With a Ban Looming, TikTok Pushes Forward with New Commerce Features

TikTok is feeling political pressure, but it is pushing forward on some big commerce capabilities, including new Shop Ad experiences and video commerce capabilities.

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that would force TikTok owner ByteDance to sell its ownership of the app or face a ban in the U.S. Despite (or perhaps because of) this political pressure, TikTok is pushing forward on some big commerce ambitions — and the popular platform is putting success metrics at the center of its efforts.

The social media juggernaut has made new updates to its ecommerce solutions to “make it even easier to drive product discovery and sales,” according to a new blog from TikTok. “Regardless of the measurement methodology, we are seeing a return for retail advertisers that’s 1.6X to 2X better than other media channels.”

TikTok also has reported that the platform delivers an online retail ROAS that is 3.5X more efficient than other online video channels, such as YouTube, while retail ROAS for offline conversions is 1.9X more efficient than that of online display, online audio, online video, social and paid search.

New Capabilities Support ‘Commerce Everywhere’ Mission

To help “drive commerce everywhere,” TikTok has made the following updates to its core commerce solutions:

  • Shop Ads: TikTok has extended Shop Ads within the TikTok Shop Tab. As a result, TikTok Shop merchants can promote products directly within the Shop Tab using an image from their product catalog.
  • Video Shopping Ads: TikTok Video Shopping Ads are now available globally to brands and retailers featuring new formats and creative options. Additionally, TikTok has made these ads discoverable via the search tab, making it easier for advertisers to be found.
  • New creative and formats: Merchants can now automatically populate product catalog images into TikTok’s most valuable formats, such as Carousels and Product Tiles.
  • A simplified onboarding process: With its growing ecosystem of third-party ecommerce partners and platform integrations, merchants can create and execute Video Shopping Ads more quickly. For example, TikTok has expanded its partnership with Shopify so that merchants can use pre-populated campaign settings and best practices directly within the TikTok App on Shopify.

TikTok has made several announcements over the past several months to establish itself as a commerce destination. While TikTok Shop was undoubtedly the centerpiece of these efforts, the platform also unveiled new first-party measurement capabilities, and a new generative AI tool to support brands’ content creation efforts. Additionally, the company reported that it was testing a new feature that would make all video content shoppable.