- MikMak, the mobile video shopping service, is working with marketers to test its new application that seeks to drive online sales through social media. Called MikMak Attach, the feature connects branded commercials that appear on Instagram and Snapchat with a shopping cart, Digiday reported.
- GoPro, Birchbox, Dr. Brandt Skincare, Beautyblender and SheaMoisture are among the companies testing the videos on Instagram Stories and Snap Ads. Mobile users can swipe the video and be instantly connected to the brand’s e-commerce window without ever leaving the social media app. Tapping the “Add to Cart” link will put the product in a virtual shopping cart for purchase.
- MikMak runs the risk of being shut down by Instagram, which has allowed verified accounts to add links to product pages since November. The major difficulty with those links is that they don’t offer a smooth transition to product pages, Lorelei Orfeo, senior manager of social and content at Birchbox, told Digiday.
Adding the emotional appeal of video to social media branding is a key way to engage mobile audiences, and MikMak’s tests may prove its power in driving transactions. Dr. Brandt Skincare this month started testing MikMak Attach and saw a six-fold jump in direct sales conversion from Instagram Stories in 10 days, Digiday reported.
Engagement becomes especially important as marketers crowd into social media apps, with one estimate showing more than 70% of brands using Instagram this year, compared with about 50% in 2016.
In general, social commerce has struggled to take off and platforms like Twitter have walked back Buy button pushes, in part because some consumers are reticent to share their sensitive financial information with social platforms. But programs like MikMak's show there is interest in social commerce from both consumers and brands. The question is whether third-part efforts like MikMak's or direct strategies from the major platforms will gain the upperhand.
Third-party providers of technologies — including MikMak, Like2Buy and Dash Hudson — that rely on a social media app face the risk of being blocked or severely hampered. Social media providers like Facebook, Twitter or Snap are almost certain to develop a greater range of proprietary services that will give advertisers a more seamless link between a marketing message and a transaction.
Instagram and Snapchat usage skew toward younger audiences, and the under-18 set is less likely to make online purchases without access to a credit or debit card. Still, an estimated 300 million people use Instagram every day, with about two-thirds of that audience in the key demographic of 25 to 44 years old. Meanwhile, an estimated 100 million people use Snapchat Stories each day.