Kroger Utilizes TikTok’s Shoppable Ads

On Episode 36 of the E-Commerce Retail Briefing podcast:

TikTok has become a trending new topic for retailers. The emerging social media platform is one of the most popular apps in the Gen Z demographic and offers marketers new ways to reach their target audience. Kroger is now experimenting with the platform’s shoppable ads for their back to school promotion.

  • In a company press release, Brooks Running Company announced they partnered with Locally to launch same-day delivery in 10 major U.S. cities. Stores will fulfill orders and deliver items through one of Locally’s partners, Deliv or Postmates. The move comes as the company invests in improving other areas of its operations, including enhancing their customer service team and allowing store associates to drop-ship Brooks products to customers. The announcement adds Brooks to a growing list of retailers who are offering same-day delivery options. Other retailers like Walmart and Home Depot have also incorporated similar strategies as consumers except quicker delivery times.
  • new study revealed that mobile app inbox messages have an average open rate of more than 22%, a considerable amount more than the 5% open rate push notifications received. Push notification content mostly contains alerts that don’t require further action, a leading reason for their low open rates. Mobile email open rates also dropped to 44% in 2018 from 49% the previous year. However, click through rates for marketing messages jumped 20% from the year prior, possibly indicating that content optimization for mobile devices contributed to growth according to the report. The new study provides insight into ways marketers should approach their mobile messaging strategies and reveals the limitations of tactics like push notifications.  
  • Point of sale provider, Square, just rolled out Order API. The new feature allows merchants to manage order fulfillment within the Square system. In Square’s announcement, they said vendors were often frustrated at having to use multiple vendors to build a system that worked. Square’s new API now allows developers to consolidate the order management process under one system.

Mobile Apps Create Strategy Options For Small And Large Retailers

Could small retailers benefit from creating their own mobile app? Mobile shopping app use in the U.S. has grown 70% over the past two years according to a report and has proven to be an essential strategy for larger online and brick-and-mortar brands alike. The report notes that retailers like Nike have used mobile apps to merge mobile and in-store experiences.

Apps are a vital part of major retailers marketing strategies by remaining a key channel for reaching consumers, but they can also prove to be a useful tool in gaining and building relationships with customers. A 2018 report from Braintree found that 58% of shoppers browse e-commerce apps or websites on their mobile phones with 38% doing so at least once a week. 

Shanlee Johnson, owner and founder of Little Birdies Boutique, said launching a mobile app allowed her to pick up data points she wasn’t otherwise able to with a mobile-optimized site alone. For smaller retailers, an app would allow them access to valuable metrics like app retention rates plus daily and monthly active users. An app would also give small retailers another avenue for customer engagement. They’ve also proven useful to increase foot traffic for brick-and-mortar locations.

In a competitive landscape for both large and small retailers, having an app is another way to stand out.   

Kroger Uses TikTok To Target The Gen Z Demographic

With 4 million members of Gen Z reaching adulthood each year and an estimated $143 billion in spending up for grabs, Kroger has started marketing on the demographic’s most popular social media platform. According to AdWeek, Kroger is using social video sharing app, TikTok, to feature shoppable offers on back to school products. 

The grocery chain has partnered with four social media influencers to post videos promoting the company’s hashtag and encourage users to upload videos of their dorm room transformations. According to TikTok, Kroger is the first retailer to do a sponsored hashtag challenge as part of the platform’s shoppable content. The hashtag lets users shop for Kroger products like laundry baskets, popcorn makers, and more on a dedicated page designed for the college-age demographic. Users can also browse Kroger’s site within the app.

Converting social media engagement into sales remains a challenge for marketers targeting the Gen Z audience, with only 7.4% of their spending going toward e-commerce. The demographic tends to use social media to research brands and products, so Kroger’s ability to use TikTok’s in-app purchasing feature could help turn that engagement into a purchase. Other retailers, including Chipotle, have already proven how the app can be used to create relationships with customers. The emerging social media platform has provided another avenue for retailers to remain relevant in an ever-evolving landscape.