TikTok, YouTube and Instagram are set to be the “future of ecommerce” as short video sharing platforms continue to attract sellers.
According to US venture capital giant Andreessem Horowitz “it has become increasingly clear that short video clips are the future of e-commerce”.
Platforms such as Chinese giant TikTok, which announced last month that it was due to begin allowing shoppable links in its videos, should be thought of as “compulsively watchable commercials – with a direct link to buy”, the group added.
In a blogpost published last week, Andreessem Horowitz argued that manufacturers, craftspeople and entrepreneurs are using the platforms to bypass retailers and sell to shoppers directly.
Alibaba’s platform Taobao already utilises this technology on a massive scale, with around 42 per cent of its millions of product pages offering short videos or live streaming.
Western brands are also beginning to make significant moves into the ecommerce sector, with Instagram’s “checkout” feature thought to already be worth $10 billion in annual revenue.
“Soon we will think of video apps as a platform not only for entertainment, but for retail.
“In the future, as more apps become super-apps, ‘click to purchase’ will be ubiquitous. But the potential of short video extends far beyond straightforward transactions into the marketing and discovery phase, showcasing craftsmanship, tutorials, and product tests, and more.
“A 2018 survey found that 85% of millennials in the US reported buying a product or service after watching a video. As video apps launch native shops and integrate with third-party platforms, that statistic is likely to rise.”