TikTok’s trying out another way to get users interested in its in-app shopping options, by offering a range of retailers free listings, free shipping, and zero commission on sales for an initial period.
As reported by Bloomberg, TikTok’s hoping that it will be able to lure more businesses with this new offer, which could see a range of cheap products flooding into user feeds. This is all part of the latest push by TikTok to build on the commerce potential of the app.
As per Bloomberg:
“[The] video service has begun pitching itself as a cost-free marketplace in a series of seminars and meetings with Chinese manufacturers and exporters. It’s dangling free listings, shipping, zero commissions and even warehousing to all comers: a tactic likely to disrupt a market now dominated by fellow Chinese-owned rivals Temu and Shein, and potentially undercut even Amazon.”
Temu and Shein are leading a new charge on Western consumers, as they look to aggressively expand into new markets, by offering loss-making deals on a range of items as a means to lure in bargain hunting web users.
Which, given the current state of the economy, is pretty much all of us. And with access to a huge catalog of assorted items, both retailers are hoping that this new push will help integrate them into these new markets, and make them a more common source for eCommerce moving forward.
TikTok’s been looking to get into the same for some time.
Last October, reports suggested that TikTok was looking to establish its own fulfilment centers in Seattle and Los Angeles, as a means to directly supply products sold in the app, while more recently, some UK users have been seeing a new ‘Trendy Beat’ shopping section in-stream, which displays products distributed by TikTok itself.
The idea is that by fulfilling its own product orders, through cheap prices, and streamlined shipping, that will help to make users more aligned with its in-app shopping elements, which would then enable TikTok to expand its product listings to third-parties, essentially kick-starting this element.
Positioning itself as a connective layer between other Chinese retailers could be another way to expand on its direct product offerings, which would essentially enable TikTok to offer many more products, that can be delivered faster through these agreements, making it a more desirable product discovery and purchase destination.
Which TikTok really wants to make happen.
Despite various efforts, TikTok’s in-stream commerce push has failed to gain steam in Western markets thus far - even as it’s become the key income stream in the Chinese version of the app. TikTok is seeing broader commerce adoption in some Asian markets, including Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. But Western users still seem largely hesitant to combine their social media and shopping experiences, preferring either physical shopping or dedicated apps.
Maybe this new push will change that.
It’s the right time, with people looking for better deals, and with an expanded range of products on display in the app, that’s likely to get more of its billion or so users tapping through, and making direct purchases in the app.
Expect to see a lot more random, trending products appearing in your TikTok feeds in the second half of the year, as TikTok seeks new ways to spark more interest in, and awareness of, its in-app buying options.