By tapping on the video advertisement, users are redirected to a microsite where they can browse and shop, while still being on the TikTok app. TikTok had rolled out this feature in the United States a few months ago.
Companies such as Snapdeal, Bewakoof, Bulbul Shopping, Subway, fbb – the fashion arm of Future Retail, Daniel Wellington luxury watches and WorkIndia were among the several shoppable advertisements on TikTok.
“From our in-feed ads, advertisers can direct users to an external landing page or an in-app music page or brand account page,” TikTok said in an email. It, however, clarified that it does not yet have e-commerce capability on its app, and transactions are made off-platform.
Every social media platform is looking to understand a user’s shopping behavior. Experts said in-app purchases help users shop faster while also giving the platform some access to user shopping data.
“Shoppable ads look new on TikTok. It helps close a sale in a shorter time frame as you are already within the sale environment. It is important today with impatient digital consumers. It is well known that the more steps to closing a sale, the more likelihood of people falling out. It also helps TikTok gain access to shopping data,” said Harish Bijoor, brand expert and founder, Harish Bijoor Consults.
TikTok’s step into shoppable ads may be a step closer to ecommerce. ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, has already integrated robust commerce capabilities with Alibaba into the Chinese version of TikTok, called Douyin.
“TikTok users are part of Snapdeal’s target audience. Users are comfortable making in-app purchases on various platforms and offering the same option on TikTok makes for an efficient purchase experience. We are in the early stages of engagement at TikTok and we are evaluating the results,” said a Snapdeal spokesperson.
In the past year, all major players have introduced formats where users are able to make purchases right in the ads themselves. Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Snapchat have different forms of shoppable ads.
“Essentially YouTube, TikTok, Instagram are binge-watching platforms. People are going there for entertainment. The success of shoppable ads will depend on how intrusive these ads are to the experience,” said Prashanth Challapalli, Chief Operating Officer at Leo Burnett Orchard, a full service advertising agency.
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