TikTok has added a new element to its Marketing Partners Program, with Smartly.io coming on board as its inaugural video shopping ads partner, providing a new pathway to facilitating in-stream commerce in the app.
As you can see in this example, TikTok’s Video Shopping Ads guide users from a video clip to check-out in the app, streamlining the shopping process within the TikTok feed. Smartly’s integration will enable brands to integrate their product catalog and offers, simplifying the shop process.
As per TikTok:
“After months of product optimizations and collaboration with TikTok, Smartly.io's Video Shopping Ads offering is now available for all commerce and retail advertisers to use in their TikTok campaigns. Smartly.io’s Video Shopping Ads solution allows advertisers to have access to automated workflows that help them to scale, optimize, and test ads that drive results.”
Smartly’s tools also facilitate connection with relevant TikTok creators to build campaigns, along with automated creative elements. And now, via direct partnership with TikTok, Smartly’s TikTok ad offerings will provide even more connective capacity, which could be hugely beneficial for those looking to sell direct in the app.
In-stream commerce is a big focus for TikTok, following the success that it’s seen with commerce in the Chinese version of the app, called ‘Douyin’. Direct sales has become the key revenue driver for Douyin, while also providing significant opportunity to get creators to monetize their audience.
But Chinese market trends don’t always translate, and thus far, TikTok hasn’t been able to make in-stream shopping a thing, despite its best efforts.
TikTok was forced to scale back its commerce program in Europe due to lack of user interest, while it’s now taking a more cautious approach to the same in the US.
Part of the problem could be a level of wariness around sharing financial details in the app, given the ongoing conversations about its potential links to Chinese spy activity. But overall, it just seems like a lot of people don’t want to be shopping and buying products in social apps, at least not at this stage.
That’ll likely change over time, as younger generations who are more accustomed to spending online move into more lucrative demographics. But as of right now, it remains a key hurdle to TikTok’s broader monetization plans.
Maybe, through this new integration, that’ll help shift the needle, and get more businesses listing products in the app, which could spark a bigger habitual shift.
It seems inevitable that this will gain momentum at some stage, but till it actually happens, nobody knows if it will indeed become a more relevant consideration.
But if you’re looking to experiment, you now have a new way to list your products within TikTok, via Smartly’s eCommerce tools.