May 23, 2022

TikTok Launches E-commerce Features on its Platform

The TikTok logo is seen on an iPhone 11 Pro max in this photo illustration in Warsaw, Poland on September 29, 2020. The TikTok app will be banned from US app stores from Sunday unless president Donald Trump approves a last-minute deal between US tech firm Oracle and TikTok owner ByteDance. US authorities say the Chinese video sharing app threaten national security and could pass on user data to China. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The China-based tech company TikTok has expanded itself from publishing short videos from content creators to penetrating into the e-commerce sector. Earlier, the company was solely generating its revenue from ads, and now it is allowing content creators to create and showcase their mini Shopify stores. It has already begun featuring its new update to the creators in the US, Canada, and the UK.

“It is a fully immersive experience, and we’re fully integrating with both — obviously the merchant side and also providing the user a very seamless shopping experience on TikTok,” said TikTok’s managing director and global head of product strategy and operations, Ray Cao, told WWD. “It can be [an] extremely safe shopping environment. People can really see what they’re actually buying and also directly checkout in the app.” It unveiled its e-commerce features at its marketing event held on Tuesday.

TikTok is providing a suite of shopping tools to content creators, which include links to products and live streaming shopping. The China-based company’s shopping partners were limited to Shopify and Walmart. Now, it has expanded the list of brand partners in its app. The partners include Wix, SHOPLINE, Square, and BASE.

 The company says that its platform has encouraged users to engage with product-focused videos. It also said that as compared to its competitors, TikTok users are 1.7 times more likely to buy products through apps than others. The company said that it is working with online merchants to make the experience seamless for them. For instance, it will be providing a complete e-commerce solution, which includes shipping to operating fulfillment centers. The company is currently providing this wholesome system in Indonesia and the UK.

The latest hashtag by the company, “TikTok Made Me Buy It,” has become viral on the Internet. Its users are using the hashtag while sharing the products they discovered through the app. TikTok is also providing various tools for the brands to showcase their ads in a creative way. It has introduced three new ad products- Collection Ads, Lead Generation, and Dynamic Showcase Ads (DSAs).

Collection ads allow brand partners to include a customizable package of ads. This package includes cards that can display different ads on each product card. At the event, the company display a case study of a brand called Princess Poly. It cited that the brand witnessed 6X growth in sales and an increase of over 50% on visits to the product page. TikTok’s another ad product, lead generation allows collect information from TikTok users through online forms. To do this, TikTok has partnered with LeadsBridge and Zapier to link the brand’s CRM to the brand’s campaign.

The last one, DSAs allow brands to create hundreds of product SKUs, and these SKUs will be marketed to the targeted audience. This ad will enable TikTok users to view the product and even add it to the shopping cart. The company said that DSAs provide higher click-through rates, but it didn’t show any metrics. To provide this feature, TikTok partnered with e-commerce software company Productsup, video marketing company SHAKR, and feed platform provider Feedonomics. The wholesome ad products encompass the wholesome TikTok shopping.

“The magic of TikTok happens in the For You page, where e-commerce content is recommended to our users in the same way as short videos and live streams. TikTok is a place where users and brands can connect directly, and where an end-to-end shopping experience can happen organically. That’s the basis on which we’re building a long-term commerce division,” said TikTok Shopping Head of Product, Javier Irigoyen.

Facebook is one of the top competitors of TikTok in the in-feed shopping market. Its top two social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram provide similar e-commerce features to brands. Now, TikTok which has more than one billion users will open a door to millions of brands to market themselves.