Shop Feed, a New TikTok Feature Examined with Certain Users

Social media platform TikTok is actively exploring different methods to incorporate in-app shopping by introducing a new feature, the 'shop' tab, right next to the For You tab. Selected users can access this by swiping from the main screen. The application is known for experimenting with many possibilities for another tab, such as the ‘Nearby’ page feed that picks out content based on the user's location.

The shop tab redirects users to the TikTok Shop display site, which is their step up in incorporating online shopping within the app. This feature is to increase impulse on-a-whim purchases, considering that most Asian TikTok users are keen on online shopping. Considering these instantaneous online shopping tendencies of Asian users, the Chinese version of TikTok takes advantage of that. The app is now under development to further broaden this feature across more Asian regions, such as Malaysian, Indonesian, and Singaporean markets.

However, Western users are more reluctant to merge their shopping and social media activities, prioritizing traditional in-person stores or separate applications designed for online shopping.

Initially, TikTok also experimented with its efforts in live-stream shopping in the previous year but scrapped the initiatives due to a lack of or low user enthusiasm. In light of users’ lackluster feedback to its initial attempts, the application is now treading carefully by taking a measured stance in various experiments on in-app shopping. These efforts include the introduction of the Shop tab on select retailer accounts and displaying their products in a new feature called ‘Trendy Beat’ that showcases merchandise created by the app.

Introducing the Shop tab to selected users is TikTok’s comprehensive effort on demonstrating its eCommerce capabilities. Their careful attempt at gradually rolling out this feature to some users before extending invitations to other brand partners showcases exactly that. Meanwhile, this new attempt aims to assess whether a prominent and easily accessible shop tab will stimulate increased browsing and purchasing activities.

However, Tiktok’s efforts at incorporating an in-store online shopping feature are still in the initial stages of development, so there’s no conclusive direction as to where TikTok plans to take this feature as of now. The main takeaway is that Western demographics are less likely to proceed with online shopping offered within the app. Their hesitation is what has stifled TikTok’s progression towards this revenue stream. Then again, the feature is still in its preliminary stage. So users can keep high hopes of TikTok improving and adapting as time forwards.

H/T: Matt Navarra

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