getting your thoughts not to necessarily have a crystal ball and predict the future. But just the kind of trends you see, with social commerce that sellers really need to be aware of. And yeah, it’d be great to hear from both of you on that aspect. Where do you see this industry going? What are some things that sellers can do to position themselves well, and make sure they make the most of this opportunity?

Hannah Wu  31:01
Stu, first?

Stuart Conroy  31:02
From my side, it’s, it’s understanding what other platforms and that’s as an agency, that’s where we come in, and sort of, you know, when I started selling on Amazon, it was 7% Selling fees, and you didn’t have to do any paid, and it wasn’t possible and

Ben Donovan  31:16
EVS were still in black and white, and you know. 

Stuart Conroy  31:18
Yeah, walk to school and all this. So, yeah, but I really see it leveraging the social platform. So like product launches, or, you know, those Black Friday, promotions and things like that, go nuts, but it’s then leveraging that against your other platforms, you know, where do you want the customer to buy? Where are they most likely to buy? You know, coming into Q4, although fulfilled by TikTok is there. Amazon’s particularly in the US, Amazon still trusted in that Q4 delivery, if you click the button, you know, you’re gonna get it. So this is an agency where we work with brands to understand where they should be getting awareness of that love the fact that the activity is more trackable, because in some ways, housing agencies go oh, do this and 500,000 views and no sales and cyber. So you can see tangible results. And I think that’s the bet that brands will start to use it far more as an I expect methods to come back into YouTube is but it’s a little bit more restricted. Twitch all of these platforms, this creator economy is really going to be at the forefront.

Hannah Wu  32:29
Yeah, I would just add, as I think I’ve already said earlier, by just companies positioning themselves to be able to facilitate multi platforms. And so from an infrastructure level, what does that look like? Because what I generally see is that you get companies who get to a point where they find it really hard to scout, because their tech infrastructure doesn’t allow that. So it’s very clunky processes and things like that. So really, I would be looking at streamlining your internal processes to allow you to grow to be able to facilitate multi channel platforms. And that will just give you an advantage, because what I kind of predict is that people would be saying, Okay, I’ve heard about TikTok, I’ve heard about TikTok, TikTok show up and then everyone decides to jump on it. And then it just you’re then not giving yourself with advantages if you were to jump on it now. 

Ben Donovan  33:24
Yeah, yeah, definitely. It feels like it’s something that we can’t, I certainly can’t keep ignoring, because I suppose I was a bit skeptical. You know, a couple of years ago, how big is this really going to be? But like I say some of the I mean, I saw someone the other day talking about a journal that they were promoting on TikTok, and it’s sold like 300,000 units or something, you know, just on TikTok, I’m like, geez, that’s this serious volume here.

Hannah Wu  33:50
Yeah, small business already been able to utilize TikTok, and they do it very well. So there seems to be some hesitancy in brands. I think this is probably down to a time commitment. But as you said, it will get to a point where you can’t ignore it anymore.

Ben Donovan  34:04
Yeah. Do you think there are particular categories niches product types that it both works well for or doesn’t work for? Or could everybody use it?

Hannah Wu  34:15
I’d say everyone can use it. Some like better than others. It depends a lot on what products you’re selling, what price points if they’re impulsive buying, if you’ve got a reason for someone to buy there. And then so if you’re looking to do a discount or promotion, that obviously works very well. As I said, it’s that kind of like, you’ll probably create wanting to create that impulse buying, giving people a reason to buy. Otherwise, what they’ll do though, is that point just becomes about discoverability, which is never a problem, either. For me any kind of marketing really needs to cover that. Anyway, it’s all about brand awareness, trying to get your brand in front of as many people as possible.

Ben Donovan  34:54
Very cool. Like I said, I feel like I’ve asked lots of random pointing pokey questions. Trying to help me understand this? Is there anything that I haven’t asked that I should have done that you think would be a final last valuable tip for our audience for me to review?

Stuart Conroy  35:09
For myself, I’m just like, if I was launching a brand now, I would get it loaded on Amazon, get it loaded on website, and then focus my energy on TikTok. And like Hannah said, if you get your tech simplified and updated, we provide solutions as well. That to me is the launch strategy, because there’s so many incentives for TikTok as well at the moment. So take advantage of those, it won’t be there forever. Key as well, because as more people go into, it’s gonna get expensive in a year’s time, I think it’d be more expensive than it is today. Yeah.

Ben Donovan  35:51
How about you, Hannah? 

Hannah Wu  35:53
That strategy from shoe. Yeah.

Ben Donovan  35:56
I think it’d be well worth excuse me, six to 12 months time, maybe it is doing another like a follow up episode and maybe doing a deep dive into TikTok specifically? Or was I feel like we’ve kind of like I say, we’ve been at the 10,000 foot kind of bird’s eye view of how it all works. But it’d be good to deep dive into it another time, because there is a lot of potential here isn’t there? And it’s exciting to imagine, what could some of the brands if they really adopted this what what they could do? 

Hannah Wu  36:25

Stuart Conroy  36:27
I think if me and Hannah collaboratively work with you, Ben on your new product launch, and we can give a live case study to the audience in six months time. Sure. I’m sure show it worked. But also some of the challenges or some of the things some of the learnings over that period. 

Ben Donovan  36:42
Yeah, definitely. Give me some accountability to actually make it happen on it. 

Stuart Conroy  36:45

Ben Donovan  36:48
Honestly, yeah, that’d be good. Well, we’ll keep talking about it and keep the audience updated. For sure. Guys, well, where can people find out more about you guys and what you do if they’re interested?

Hannah Wu  36:59
Me, I guess it’s lollishoplive.com or you can come find me on LinkedIn. Those are the two main places so.

Stuart Conroy  37:07
For myself it’s thinkhighlands.com. So loads to the different services we provide to brands, and Stuart Conroy on LinkedIn.

Ben Donovan  37:17
Perfect, we’ll get those linked up in the show notes and description as well. Stuart had it thanks for coming on and teaching a noob how this all works. I appreciate you taking the time out and I’m sure our audience does as well. So yeah, thanks. Thanks for coming on.

Hannah Wu  37:30
Thank you Ben. 

Stuart Conroy  37:31

Ben Donovan  37:33
Awesome guys. Well, I hope you enjoyed that. As you can tell this is pretty new to me maybe is to some of you Let’s go on this journey together. I’m gonna keep exploring this a great topic to delve into and some great resources there in Lonnie shop and Highlands to check out connect with do connect with Hannah and and all that good stuff. If you’ve enjoyed the episode, please do give it a like subscribe, even leave a review if you’re feeling generous, and that we’ll see in the next episode, same time next week. Take care!

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