TikTok Expanded Shopping Features and Commerce

Leveraging social media is among the different ways to improve online customer experience and enhance business growth. TikTok, the popular 15-second video app, is and has been testing the waters of social commerce. The subsidiary of China’s ByteDance has focused on growth over the years, but since June 2019, it seems to have set eyes on monetization.

Some features TikTok has put forward, such as in-app purchases, are already making big cash. In May, a report said that in-app purchases raked in $9 million in revenues in 2019. This data hints that it would be smart to take advantage of the features by giving your business a TikTok presence.

If your target market is among the over 500 million monthly active users of TikTok, these features are precisely what your business needs to sell on the video platform.

New Expanded Shopping Features in TikTok

  • Shop Now Button

This is the latest shopping feature to find its way to TikTok. It works by allowing the platform’s top influencers to include a ‘Shop Now’ button on their videos.

Though this feature is still in beta, some brands have already come on board. For example, Levi Strauss has been working with four TikTok influencers to market its Future Finish technology. The influencer videos included a ‘Shop Now.’

Is it working? The answer here is a resounding yes, at least according to Levi. In their report, product pages that featured in the campaign received twice as many views as those that didn’t function.

The expectation is that TikTok will adapt YouTube’s model and share the revenue with creators. The split is 80/20, the higher percentage going to the company’s pockets.

  • Hashtag Challenge Plus

This feature has been in use since last year. It works by allowing TikTok users, not necessarily influencers, to upload a video featuring them using a product. In a variation, users may also take part in a manufactured viral promotion. 

On this feature is a separate tab, where the audience can click to go to a page filled with the promotion’s products without leaving TikTok. 

Kroger was the first user of the Hashtag Challenge Plus feature in August 2019. They partnered with four influencers in their #TransformUrDorm campaign and included a page for in-app purchases of products such as toasters and popcorn makers.

Is it working? Well, according to Kroger, the hashtag got hundreds of shares and garnered 477 million views. The revenues remain unreported, but the exposure was there.

  • In-App Shopping Links

When it launched in mid-November 2019, this feature was only available to a handful of creators. It works by allowing creators to add a link to videos. Users can then swap and go to the link, which leads to a product on an e-commerce site, says Amazon.

In a variation, TikTok is also allowing users to add a link to their bio. They do not specify what links you can add, so links to online stores are allowable. 

A TikTok spokesperson had confirmed that this was merely an experiment, but it has since gained momentum. It is something your business can use to drive sales up.

Key Takeaway

The business and the world, has been moving away from traditional advertisement and selling. Social commerce is emerging fast, and as a brand, you should be preparing for this step change. 

However, the social media space has numerous media collectively providing hundreds of features to take your business to the next level. It is wiser to start the journey with those who have already made it.