An ever-popular app these days is TikTok, with millions of users and creators and brands all flocking to the platform to join in on the entertainment and to cash in on the perks of being able to reach people around the world. In an effort to gain more revenue as the app’s parent company falls under a bit of financial pressure, TikTok has announced that they are going to be coming out with a new Shop feed. This new tab will be solely dedicated to allowing users to find and purchase products that are being sold through TikTok. According to TechCrunch, who confirmed the story directly with spokespeople from TikTok, they are currently running several tests with this new feature in select areas of Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, and the U.K.
A dedicated product intelligence company, Watchful.ai, has released a selection of screenshots to show the rest of the world what the Shop page currently looks like in these tests. The “Shop” tab will be located near the “Following” and “For You” tabs, which will make it highly convenient for all users. Once in the Shop section, there are several different categories to select and shop from. You will be able to find anything you could want to shop for: clothes, accessories, toys, beauty items, home goods, new kicks, and so much more. These screenshots also show a convenient little shopping cart icon in the top right, so that you can add to your cart while you scroll, and at the bottom it shows a menu that you can use for other functions in Shop. This includes items like messages, vouchers for discounts, order history, payment methods, etc. Currently, we are not 100% sure what the messages tool is for, but we believe it is for communicating with sellers about orders.
All of these little features are sure to come in very handy for shoppers on the go, and TikTok is excited to see what this will bring to the table for them.
As a spokesperson for TikTok said in a recent statement, “We are always looking at ways to enhance our community’s experience and regularly test new features that inspire creativity, bring joy, and innovate the TikTok experience.” TikTok has been making moves in the direction of building a stronger eCommerce section for a while now, with more and more creators moving into selling and advertising products, as well as brands getting onto the platform to find new and fun ways to interact with customers.
As creators get more into partnering with brands or selling their own products, the options for monetization increase and monetization is what keeps creators on the platform. Currently, creators can still make more money on other social media platforms, which means that they may start gravitating towards putting more effort into those and put less and less focus on TikTok…which is exactly what the platform doesn’t want to happen. This is why finding new ways for creators and brands to reach customers and make a living is such a key component to staying relevant in the world of content creation apps.
When looking at the layout and style of the Shop tab, it seems to be pretty similar to the shopping sections found on Facebook and Instagram. This makes sense, as TikTok’s larger, long-term goal is most likely to out-do and replace both of those marketplaces. While the majority of the eCommerce boom for TikTok has been centralized in Asia, it certainly isn’t limited to that one area. As we mentioned earlier, part of this Shop feed testing is in areas of the U.K. Also, users can already buy items advertised on TikTok as well as there being a way for Shopify merchants to add a shopping section to their TikTok for Business accounts in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. This latest feature of a dedicated tab for shopping is just continuing the trend.
It is currently unknown when or if TikTok will release this new Shop feature to the rest of the world, but they are most likely trying to perfect the system and work out any issues before making it available to all of their users.
One of the other little kinks in the plans to release the Shop feature into the world is the fact that, in all honesty, TikTok’s future is a bit of an unknown. The government in China, where the parent company of TikTok is based, has been pushing for crackdowns on much of life online for their populace, including in the eCommerce arena. Restrictions are constantly being placed on how much money people can spend online, what is allowed to be said/shown in livestreams, and even when people are allowed to watch said livestreams. With this kind of pressure, there is more of a need than ever for revenue flow in the company, as they are starting to lose some of their business clients due to these restrictions.
Even more disconcerting for the company’s security is the fact that the FCC is constantly barraging TikTok with investigations and inspections for “safety” reasons here in the U.S. The suspicion that China has been using the TikTok platform as a “spy” system is popular among some in the FCC, though these accusations remain unsubstantiated.
Essentially, TikTok and its parent company are most likely going to try and push for this new Shop feature to go live to the world as soon as they perfect it to help build up their revenue in case of further government interference in the future. They also want you, the users, and their content creators and brand partners to be happy with the platform as they continue to expand the experience and add new features.
We will be continuing to watch for new information on this upcoming user experience and we will do our best to keep our readers informed of the progress and new updates as we learn more. Stay tuned for more tech news in the future!