14th May 2021
The social media landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace with TikTok the latest platform to test shopping features - including a new shopping tab in Europe - as competition between the platforms intensifies with media and commerce combining in global digital platforms to collapse the sales funnel.
Shopping tab: TikTok is testing a new ‘shopping’ tab with a select number of brands and users in Europe as it continues to try and replicate the ecommerce success of its Chinese counterpart, Douyin. The tab will be similar to Facebook’s shopping tab on Instagram but it is not as video centric as TikTok’s other features and advertising formats, instead focusing on a static list of products.
The new feature appears on the brand’s profile and will be a hub for product listings where users will be able to add items to their cart and purchase. The feature is not as integrated as Facebook’s shopping tab, as TikTok is not expected to handle transactions, so consumers will be taken to the brand’s website to complete the purchase. Think of it more as shop window rather than integrated sales platform.
There are no details on when the new offering will be more widely available, but it comes after the platform announced a number of new ecommerce advertising opportunities last month allowing brands to directly show their products, retarget users and highlight promotions in a series of different ad formats. TikTok also inked a deal to integrate Shopify last year.
Other new features: TikTok has also announced new user features to continue to grow its audience by offering more innovative content creator tools. There will be a green screen duet feature which combines two of TikTok’s most popular editing tools and allow users to use existing videos on TikTok as a background to their own video, encouraging new creative formats.
It is also testing a new way to discover videos called ‘Topics’ which are interest-based feeds that will include the top trending videos in a given category. This will provide a new way for content to be found and discovered and could present new opportunities for brands to be discovered on certain interest-based topics.
Lastly, TikTok is also testing a new job feature in the US that will help brands recruit entry level jobs. The feature is actually a separate page accessed via the app rather than an integrated tool where brands can post jobs and users can create post TikTok videos as a resume. This is one of many ways that TikTok is expanding its offering to stay relevant and keep Gen Z users, its main audience, on the app.
TikTok is constantly updating and expanding its offering both for consumers and brands, from its evolving commerce offering to new features for creators and its fast-growing audience. Innovation is one of TikTok’s key advantages in its fight to expand its user base in a crowded and highly competitive landscape. Snap took a similar approach in its early years, ensuring it was the ‘hot’ app by continually developing new features and services – many of which are now staples across all platforms. TikTok will hope that it can monetize its innovative approach as quickly as possible and continue to be seen as the ‘hot’ app of social media.