Record-breaking online sales and updates to the major social channels.

It probably comes as no shock to anyone that we’re seeing the highest records of online shopping in Australia ever. This clearly comes as we all adjust to the “new new normal” (we’re sure by 2021 it will be the new new new normal) which sees some states only just easing out of a lockdown that has seen many brick and mortar locations completely shut for months. This month we also finally get (sort of) some answers to the Microsoft/TikTok debacle, Facebook completely scraps its 20% text rule and Linkedin tests out URL links through their new story platform. Shall we dive in?

1. August 2020 was the biggest month in Australian online shopping history

Can you believe it? Well, you probably can. According to the Auspost reports, Victoria led the way for online purchasing (surprise surprise) as the entire state spent the whole month under stage 4 restrictions, meaning online was pretty much the only way to get anything. Online purchases were up a whopping 85.3% YOY, with 800,000 brand new households shopping online, showing that we’re not just increasing our online shopping habits but people are actually starting theirs too. 22% of people purchased from a website they hadn’t previously used, so if you think that targeting new audiences and gaining new customers during a pandemic was impossible, you’d be very much mistaken. It will be interesting to see how these statistics fare next month as more of Australia starts to open up again and restrictions ease.

Read the Report

2. Tik Tok, Oracle, Microsoft - what is going on?

We reported last month about Microsoft’s plans to buy out TikTok in the USA and we know that you’ve probably been on the edge of your seat waiting to find out what happened with it. Spoiler alert: they haven’t. Their bid got rejected by ByteDance (TikTok’s parent company) and instead there were rumours that Oracle, another computer software company, had outbid them for the app. However, it turns out that they just wanted to invest in TikTok – holding a 12.5% stake and Walmart another 7.5%, with ByteDance still holding the other 80%. It’s still not sure whether this puts the video-sharing app in the hands of the USA (40% of ByteDance is actually owned by US investors anyway) so although they technically have the majority of control, this doesn’t mean they have all of the control. Trump has technically approved the deal, but this doesn’t really mean anything as he could still change his mind and the deal hasn’t technically gone through yet. So, you could say time was (ahem) TikToking.

Side note: The Tik Tok CEO also resigned after just over 3months in the role. Probably not a coincidence.

Read the deepdive

3. Why retailers can’t afford to ignore email

This one isn’t exactly a news story, but we wanted to include it as something important to note for this month. Email is always one of those forgotten channels for a lot of brands, even though it has been proven to be one of the most impactful (it’s 3.4x more effective than any other digital channel when it comes to driving website traffic) and cost-effective digital marketing channels. It’s a way of getting right into the inbox of someone who has actively given you their email (assuming you’re not doing anything dodgy with your email lists of course – this is a big violation of GDPR!), so is something that they’re more likely to click on than a random ad appearing in their feed. It’s generally the thing brands spend the least of their budget on yet can bring in the most revenue – more than paid, social and display. This means that there’s no better time to adapt and strengthen your email marketing – and really reap the rewards.

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4. The 20% Rule is on the way out

One of the biggest grievances for designers is trying to get important messages into creatives without going over Facebook’s 20% text rule – meaning the ad gets penalised and no one sees it. But, some good news: this rule will soon be no more! Facebook has scrapped the 20% rule, meaning creatives with high levels of text will no longer be at a disadvantage. Facebook was keen to point out that images with less text do tend to perform a lot better regardless, but this is great news for brands that want a little more information in their creatives.

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5. Add Links to Linkedin Stories - it’s coming

We reported about the launch of Linkedin Stories back in May’s Bulletin, as a pivotal change in a COVID-19 world, replacing the water cooler moments with video. It’s also part of their first big update in seven years. Well, they’re also now finally adding URL links to stories, similar to Instagram in that users can swipe up to be sent to the link. This is obviously a great option for driving traffic to retail and eCommerce sites from business pages and potentially more sales.

Have you used Linkedin Stories yet?

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6. TikTok creators can soon sell merch directly in the app

This month sees the launch of users of TikTok being able to sell merchandise through the app via commerce platform Teespring. Seeing as TikTok tends to create “celebrities” through the app, this makes total sense. However, it’s not just about T-shirts and mugs, as they’re looking to create more bespoke items that will correlate with the branding of the creator. Some elements are still being ironed out, sich as how the extended platform will appear on videos, but it will be a great way for creators to monetize their time on the app.

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7. Instagram Adding a Frequently Asked Questions section

Instagram might be adding a FAQ section for business accounts! Okay, so this one is a bit of a cheat of a news story, as it’s completely unconfirmed by Instagram at this point but everyone at the TT is hoping it will come to fruition as it would be so helpful for many businesses. It would help with all community management (saving time and money) and make sure the questions that brands can get asked on a daily basis are all in one place, through the app that most social interaction between brand and consumer occurs. Hopefully next month we can reveal that it’s officially happening… So watch this space!

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