At its first-ever virtual, global brand conference TikTok World, TikTok introduced TikTok Shopping–a set of advertising tools that will allow brands to engage with customers in a more meaningful way.

TikTok Shopping includes six features to better facilitate how its worldwide community discovers and shops for new products on the app. 

  • Direct integration will allow merchants to experience a full commerce experience by uploading products and managing everything from shipping to fulfillment and point of purchase. 
  • Partner integration will allow merchants to continue working with their preferred third-party commerce partner such as Spotify, Square, Ecwid and PrestaShop. TikTok expects Wix, SHOPLINE, OpenCart and BASE to join in the near future. 
  • Users can now visit instantly loaded product detail pages when a brand links one or more products directly from an organic TikTok video. 
  • Brands can also connect directly with users in real-time while sharing dynamic links to products and services. 
  • Brands will be able to include custom, swipeable product cards in their In-Feed video ads.
  • Brands can serve users personalized, targeted ads based on their interests.

The new suite of solutions has been 18 months in the making as TikTok has been striving to make its platform more conducive to convenient and effective ecommerce. During that time, TikTok examined what commerce on its platform would look like through partnerships with Levi Strauss & Co. and Walmart Inc. as well as through pilot programs in Europe via Spotify. 

TikTok Shopping comes on the heels of the platform reaching more than 1 billion monthly active users as of September 27, 2021. Prior to TikTok Shopping, the platform’s organic, word-of-mouth style of content inspired shopping as opposed to providing a place to do it–creators discussed products in their videos and viewers responded by purchasing them wherever they could. The hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, for example, has 5.4 billion views and strengthened TikTok’s commitment to adapting its platform to the future of social commerce. The new features effectively cut out the middleman and streamline the process of discovering and shopping for brands, creators and users.

“It is a fully immersive experience, and we’re fully integrating…the merchant side and also providing the user a very seamless shopping experience on TikTok. It can be [an] extremely safe shopping environment. People can really see what they’re actually buying and also directly checkout in the app,” said Ray Cao, TikTok managing director and global head of product strategy and operations in an interview with WWD.