Influencer and creator commerce has heated up considerably since Apple and Google clamped down on the use of tracking cookies, making direct-to-consumer (D2C) connections aided by influencers critically important to sales efforts for many brands.
After a flurry of recent social commerce moves from Walmart to TikTok there’s new movement, with creator-guided shopping platform LTK announcing on Tuesday (Sept. 27) that its new LTK Creator app makes monetizing content — and driving sales — simpler and more direct.
In the first of two announcements made on Tuesday during its LTKCon 2022 event, the company said it is adding in-app checkout to the LTK app. Until now, shoppers wanting to buy an item featured by an influencer were taken off-app to complete their transactions.
Per that press release, the feature is called “Buy Now on LTK” and the company said, “Coming soon, LTK shoppers will be able to purchase select products without leaving the LTK shopping app for the first time ever for a more convenient and seamless experience.”
“We are committed to creating the world’s most powerful, convenient and personalized shopping experience for consumers, creators and brands,” LTK Co-founder and President Amber Venz Box said. “We created Buy Now on LTK to deliver the seamless shopping experience brands and shoppers both expect.”
“The LTK in-app checkout experience will open first to select retail partners, with plans to expand to more top retailers,” according to that announcement, which notes, “More than 6,000 brands and retailers are currently integrated into the LTK creator and shopping platform.”
In a summer interview with PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, Kit Ulrich, general manager of consumer platform and experience at LTK said, “One thing that we talk about quite a bit at LTK, and this is true across all of retail, is bringing purchase confidence to consumers. The way I think of purchase is confidence, is that moment, as a consumer, when you pull out your credit card.”
Asked then about plans around in-app purchasing, Ulrich was mum, as the plans were still under wraps awaiting the dual announcements.
Winning Friends and Influencing Customers
Also on Tuesday, LTK announced its app overhaul, giving creators and influencers “a more streamlined experience along with access to powerful data analytics to effectively accelerate their business and quickly understand their performance across all channels.”
A redesigned home screen displays “earnings snapshots and give creators real-time updates on brand deals and commissions. Creators can also now see a roundup of their top selling products, top trending brands and post performance by channel directly in the app to help with content strategy planning,” the company said.
In that announcement, Venz Box said, “LTK pioneered a new lane for creators, empowering them to offer their own world-class shopping experience for followers. The new LTK Creator app is built for the modern creator who has new efficiency needs that LTK is uniquely able to meet.”
Reporting on the developments, Bloomberg wrote, “Adding shopping to its standalone app makes it more of a destination, potentially drawing influencers and their fans to spend more time there than on other social media, and boosting its shopping business. LTK is betting that if shoppers have fewer steps to checkout on a purchase, they’ll be more likely to spend money.”
PYMNTS data supports that. In “Building A Better Online Checkout Experience: The Key Features That Matter To Customers,” a PYMNTS and Checkout.com collaboration, surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. consumers about smooth payments experience versus more deals.
That study found that consumers are most frustrated with social media checkout experiences, saying “social media marketplaces are particularly friction-laden, with shoppers experiencing at least one pain point in 60% of their most recent transactions. Twenty-six percent of consumers who purchased through a brand’s official website or app report at least one issue, while 27% experienced friction when buying through an online marketplace.”
By moving to in-app purchasing, LTK and others in the sector can provide the smooth experience that leads to loyalty, as over 66% of respondents to ‘Building A Better Online Checkout Experience’ said checkout experience is highly influential in repeat purchases.