In the spirit of cutting the BS and keeping it short, here are the main bits you need to know:
What? China’s version of TikTok is testing storefronts on its platform with a couple of hundred eCommerce companies.
Why? They’ve identified the need to monetize quickly and provide eCommerce advertisers with more ways to spend and earn through the platform.
Will This Affect Me? Yes, if your customers use TikTok. Social media platforms are quickly becoming the digital storefronts of eCommerce, so you’ll need to keep up with the ones relevant to your audience.
If that’s all you needed, great. Keep an eye on this space and we’ll update you when they start expanding beyond the Chinese market. And if you want a bit more detail on what’s going on, keep reading Are TikTok Stores on the horizon?
Douyin Flagship Stores
This move follows suit with how other platforms have been adapting to support eCommerce, the best-known example being Instagram Shops. Analysts see this move as taking on the Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba directly. 220 brands have already signed up to the platform that enables them to showcase their products, host live streams, and issue vouchers for online and offline use.
Earlier this year, the company also launched its own payment service in China. It’s called Douyin Pay and will help facilitate this eCommerce ecosystem. This move was also seen as a direct affront to Alipay and WeChat pay–two very well-established payment methods in Chinese eCommerce.
Does this move in China mean TikTok stores are going to be a thing soon worldwide? Highly likely.
What are their plans?
eCommerce VP of Douyin, Mu Qing, says the plan is to grow the platform in 2021 with:
- At least 1,000 companies who have sales above ¥100 million (or roughly $15.3M)
- A minimum of 10,000 merchants who have sales over ¥10 million per year
- At least 100 “hot” products–or those with more than ¥100 million in annual sales
They’ve already been deeply involved in the eCommerce space since 2019 when they allowed merchants to use a built-in sales channel to sell their products. This is taking it to the next level and allowing merchants much more control over the look and feel of their digital storefront.
As we discussed earlier this year, TikTok has already expanded its partnership with Shopify. Their eye is on the eCommerce ball, so we definitely expect there to be many more announcements in this space.
Watch TikTok (and TikToks)
TikTok is making leaps and bounds, although it’s only a very new platform. Compare them to the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, which have been much slower on the uptake. Instagram and Facebook Shops just started to roll out in 2020. YouTube only started to promote eCommerce very recently as well.
The past decade has really brought about a democratization of eCommerce. eCommerce platforms are making it easier to set up a store, ad networks make it super simple to start running campaigns, and social media platforms are quickly adjusting to the growing needs of online businesses.
If you’re looking to get started with TikTok ads in preparation for the inevitable storefronts, get in touch with our team. We’ll work with you to establish a successful cross-platform strategy and get you set up with our state-of-the-art tech solution for instant optimization.