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Kantar, PepsiCo, Tiny Buds, and realme share promising insights on the future of PH ecommerce at the TikTok Shop Kickstart CxO Roundtable

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Philippines’ ecommerce market is projected to be one of the biggest channels for brands in 2024, and TikTok, as the world’s most-downloaded app, is set to be a major part of its growth. Those projections were shared at TikTok Shop Kickstart, a CxO roundtable presented by TikTok Shop PH last February 28, 2024, at The Grand Hyatt Manila, Bonifacio Global City, with insightful talks from Kantar, PepsiCo, Tiny Buds, and realme Philippines, as well as some of TikTok’s own local and global leaders.

The event provided a mix of intriguing data and encouraging case studies from TikTok Shop and its top brands. Since its launch in the Philippines in 2022, TikTok Shop has been one of the country’s most active online selling platforms, creating a seamless journey from discovery to purchase as users hop from entertaining videos to the app’s online storefront. With the introduction of TikTok Shop Mall, sales have soared even higher, as users can now engage with brands through official store pages.

Here’s what each featured brand had to say about the blossoming future of ecommerce in the country, and the role TikTok Shop is playing in boosting its growth:

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Kantar: ecommerce might be the fastest-growing shopping channel in the Philippines, but brands aren’t taking full advantage of it yet

According to a 2023 report by global consultancy Kantar, the increased reliance on online shopping necessitated by pandemic lockdowns has led to explosive growth in ecommerce, especially in the Philippines. 

“Before the pandemic, there were only 6 percent of households buying online,” said Kantar Worldpanel Division Analytics Director Mark Pascual. “In 2023, this is three-times. Close to 20% of households are now buying their consumer packaged goods online.”

Kantar Worldpanel Division Analytics Director Mark Pascual

Despite this growth, however, actual market penetration for ecommerce in the country is still lower than other major markets in the region. There is still a lot of work to be done to increase widespread adoption of online shopping, and brands will need to improve on their ad equity –  the receptiveness of consumers to their ads – if they want to take full advantage of ecommerce’s growth in the region.

“On average, when consumers say that they’re not that receptive to seeing ads on certain platforms, the average bandwidth or impact that we’re seeing across awareness, favorability, purchase intent, or imagery for the brand, the average is actually less than 1%,” explained Kantar Insights Division Media Solutions Lead Alicia Amistad

“However, on channels where consumers say that they are open to seeing ads on these certain digital and traditional channels, we can see that the average impact is seven-times higher.”

PepsiCo: Platforms like TikTok Shop can provide invaluable support as growth partners through meaningful consumer touchpoints

For PepsiCo, customizing ads for higher ad equity is all a matter of working with each platform as a growth partner. The company was able to achieve a 600% uplift in GMV, and it’s all because TikTok Shop’s collaborative brand solutions helped them understand their audiences on a deeper level.

“The consumer on TikTok is very different. What they are wanting is more meaningful experiences, more conversations to have with them. And that’s what really changed,” said Harjyot Singh, PepsiCo APAC Sector Lead for Media, Digital Transformation & Capabilities.

In a separate interview with adobo Magazine at the event, PepsiCo Total Foods Commercial Director-PH, and Total Foods Marketing Director-SEA and NA Adriann Eusebio explained that these learnings helped the company diversify their communications strategy on TikTok, which led to impressive sales on TikTok Shop.

Adriann Eusebio, PepsiCo Total Foods Commercial Director-PH, and Total Foods Marketing Director-SEA and NA

“With TikTok Shop, we don’t just lead communication by ourselves,” Ari said. “We’re able to work with affiliates, content creators, and they’re able to translate the same message in an even more meaningful way to the consumers, who then appreciate the products and understand why these products would matter or add value to whatever they’re celebrating.”

Sharing recipes on the platform, for example, has been a tremendous success for Quaker, with regular users creating recipe videos of their own — effectively advocating for the Quaker Oats brand. Overnight oats recipes, in particular, generate a lot of interest for TikTok’s audience, as they value ease and convenience in their fast-paced lives.

The launch of “Flavors of the World” for Lay’s, on the other hand, created a lot of buzz on TikTok due to the novelty of the flavors, leading to the product selling out multiple times.

“I think the more a brand creates authentic dialogue with the consumers, understands them, tells them that this is a brand we created for you, these are products we created for you, and also hears what they have to say, then the longer-lasting a relationship can be. And that’s something that we’re starting right now,” Ari said.

Tiny Buds: Virality evens the playing field for brands at all scales

Tiny Buds, which produces natural baby care products, was one of the more inspiring success stories at KickStart. The company hadn’t fully matured as a brand yet when one of their products suddenly started going viral on TikTok. Demand soared virtually overnight, and the company has grown to be one of the most recognizable local businesses for baby products in the Philippines.

Lorin Tan, Tiny Buds Co-founder

“I cannot stress enough that virality is real,” said Tiny Buds Co-founder Lorin Tan. “It is a phenomenon that has changed the way customers make decisions. Virality on TikTok is the ultimate equalizer.”

“For the first time, smaller brands and smaller creators have an equal chance to gain popularity,” she continued. “It’s not at all about how many followers you have; overnight, an unknown product of yours can become a bestseller. And what’s gonna happen? Your entire operations will get impacted, and in some cases, it can also change lives.”.

And while virality cannot be fully manufactured, TikTok Shop’s insights and solutions go a long way towards helping brands create content that resonate with their target audiences. The platform has since become a key point of investment for Tiny Buds as they continue to grow with the support of both TikTok and its engaged communities.

realme: The right mix of in-platform solutions can often lead to record-breaking sales

“TikTok Shop also plays an integral role in the success of realme campaigns,” shared realme Philippines Ecommerce Officer Hershey Ngo

Hershey Ngo, realme Philippines Ecommerce Officer

2023 was a banner year for the mobile device brand, breaking sales record after sales record with the help of an effective multi-channel strategy on TikTok Shop. Not only did they break the record for fastest time to sell out of a product with their launch of the realme Note 50, which sold 10,000 units in just four hours, but they also achieved the record for the highest single-day sales with a staggering revenue of PHP 83 million.

None of this would have been achieved, Hershey said, without a strategy built around TikTok Shop’s in-platform solutions: “[TikTok] provides support through various platform resources such as banners, search keywords, and flash sales for us, which aids to increase the brand’s exposure within the platform. TikTok also connects realme to content creators. Because TikTok is a short-form video platform with a massive user base, we are able to garner views and engagement both organically and with the help of TikTok ads.”

“We are optimistic that we will reach greater heights this 2024,” she added.

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