Get ready for TikTok to make a bigger push on in-app shopping, with some users now seeing a new ‘Order Center’ panel in the app, which tracks any products that you’ve purchased, looked at, or even, potentially, may be interested in, in the app.
As you can see in this example, posted by social media expert Matt Navarra, the new ‘Order Center’ is now appearing for some users alongside their ‘Edit Profile’ option in the app.
Tap on it and you’ll be taken through to a dedicated eCommerce display, where you can track all aspects of your TikTok shopping experience, including payment details, items you’ve tagged, recommendations, order status, etc.
It’s the latest in TikTok’s shift towards eCommerce, which has already been a winner in the Chinese version of the app. Indeed, the majority of the revenue generated by Douyin, the Chinese variation of TikTok, now comes from in-stream eCommerce integrations, which has also facilitated new pathways for creator monetization, via brand partnership integrations that enable more organic type promotions in the app.
As such, TikTok is very keen to push the same in TikTok as well – though recent signs have suggested that western audiences are not taking to social commerce with the same enthusiasm as those in the Chinese market.
Just last week, Facebook announced that it’s shutting down its experiments with live shopping in the app, as of October this year. Meta, of course, has other financial pressures to contend with, and it’s been working to streamline its operations, with a focus on its larger metaverse push instead.
But even so, the fact that Meta’s willing to stop experimenting with live commerce entirely would suggest that it hasn’t been seeing good response to its initial experiments, which may not bode well for TikTok’s plans (note: Meta will continue to push ahead with its live shopping experiments on Instagram).
But TikTok needs eCommerce to work, especially from a revenue share perspective.
Many TikTok creators have already expressed their frustration at the inconsistent and low payment amounts available via TikTok’s Creator Fund, and without in-stream ads to directly monetize content, it needs alternative angles to provide revenue-generation tools - or it risks losing its top stars to YouTube instead.
And while TikTok is the app of the moment, it could still see a fall from grace if that does happen, and the app’s big stars shift exclusively to YouTube, which has also been seeing strong growth in the adoption of Shorts, its TikTok clone functionality.
Which is why TikTok continues to plow ahead with eCommerce additions like this – despite general lack of enthusiasm for such in most western markets, which has even seen TikTok itself scale back its live shopping ambitions in Europe due to low adoption and internal conflicts.
But for TikTok, this has to happen, and for parent company ByteDance, which is also dealing with the impacts of the current economic downturn, it has to happen now.
As such, you can expect to see a lot more eCommerce options bleeding into your TikTok feed as we head into the holiday push. Whether you want them or not.