Ly Nguyen, a 24-year-old recruitment executive at an investment management firm, opens her TikTok app the second she wakes up, a habit she has formed since the short-form video hosting service was launched in Vietnam three years ago.
“I’ve gotten used to watching TikTok videos before I even get up, and then in between breaks from work,” Ly reveals.
While she’s not actively uploading her own videos, calling herself a “mere viewer,” she says TikTok has become her go-to app to discover new trends, emerging social media personalities, and brands.
“I couldn’t count the number of times I was tempted to buy things because they were popular on TikTok,” adding that even her choice of sunscreen brand was influenced by the platform. Talk about #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt.
Data published in ByteDance’s advertising resources indicate that Tiktok has 39.91 million users in Vietnam, about 40.8% of the total population. TikTok usage in the country also far outweighs Instagram, which only has 11.65 million users, according to 2022 data from Meta.
TikTok took over as Vietnam’s most favorite short-video platform last year, as more young Vietnamese turned to the app to cope with the lockdown.
Furthermore, the platform is changing the marketing and brand experience in Vietnam, where consumers are becoming more discerning about what they want to watch, support and purchase. In a Vietnam Innovators episode in January, Aniq Syed, deputy managing director of Publicis Media, said marketers should take advantage of shoppertainment propelled by TikTok.
TikTok’s shoppertainment is content-driven commerce that seeks to entertain and educate first, while combining content and community to create highly immersive shopping experiences.
Shoppertainment — The future of commerce
Consumer expectations are rapidly evolving in the modern commerce landscape. It’s not anymore about whether a brand is internationally acclaimed or an emerging startup. For many consumers, shopping now involves a deeper and more genuine connection with the product.
The evolving area of shoppertainment presents an intriguing pathway to attract consumers through a video-first, sound-on format that engages consumers deeply and delivers content that they care about.
Comprehensive research by TikTok and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found that this new commerce movement could unlock a $1 trillion opportunity for brands in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region by 2025. It will be the “most lucrative high-growth market” in the coming years, with mainstream marketers barely skimming its surface at present.
“The shoppertainment opportunity in APAC is projected to expand to a market value of over $1 trillion by 2025, doubling from the $500 billion value today,” the BCG report reads.
Indonesia, Japan, and South Korea will contribute 67% of gross market value in shoppertainment by 2025, reflecting their large and established e-commerce bases.
Vietnam and Thailand add to the mix of some of APAC’s most exciting growth markets, and, alongside Australia, will contribute to a remarkable 63% CAGR over the next three years, quadrupling the market value from USD 24 billion to USD 100 billion.
An extremely digitally connected region, where an average consumer spends 6.7 hours online daily, APAC opens wide doors for marketers and brands seeking to encourage greater engagement in the face of changing consumer appetites. Consumers are now ready and able to steer their own journeys to achieve their e-commerce needs, empowered by expanding technology capabilities and growing online confidence.
As a solid example, international cosmetics brand Garnier launched a big-impact TikTok campaign in Vietnam to promote its new serum skincare product. Garnier collaborated with Gen-Z brand ambassador and celebrity Amee to create a signature music track with a hashtag challenge to promote wider organic engagement during the 12.12 shopping festival, with urgency generated through inspiring pop-up adverts. The campaign resulted in 283 million video views, driving a 30% uplift in sales on the Shopee e-commerce platform and leading to a 6.6% increase in brand recommendations.
Meeting consumers’ emotional needs
Shoppertainment is suited to certain high-desire segments and categories. Fashion and accessories are categories where creativity and visual entertainment content can drive up appeal. The rise of beauty and personal care products in commerce have historically been propelled by how-to videos and educational content, which naturally fits well with expert personalities and recommendations from trusted communities.
Electronic devices are a category where product reviews gain significant traction, with added convenience for trusted recommendations of new and exciting arrivals, in which entertainment-first strategies can be a key differentiator.
The food and beverage sector is where inspiration and visual content can also drive consumer decisions. Together, these categories contribute more than half of the projected total market value.
Household items, mother and child products, and travel are also seen to gain from shoppertainment.
But for these to fully materialize, brands need to take action to meet consumers' emotional needs. BCG survey found that consumers favor authenticity (47%), engaging video content (38%), and freedom (38%) when a certain brand is introduced to them on the digital platform. Nearly 20% also emphasized the importance of storytelling, complemented with elements that create sense of learning as well as comedic aspects to entertain.
Marketing leaders should look to the lucrative sweet spot which aligns brand aspiration with consumer inspiration, driving commerce growth through the entertainment-first and commerce-second approach.
“This is about embracing the chance to bridge a divide between consumer expectation and engagement, and in doing so, carve out a lucrative share of a trillion-dollar shoppertainment opportunity,” BCG concludes.