The Chinese surveillance balloons, it appears, may not have been the only ones watching carefully and taking note.
With increasingly frosty relations between the Chinese and U.S. authorities, the idea of TikTok being banned in the U.S. has floated from the unthinkable to the distinctly possible and potential rivals have spied an opportunity.
This week Sune — a ‘next-generation experiential’ shopping platform — became the latest to announce its entry into the video shopping arena, with the official launch of its beta mobile app.
And Sune comes with heavyweight backers, as its investor is the parent of home shopping giants QVC
But the companies behind Sune are not the only ones with eyes for an opportunity and their rivals come with equally impressive backers.
Some of America’s biggest retail groups are looking at video-centric platforms and reports have circulated that Walmart
Back in Fall 2020, Oracle and Walmart received tentative U.S. approval for a joint 20% acquisition of a new business to be called TikTok Global. However, with President Joe Biden taking office in early 2021, ByteDance is understood to have cooled interest in the Trump-sanctioned deal, turning instead to alternatives.
That canned deal would have seen Walmart sign up to provide e-commerce, fulfillment, payment, advertising, and other omnichannel services to TikTok Global.
Walmart Launches Social-Inspired Scroll
In the meantime, Walmart has just
In December last year Amazon
When customers see an item in Inspire, they can shop for it in real time on Amazon, tapping on a video or photo to view product details, including Amazon’s famous average star rating, reviews, colors, and price, and then add it to their cart.
As for Sune, the launch marketing spiel gushed: “Through engaging and entertaining videos and livestreams, Sune is a uniquely fun and inspiring way to discover new products, makers, and brands. In the months ahead, Sune will begin to introduce lovable creator personalities and a collection of remarkable and undiscovered brands, while rolling out a calendar of live product drops. It’s an entire ecosystem that offers the opportunity for users to go on their own journey of inspiration and self-discovery through shopping.”
That description may leave you with a little bit of sick in your mouth, but hyperbole aside, in essence the app has been designed to integrate video entertainment with online and in-app shopping.
Consumers will be able to purchase products direct within their feed and tune into influencers and content creators to explore “everything from cult favorites to exclusive limited-edition items”.
Sune Launches Storefronts
Based in New York and backed by video commerce giant Qurate Retail Group
“Unlike other shopping apps, Sune’s mission is to provide a joyful, inspirational, and relaxing experience, where users can easily connect and directly engage with remarkable ‘under-discovered’ products from new and emerging brands,” said Brian Beitler, founder of Sune and general manager of Live Shop Ventures.
“Our goal, as the beta version of Sune evolves, is to elevate mission-driven brands to share their stories and products, while offering new ways for the younger generations to shop by leveraging live and live-like video commerce.”
For brand founders, hosts – or ‘Sunesetters’ – and influencers, brands can manage their assortment, inventory, pricing, and shipping costs and maintain control over their storefronts, access Sune’s in-house remote co-hosting model, and receive guidance on video creation.
The battle for video shopping has, it seems, only just begun.