TikTok is ramping up its efforts to turn its app into a place to shop by inviting additional brands to participate in its Shop initiative. This program enables businesses to sell their products directly within the app and provides users with a comprehensive checkout process.
Last year, Semafor wrote the scoop:
“TikTok quietly entered the United States e-commerce market this week, where it will compete with Amazon and other retail giants during the coming holiday shopping season. Users can now make purchases directly through the app using a feature called TikTok Shop, which the company officially began testing in the U.S. this week. It was previously only available in the UK and seven countries in Southeast Asia.”
This also implies that live streamers from China and other countries who sell things on TikTok will have to continue referring buyers to websites that are not affiliated with TikTok.
Which companies are already on TikTok Shop?
AdAge reveals that this shopping experiment has included businesses such as the fashion brands PacSun, Revolve, and Willow Boutique, as well as the beauty line KimChi Chic. However, they also stated, “TikTok is not confirming or naming merchants as part of the testing phase, according to a spokesperson.”
Customers who are interested in purchasing items from these businesses may do so by tapping the shopping bag symbol located on the brand’s profile. This will allow users to peruse the brands’ catalogues and finish the checkout process without having to leave the TikTok app.
How will TikTok Shop work?
The standard TikTok store procedure sends users to the retailer’s website to complete the transaction, but the in-stream shopping route takes place entirely within the app itself and contains both an overview of the shop as well as a direct purchase flow.
In China, in-stream commerce has been a huge success for TikTok, and the Chinese version of the app, Douyin, generates the majority of its money from in-app sales. Undeniably, TikTok has found great success with in-stream business in China.
Unfortunately, western audiences have not shown the same level of enthusiasm over in-stream purchases. Live selling has been Douyin’s main draw, but despite nearly every social app experimenting with some form of live shopping at some point, they have all subsequently cut it down.
Andrew Hutchinson on Social Media Today wrote:
“…many experts predicted that [the pandemic] would change the way consumers looked to buy, and would usher in a new wave of eCommerce growth, but as soon as physical stores re-opened, most people went back to their regular shopping habits.”
TikTok Shops in Southeast Asia
It should not be surprising that TikTok shops prove to be the next big thing in online buying among Southeast Asian purchasers. This is because eCommerce platforms have become increasingly popular among shoppers in the region.
In addition, they provide something called the TikTok Shop Seller University, which is essentially a training center that assists TikTok sellers in operating their businesses on the site. It provides an extensive selection of articles and how-to instructions on a variety of topics, including seller tools, guidelines, and updates on the shop experience.
If you’re a business owner who wants to be part of TikTok Shops, you can check out the best TikTok shops in Southeast Asia and get ideas from them. Sometimes, the instructions provided in how-to guidelines and tutorials are not always very clear. And even if you get a rough concept from them, they are unable to show you the whole potential of what may be done, despite the fact that you do get that general idea.
What are the advantages of creating a TikTok shop?
TikTok Shop makes it possible for businesses to take advantage of a wide variety of marketing options, such as marketing through influencers and user-generated content. Also, the in-stream shopping option will make this experience more interesting for the market.
TikTok Shops are quickly rising, and many new consumers and suppliers are excited to get their items on the TikTok market. This is helping TikTok Shops climb the social media ladder more quickly.
Users may opt to purchase things from the platform for a variety of reasons, including the availability of discounts and promotions, the reliability of user ratings, and the accessibility of product sales. Some things that can be purchased from the TikTok Shop have recently become rather popular, which has caused them to go out of stock very quickly.
As an agency that specialises in social media marketing in Leicestershire, we believe that small businesses must explore in-stream TikTok shopping once it becomes available in their region. Its features and the evidence of its success in Southeast Asia are promising and can get them to write their own success stories.
As an increasing number of TikTok users are referring to the app in some capacity as a search engine, the next natural step in this direction would be in-stream purchasing. And the ability to make purchases as a direct result of the search activity can also make it successful.
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