Will a TikTok-like video feature make a grocery app go viral?
Short videos like those found on TikTok are a major source of entertainment today, especially for generations Gen Z and younger. Now an online grocery startup is utilizing the short, user-generated video model on a platform of its own to get customers engaged with its products.
Weee, an online grocery platform that specializes in hard-to-find Asian and Hispanic cuisine, encourages its customers to upload short recipe/favorite product videos so that the customer community can view them using the app’s TikTok-like functionality, according to CNBC. Shoppers can buy snacks and ingredients on display in those videos directly from the app.
The startup recently brought on film director John M. Chu as the chief creative officer. Mr. Chu is considering adding other creative and immersive features to the app, such as song playlists to accompany particular recipes, and follow-up emails detailing the history of a product after purchase. The app has a selection of more than 10,000 products. The company ships fresh groceries in 18 states and shelf-stable ones to the entire continental U.S.
Others in grocery have been working on finding ways to leverage shoppable video as customers get more comfortable with the technology.
Late in 2021, regional grocer Albertsons launched a partnership with tech platform Firework to make shoppable short-form videos available on the grocer’s websites, with an eye toward eventually enabling livestream grocery shopping.
The TikTok platform in particular has proven capable of giving retailers a bump if they can hitch a promotion to the right meme.
For instance, early in the pandemic when brick-and-mortar retailers had to close their doors to the public due to nationwide lockdowns, mom-and-pop candy retailer Candy Me Up was able to save and even boost its business using TikTok. In March of 2020, the store owners started a TikTok account and began posting short videos of themselves playing around in the store. They also posted a video of themselves doing the then-viral Jelly Fruit challenge, which helped sell a pallet of 1,200 difficult-to-find Jelly Fruit candies. While the retailer had built an Instagram following over years, it quickly established a TikTok following of more than 40,000 users.
- Asian grocery start-up Weee draws shoppers with tradition, tech and a dash of Hollywood – CNBC
- Is livestream grocery shopping on the way to the U.S.? – RetailWire
- Retailer saves itself at the buzzer with TikTok – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think the inclusion of TikTok-style, user-generated videos on a platform like Weee will boost engagement and sales? Do you expect large numbers of retailers to incorporate TikTok-style user generated videos as part of their product descriptions?