Levi’s is leveraging its advertising partnership with TikTok to connect online shoppers with the denim brand amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced retailers to close their doors — including most of Levi’s own stores. The company announced today its success as one of the first retailers to use TikTok’s “Shop Now” buttons that allow consumers to make purchases through links posted to TikTok. Though the implementation is still in the early stages, Levi’s says it has already seen high engagement and increased traffic to its website, as a result of initial tests.
To send traffic to its e-commerce site, Levi’s recently partnered with TikTok influencers Callen Schaub, Cosette Rinab, Gabby Morrison and Everett Williams, who used Levis’ laser-powered Future Finish 3-D denim customization technology to create their own customized denim. While the collaboration itself began before the shelter-in-place orders rolled out across the U.S., the resulting videos were only posted last week.
TikTok users viewing the influencers’ videos, which appeared on TikTok as in-feed ads, could then click to buy the same design on Levi.com up until the experiment wrapped on April 19.
Levi’s reports that watch time for these videos were twice as long as the TikTok platform average:
@callenschaubIn my Montreal studio putting my spin on the Levi’s® Future Finish jeans – Shop online from home! ##stayhome ##oddlysatisfying ##levishausmiami ##ad♬ original sound – callenschaub
In addition, Levi’s notes that product views to Levi.com’s “Future Finish” pages more than doubled for every product included in the experience.
Though these are not hard numbers, few retailers have yet to share the results of their TikTok-powered social commerce efforts. In fact, the “Shop Now” call-to-action button itself is fairly new, so only a handful of advertisers have used the option to date.
TikTok is not the first social network the Levi’s brand has worked with — it also has similar partnerships with top social platforms like Snap, Instagram and Pinterest. However, the company said it was drawn to TikTok due the size of its audience, noting that in November 2018 TikTok was then seeing 680 million monthly active users worldwide, and is now estimated to have as high as 800 million. Levi’s also noted that nearly 60% of that user base is in between the ages of 16 to 24.
TikTok, meanwhile, has been dabbling in social commerce for over a year through a variety of efforts.
For example, AdWeek in April 2019 reported on Hollister’s participation in a program that allowed retailers to run in-feed ads that directed customers to its e-commerce site by a “Shop Now” button. And Digiday last July noted Poshmark had done the same. In August 2019, Kroger became the first brand to try a new Hashtag Challenge Plus feature, which added a shoppable component to a TikTok hashtag.
Last November, TikTok also began to allow some TikTok users to add e-commerce links to their posts and their bios. Many of the beta participants testing this feature began linking from their video directly to Amazon, The WSJ reported at the time.
In the case of the Levi’s influencer program, the videos from the creators ran as in-feed ads, linked to the retailer’s website. Some influencers also included a Levi’s website link in their bio, but this is separate from the advertiser-facing feature (see photo on right).
“TikTok was the perfect platform for us to expand our efforts in social commerce. Over the last decade, we’ve been on a journey to not only grow our digital footprint, but also help our fans buy our products at the point of inspiration, when they see something they love,” said Brady Stewart, managing director, U.S. Direct to Consumer, in a statement about the TikTok partnership. “As consumer behavior shifts over the coming months and people explore different online channels for shopping and engaging with brands, we are here to connect with consumers, wherever they are,” he added.
The line between social media and commerce has been blurring for years, thanks to influencer-fueled advertising, in-feed ad units, shoppable media and more. Instagram today even lets you shop from some retailers without leaving its app. Meanwhile, Facebook’s Marketplace has turned into an eBay and Craigslist-sized rival and its business Pages help customers and brands connect in a number of ways.
TikTok, however, has only dipped a toe in the water of social commerce as of yet. But given its app’s sizable reach, particularly among Gen Z, it’s an area to watch. And as the pandemic forces more retailers to remain closed to foot traffic in stores, being able to attract young shoppers to their online shops will be more valuable than ever.
Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster
Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.
Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update
On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.
Our December 2021 product reviews update is now rolling out for English-language pages. It will take about three weeks to complete. We have also extended our advice for product review creators: https://t.co/N4rjJWoaqE
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) December 1, 2021
The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.
A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:
“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.
Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.
Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”
Continue Reading Below
Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.
The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.
The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.
The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.
Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update
Product Review Update Targets More Languages?
The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.
Continue Reading Below
But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.
This is his question:
“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.
So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.
…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”
John Mueller answered:
“I don’t know… like other languages?
My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.
But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.
But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.
I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.
But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.
And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.
So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.
But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”
Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?
While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.
Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.
One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.
It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.
Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update
Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines
John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global
Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark
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