- Kroger is using TikTok, a rapidly growing social media app, to feature shoppable offers on back-to-school products, according to Adweek.
- The grocer is partnering with four influencers to post videos promoting its campaign hashtag #TransformUrDorm and to encourage people to share videos of their dorm room transformations on social media. Kroger is reportedly the first retailer to issue a sponsored hashtag challenge as part of the platform's shoppable content.
- The hashtag lets social media surfers shop for Kroger products like granola bars, laundry baskets, and popcorn makers on a dedicated mobile page designed to appeal to the college-age demographic. Users can also browse Kroger's site within the TikTok app.
As Gen Z heads to college and starts solidifying their shopping habits, securing loyalty early on is an important step for retailers. With 4 million Gen Zers reaching adulthood each year and an estimated $143 billion in spending up for grabs, Kroger is ramping up its marketing on one of the most popular social media platforms with the coveted demographic.
Translating social media engagement into sales remains a hurdle for advertisers targeting Gen Z, with e-commerce accounting for just 7.4% of their spending. Gen Z tends to use social media to research purchases and discover new brands, pointing to how Kroger could use TikTok's in-app purchasing to ease mobile transactions and turn engagement into sales.
Launched in 2018, TikTok is an international version of a Chinese short-form video app, Douyin, that combines aspects of Snapchat and Vine, according to IGD RetailAnalysis, encouraging users to upload "short, creative, and quirky videos." Most of the app's users are between 16 and 24 years old and spend an average of 45 minutes each day perusing user-generated videos in the app.
In addition to Kroger, Chipotle used TikTok last year to encourage users to post videos of its burrito bowl lids. Fast food restaurants, in particular, have demonstrated how powerful the tool can be when it comes to creating direct relationships with customers.
According to Hootsuite, 69% of U.S. adults have at least one social media account, and the average American has about 7.1 social media accounts. Grocers have come to realize the Instagram-worthy appeal of colorful displays, local products and more in recent years. Shopify recently identified Whole Foods as one of the most engaging retailers on Instagram.
However, staying relevant in the ever-evolving social media space means retailers must familiarize themselves with the latest platforms and use them in ways that feel authentic to users.