NEW DELHI: Flipkart and Amazon have a reason to thank the controversial TikTok. Popularity of the Chinese social media app, which lets people record short videos and post them online, has boosted sales of mobile phone tripods and accessories up to 10 times in a year.
Tripods to prop up smartphones while recording videos and other products like mobile holders, connectors and on-the-go cables are selling like hot cakes across ecommerce platforms and retail stores in India as more and more people take to the video-sharing app to showcase their ‘talent.’
Flipkart and Amazon told ET that they’ve seen a huge spike in product categories, with sales sky rocketing to anywhere between 300% and 10 times within a year. More interestingly, higher sales are emanating from small towns and cities said industry insiders, where people use apps like TikTok in the hope of becoming social media influencers, and in turn get money from advertisers to plug in their product in a bid to be seen by the large follower base. “The biggest killer app today is Tiktok, more so in rural markets.
Short-duration video-sharing will become the biggest killer app in India, which is driving the sale of these value-added mobile phone accessories such as LED flashlights, tripods and stands,” said brand specialist Harish Bijoor. “Video sharing is value addition, and value addition has monetary benefit.
The more the number of followers you have on your video sharing app, the better, and the more visual you share, the quicker you become an influencer, and then monetary benefits follow,” said Bijoor.
Despite its popularity, TikTok has been in focus globally and in India on concerns of privacy violations, data security and being an easy vehicle for online bullying. The Prime Minister has directed the IT ministry to keep a close watch on the app.
In a statement to ET, TikTok said it has over 200 million Indian users across tier I, II and III cities. India has some 500-550 million smartphone users currently.
“TikTok has given people an avenue and a voice to showcase their talent and connect with like minded people. This spirit has led to a lot of creators to come forward, create content and showcase their passion, talent and skills amongst a varied audience, thereby carving an independent identity,” the company said.
A number of factors have worked for TikTok’s popularity, which has spurred demand for its related accessories, as per market watchers. Indian carriers are giving rock bottom data tariffs and plans that give high speed data by the truckload. Second, the easy availability of the mobile phone accessories through online portals, which deliver to a higher number of pin codes today than previously. Third, a large pricing range – Rs 300-5,000 – which enables people of all classes to purchase these accessories.
And lastly, the ability of making videos in local languages.
“We have seen users exploring educational content on the platform. Users from the remotest labels, electronics and furniture.
An Amazon India spokesperson told ET the platform has seen a 300% increase in unit sales of bestselling monopods from 2018 to 2019. “Another interesting product line with 200% increase in unit sales are smartphone gimbals,” gimbals are used for stabilising a camera or mobile phone camera while making a video on the go and can be priced between Rs 3,000 to Rs 30,000 apiece.