Hi there, 

When I'm not in the middle of a gripping book or when it's late at night, and my willpower is weak, like any other mortal, I binge short, specifically irrelevant, videos. Why I enjoy watching a man cook meat in the middle of a forest (I'm a vegetarian?!) or glean some weird satisfaction from watching a sheep get sheared after 5 years  - I'm not sure. But I do. 

In a recent expedition into the tunnels of the Snapchat discover page, I stumbled across the world of "Tiktok made me buy it" or "Dopest Amazon finds" videos and learned several things. My life would be better if my kitchen sponge had a bed frame. I'd hydrate more if my bottle was as fashionable as I am, and I don't need to strain an extra finger while propping a book open. The delightful soap dispenser is self-explanatory, I believe. 

Although I'm a little late to the party, TikTok has been playing hopscotch with supply chains for a while now. The video app causes products to blow up at an alarming rate, increasing demand to the point where it's impossible to get your hands on a tub of that pink goo that helps you clean dirty surfaces. Haven't you heard of The Pink Stuff? C'mon. 

TikTok is now a marketing holy grail for small businesses, with several achieving explosive success overnight. TikTok's success stories are inspirational; you could be a slime maker, a guy who makes rings out of old spoons, or a 14-year-old selling scrunchies (who created a six-figure business by the time she turned 15!) - there's a success story waiting to happen for you. 

There is rapid innovation happening in eCommerce. With Amazon Livestream shopping, Instagram's shopping tab, Youtube's experiments with affiliate marketing, and TikTok's in-app storefronts (in testing), Temu, the latest Chinese shopping app sensation in the US - social media shopping heralds the new shiny wave in eCommerce. 

Platforms are vying to be the preferred channels for social media shopping, and businesses are searching for the next springboard of virality. Everyone's working to improve the consumer's experience because even a tiny change, a minor removal of friction, can translate into thousands of dollars in sales. 

In this week's Compass, let's look at how you can make your end-user experience more seamless. Whether you're selling B2B software or colorful tie-dyed hijabs, customer (experience) is king.

What we’re reading

This article details the increasing emphasis on shopping functionalities by all major social platforms. The state of social shopping: How platforms like TikTok, Instagram and YouTube are battling for e-commerce dollars [Business Insider]

A deeper dive into how Temu beat Amazon, Walmart, and its Chinese competitor Shein, to the top of iOS charts. How the obscure shopping app Temu is now America’s most downloaded [MIT Technology Review]

For your weekend reading: As we talk about macro trends in eCommerce, here is a relevant essay by neuroscientist Erik Hoel on making rational realistic predictions for 2050. Futurists have their heads in the clouds.

Sometimes you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, tried and tested can create magic

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