Starting out as a simple entertainment app, TikTok quickly took over the world and saw the opportunity to evolve its platform. First testing the waters with product discovery features, the app is now on its way to becoming a full-blown eCommerce engine. One of their latest announcements furthers this push – with two new eCommerce features putting the app in the spotlight for digital marketers.
The two new recently announced features are ‘TikTok Order Center' & ‘TikTok Shopping Ads.' Simply put, both of these new features allow businesses with new opportunities to drive sales from TikTok by improving and simplifying the eCommerce experience for users.
What does the TikTok Order Center feature do?
The Order Center panel in the app keeps track of any products you have viewed, purchased, or shown interest in inside the TikTok app. Clicking on the Order Center button takes the user to a dedicated eCommerce section where you can see all aspects of TikTok shopping.
This includes billing information, items you have tagged or saved, product recommendations, item order status, and more. Consider this as a hub for all things shopping on TikTok.
What are TikTok Shopping Ads?
In addition to the new ‘Order Center' feature, TikTok also launched a fresh handful of ad formats to simplify promotion for businesses on the platform. The new ad forms are divided into Catalog Listing Ads, LIVE Shopping Ads, and Video Shopping Ads.
Catalog Listing Ads enable a more scaled shopping experience, allowing businesses to promote their product catalog within an ad.
Rather than only emphasizing a single product, these ads showcase related products together, allowing users to browse an entire collection, which increases the chance for an upsell sale, boosting revenue for the business.
LIVE Shopping Ads occur on the user's For You page and redirect users to businesses' live shopping streams.
These ads assist in driving traffic and boosting sales during business' live streams. While in recent news, Meta is pulling back on live shopping, it looks like TikTok is still betting on the craze.
Video Shopping Ads allow businesses to display product ads directly in videos that appear on the For You page.
They harness the power of TikTok Dynamic Showcase Ads to create custom content, placing products authentically amongst other consumed content on the app.
These two features, although on their own, might seem insignificant, are a big deal as they signify TikTok's first move to turn the app into an eCommerce platform. Although the Chinese version of TikTok (Douyin) has already expanded into eCommerce territory, the version we know and love is still a rookie in this regard. However, TikTok is not alone in this venture. Google already implemented in-app shopping for YouTube a couple of weeks ago to capitalize on the eCommerce integration for video platforms trend.
From a financial standpoint, it seems like TikTok needs the eCommerce side of its platform to take off. In recent times, more and more TikTok creators have begun to express their frustration with the platform's low payout through TikTok's Creator Fund. Without the presence of in-stream or video ads it risks losing its top stars to the likes of YouTube or Twitch.
While TikTok is still the king of social media at the moment, a fall from grace isn't impossible if creators see better monetization opportunities in other platforms.