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TikTok: Lays Out Plans for New eCommerce Integrations as it Eyes the Upcoming Stage

Even though TikTok continues to grow, it still remains at risk of losing its top creators to other, more established social media platforms if it’s not able to provide adequate monetization tools and options.

Moreover, both YouTube, as well as Facebook, provide more ways for creators in order to make money, also while TikTok now has an audience, its advertising system is not up to the same stage to compete on this front, which will become a bigger problem over time, if that gap can’t be addressed.

Talking more about the new eCommerce integrations, the key to this will be eCommerce options, as well as establishing a more direct connection between creators and monetization opportunities.

Additionally, TikTok has already taken steps on this front, via its primary integrations with Shopify and Walmart. Also now, according to a new report from The Financial Times, TikTok is looking to add some new tools to help more eCommerce opportunities and maximize its revenue options on this front.

TikTok’s eCommerce Integrations in 2021:

According to the Financial Times, TikTok has briefed advertisers on three new eCommerce integrations coming soon to the app and those are:

  • A tool that lets its most popular users share links to products and automatically earn commission on any sales
  • The ability for brands to showcase catalogs of their products on the platform
  • “Livestreamed” shopping, a mobile phone version of television shopping channels, where users can buy goods with a few taps after seeing them showcased by TikTok stars

It’s worth noting that all of these tools have been in testing, or live development, for some time – even though not all in the US market.

Regarding the first option, it has been the main element in the monetization of the Chinese version of TikTok, called Douyin, which now generates the majority of its income from in-app commerce (as opposed to ads).

TikTok: Lays Out Plans for New eCommerce Integrations as it Eyes the Upcoming Stage 1 | Digital Marketing Community

Talking more about TikTok’s eCommerce integrations, the new process will simplify such listings, as well as formalize the link/commission process, and definitely, that will make it easier to help partnerships with top creators – and crucially, provide an urgent, direct way for users to monetize their on-platform efforts.

Also, TikTok has also been testing in video commerce links for some time, which, as noted, was advanced in 2020 with its new Shopify partnership.

TikTok: Lays Out Plans for New eCommerce Integrations as it Eyes the Upcoming Stage 2 | Digital Marketing Community

The new catalogs option would also provide another presentation advancement on this front, probably via an added tab on selected profiles along with video clips, linking through to an in-app showcase of sorts.

This could look similar to the last innovation – live-stream shopping – and that was tested by TikTok with Walmart back in December.

TikTok: Lays Out Plans for New eCommerce Integrations as it Eyes the Upcoming Stage 3 | Digital Marketing Community

Based on the above example, posted by Turner Novak, TikTok’s live-stream shopping experience adds a product overlay on the video playback, note that this can be expanded in order to see more products that viewers can immediately buy in-stream.

As noted, given the need to ensure that its creators can make money, in order to stop them drifting off to other, more lucrative platforms, and the established path for eCommerce already in place within Douyin, its little surprise to see TikTok looking to follow a similar path, and you can expect to see these innovations coming sooner rather than later as a result.

Last year was dramatic for the app regardless of its ongoing growth, last year was actually hugely disruptive for the app, with the almost ban in the US, the ban in India, and different challenges, outside the overarching pandemic.

Those new challenges possible slowed the development of its monetization options, however as noted, in order to keep its big stars posting, it needs to guarantee that they can generate similar income to what they’d be able to on other social platforms, or it risks losing a large chunk of its audience very fast.

That’s what happened to Vine, and TikTok is well conscious of that failure. Therefore, TikTok needs these options to be added soon to further its ongoing growth.

  • Digital Marketing

  • Shopify

  • TikTok

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