With TikTok and Instagram being used as search engines by Gen Z and #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt approaching 40 billion views, it is clear that TikTok's new move is to become a full-funnel sales platform.
On the customer's end, it eliminates unnecessary click barriers and streamlines the path to purchasing from their favourite brand in just 2-3 clicks. The ease of shopping can also help TikTok attract older users and change the image of the "Just for Dance" app.
Without a doubt, social media helps brands and marketers reach a wider audience and influences brand marketing and sales. With the simplicity of in-app shopping features on TikTok, brands can possibly improve customer experiences, increase customer engagement, and accelerate sales.
Although in-app purchase features give marketers and brands more opportunities to increase conversions, they also pose the greatest challenge to marketers.
Because by putting a platform like TikTok between a brand and a consumer, a direct connection to the customer and their data gets lost for marketers. In today’s market, with the demise of third-party cookies, first-party data serves as a gold mine for marketers.
It is outright crucial to target the right audiences and drive better personalization. This way, it leads brands to lose the potential opportunity of gaining insights from customers. While some brands may find this challenging, we believe brands in industries such as FMCG that don’t rely much on customer data can make the most from TikTok's new in-app checkout feature, which adds a significant value proposition for them.
Furthermore, in-app shopping is not a new feature. These types of commerce features were available on Meta's platforms, Facebook, and Instagram. But the difficulties the U.S. market has in making livestream shopping successful have forced Instagram to roll back its dedicated shop tab from users' feeds, and it is also sunsetting livestream shopping.
TikTok, on the other hand, is pushing in-stream purchase options. But how will TikTok make this option stand out on its platform? Will TikTok succeed in this attempt where Meta’s platform has failed?
As TikTok has already found success in live commerce in China, we believe it can possibly replicate the same success in the western market as well.