Where do you eat when you go out? Swipe short videos to see recommendations——In recent years, with the rapid development of short video platforms, videos of various bloggers visiting stores have become popular on the Internet, and have become an important reference for consumers to “plant grass” and “weed weeds”. However, with the rise of the new format of “talents exploring stores”, problems such as exaggerated publicity and false publicity have also emerged.
The Measures for the Administration of Internet Advertising, which came into effect on May 1 this year, proposed that if a video that promotes goods or services through experience sharing and other forms is attached with shopping links and other purchase methods, the publisher must clearly mark the video as an “advertisement.” Experts believe that this move will effectively protect the rights and interests of consumers and promote the healthy and orderly development of short video platforms.
“Punching in” with video bloggers has become a trend
Ge Huan, who lives in Xicheng District, Beijing, is a “heavy fan” of short video platforms. “I watch short videos every day in my spare time, and I especially like to watch bloggers exploring various food stores. I often follow the bloggers to ‘check in’ various small shops and discover many ‘treasure shops’.” She said.
The so-called store exploration refers to the behavior of online bloggers sharing their personal consumption experience through live broadcast or video, and evaluating and recommending businesses or brands. “From the perspective of promoting consumption, the rise of the new business model of talent exploration has certain positive significance for merchants and consumers.” Hong Yong, an associate researcher at the Institute of Electronic Commerce of the Ministry of Commerce Research Institute, told our reporter.
For merchants, cooperating with shop-exploring bloggers can expand brand exposure, increase popularity and word-of-mouth. “Bloggers who explore stores usually make evaluations and recommendations in the form of on-site visits and personal experiences, especially some bloggers with a large number of fans can help businesses directly attract potential consumers, thereby bringing more traffic and sales opportunities. In addition, merchants can also cooperate with Tandian bloggers to obtain user feedback and market insights, so as to improve products and services and enhance competitiveness.” Hong Yong said.
From the consumer’s point of view, the store-exploring videos released by the store-exploring bloggers can provide consumers with shopping guides and consumption suggestions. Through on-the-spot visits and experiences, bloggers share their shopping experience, product evaluation and other information to help consumers reduce trial and error costs and improve shopping efficiency. Consumers can choose products or services that suit them according to bloggers’ recommendations, saving time and money and gaining a better shopping experience.
“All kinds of short video platforms are like ‘encyclopedias’, and you can find corresponding store-exploring bloggers for food, homestay, clothing and other categories.” Chen Bingjie, a food lover born in the 90s, said, “Some food-exploring store bloggers cooperate with merchants. , and will also attach a link to the coupon in the short video, which is much cheaper than direct offline consumption. Now every weekend, I will follow various store-exploring videos to try new stores.”
The “2022 Douyin Life Service Exploration Store Data Report” shows that in 2022, the order volume of Douyin life service will increase by 965% year-on-year, the creators of Douyin life service will exceed 12.35 million, and the number of Douyin store exploration videos will reach 1.1 billion. Last year, 72% of the merchants settled in have released the demand for talent matching. Merchants posted 5.0711 million orders through the platform, a year-on-year increase of 623.12%. The short video of shop explorer has increased the revenue of merchants by 29.5 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 737%.
“Paid store visits” Mo Cheng false promotion
The rise of the store-exploring economy has extended e-commerce tentacles to local life, driving offline consumption to become more popular. However, this new economic format has also created some new problems.
Lu Chenxi from Shanghai said that he had seen a number of bloggers recommending a local restaurant on a short video platform before, and the video also included a link of “299 yuan group meal for 4 people”. After placing the order and arriving at the store, she found that not only the amount of set meals was much smaller than that shown in the video, but also the taste was not as “amazing” as the blogger said.
“Food shop explorer bloggers are usually controversial. After all, there are thousands of different food tastes. Some bloggers sincerely recommend it, but consumers don’t like it and are not used to it. It’s normal.” Xiaoxue, a shop blogger, told reporters. “However, there are indeed cases where some bloggers collect money for false publicity, which is mainly related to the commercialization of the model of exploring stores.”
According to Xiaoxue, the business cooperation models between bloggers and merchants are generally divided into several categories: First, merchants invite bloggers to provide them with free catering services. Second, merchants pay bloggers a certain amount of money to shoot and publish shop-exploring content according to the requirements of the merchants; third, attach merchant coupons, discount packages, and other links to shop-exploring videos released by bloggers. According to the orders placed by platform users, corresponding commissions will be given to bloggers. “Driven by commercialization, some store-exploring bloggers disregard the quality of the products themselves and promote them after receiving money, which really affects the consumer experience.” Xiaoxue said.
The quality of the merchants that consumers “explored” varies, and some merchants also expressed their misery. The owner of a restaurant in Chongqing City said that his shop was opened in a residential building. At first, a shop-exploring blogger spontaneously visited the shop, which made the restaurant popular. After that, more and more shop-exploring bloggers came to the store to shoot videos, “It is both good for us and troublesome for us when short videos become popular. Some bloggers spend most of the day shooting videos, which affects other customers’ meals. And The bloggers forcefully demand business cooperation and eat ‘overlord meals’.” The boss said, but due to the complicated rights protection process, even when encountering such a situation, businesses often choose to settle down.
“The model of store exploration can usually be divided into ‘cooperative store exploration’ and ‘free store exploration’. Some bloggers take the initiative to come to the door on the grounds of helping publicity and promotion, which belongs to free store exploration.” Liao Huaixue, a lawyer from Tahota Law Firm, was interviewed by our reporter. During the interview, he said, “Bloggers who are free to explore stores should purchase catering services at their own expense. If bloggers who explore stores use their own traffic to ask merchants to provide them with free services, ask for valuable ingredients, etc., they may be suspected of breaking the law.”
Clearly distinguish between commercial advertisements and personal shop visits
Insiders in the industry believe that the frequent occurrence of all kinds of chaos in store visits reflects the necessity of prudent supervision of this emerging industry.
“Relevant departments should formulate necessary laws and regulations, clarify the responsibilities and obligations of Tandian bloggers, and standardize business cooperation. At the same time, strengthen the construction of industry self-discipline organizations. Tandian bloggers can spontaneously form industry associations or organizations to formulate industry norms and guidelines, Promote the formation of self-discipline in the industry. Bloggers should also work together to abandon untrue and exaggerated propaganda, advocate honesty and objective attitudes, and ensure that the published content is true and reliable.” Hong Yong said.
Relevant laws, regulations, and industry regulations are being gradually improved to standardize store visits. The “Internet Advertising Management Measures” proposes that when promoting videos or services through knowledge introduction, experience sharing, consumption evaluation, etc., and attaching purchase methods such as shopping links, the advertisement publisher should clearly indicate “advertisement”. Recently, a short video released by a company was fined by the Hubei Huangshi Market Supervision Department because it did not indicate “advertisement”.
“For consumers, it is difficult to distinguish whether it is a real recommendation or a commercial promotion. The “Internet Advertising Management Measures” combines the new changes in Internet advertising in recent years and the new formats of the Internet advertising industry. Based on the original interim measures On the basis of “Advertising Law”, “E-Commerce Law” and other current laws and regulations, as well as industry standards such as the China Advertising Association’s “Mobile Internet Program Advertising Code of Conduct” and other industry standards.” Liao Huaixue said that the management measures stipulate that business cooperation in store exploration The video should clearly mark the advertisement, clarify the identity of the bloggers and their legal responsibilities, so that consumers can distinguish between ordinary experience sharing and commercial promotion, and then provide consumers with more choices, which is conducive to maintaining consumption legitimate rights and interests.
Relevant platforms are also stepping up governance efforts. The “2022 Douyin Life Service Exploring Store Data Report” shows that since 2022, the platform has dealt with false publicity violations such as “false publicity”, “extorting food with bad reviews”, “unfair competition” and “false store exploration” There are 1.82 million videos and 600,000 illegal accounts. In addition, the platform has successively launched the “Proposal for Store Exploration Behavior” and “Standard Exploration Standards for Life Service”, calling on business experts to truly promote honest cooperation in the process of cooperation, and jointly create a healthy environment for store exploration; online governance and judgment capabilities to ensure relevant The implementation of shop inspection standards.
“The short video platform is an important entrance for shop explorer bloggers to publish and share, and they should assume corresponding responsibilities. The platform should strictly divide the boundaries between commercial advertisements and personal shop visits, and provide typical violation scenarios and corresponding penalties for bloggers’ reference. In addition, they should Regular spot checks are carried out on the content of “grass planting” in the platform’s internal store exploration, and for the content that uses personal store exploration and real experience as a publicity gimmick but is actually a commercial advertisement, punishments such as warnings, removal of videos, account downgrades, and bans on submissions will be given.” Liao Huai theory.