TikTok is gradually increasing its in-app purchasing options and focusing more on in-stream commerce, even though its in-app shopping experience hasn’t taken off as quickly as planned.
Late last week, the platform launched the first step of its TikTok Shops integration in the US. TikTok Shops are located on user profiles in a separate tab where customers can browse products and make purchases without leaving the app. Shops were first introduced by TikTok in the UK last year, then later in Southeast Asia. However, it hasn’t yet developed into the app’s complete e-commerce solution.
The UK implementation of TikTok’s Shops was riddled with complications, which were made worse by internal employee management problems and unrealistic reward goals. Due to this, TikTok had to dial back its aspirations to expand into Europe, but it is now moving into the US market, which might be a much more profitable move.
TikTok has taken a number of actions to increase the spotlight on in-stream buying, the most recent of which is the introduction of stores with chosen US companies.
Even more intriguingly, TikTok has been hiring for positions in US-based fulfilment facilities, which would streamline consumer delivery and returns. TikTok has also been attempting to promote shopping live streams to increase commerce interaction.
With delivery performance and response being optimised depending on sales activity within the app, that may be a significant step in turning the platform into a major eCommerce player. The parent company of TikTok, ByteDance, would like to repeat the success it has had with in-stream commerce in China, where the Chinese version of TikTok, Douyin, currently makes the majority of its money from direct sales within the app.