TikTok continues to experiment with new ways to integrate shopping into the app, this time via a new ‘Shop’ tab, side swipeable from the main screen, that’s appearing for some users.
As you can see in this screenshot, shared by social media expert Matt Navarra, some users are now seeing a third ‘Shop’ tab in the app, alongside the usual ‘Following and ‘For You’.
TikTok’s tested out a couple of variations for a third tab, including its ‘Nearby’ feed, highlighting local content with some users. And now, it’s also testing whether a dedicated shop listing could also work, with the tab connecting you direct to the TikTok Shop display.
It’s the latest eCommerce experiment in the app, which has been working to find the best way to prompt more purchase behavior, in line with how Asian users have warmed to its in-stream shopping options.
In-stream commerce is now the key income stream for the Chinese version of the app, while TikTok’s also seeing solid take-up of the same in other Asian markets, including Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. But Western users have thus far remained hesitant to combine their social media and shopping experiences, preferring either physical shopping or dedicated apps instead.
TikTok’s been trying to find a way in, first focusing on live-stream shopping, which it scaled back last year due to lukewarm user response. With that initial push not resonating, TikTok is now taking a more cautious approach with its various hopping tests, which include a Shop tab on some retailer profiles, and a new in-app product showcase called ‘Trendy Beat’, which displays products made by TikTok itself.
The latter seems like a broader push to showcase its eCommerce potential, before inviting other partner brands in, while this new experiment will examine whether a more up-front, easily accessible shop tab will encourage expanded browsing and buying behavior.
But essentially, TikTok doesn’t have a definitive way forward just yet. The bottom line is that Western audiences are simply not as keen on in-app shopping, which has slowed TikTok’s progress on this key monetization front.
But it’s still experimenting, it’s still working to find the right way in.
As such, you can expect to see more eCommerce tests in the app moving forward.