TikTok Launches New Push on In-Stream Shopping

TikTok, the popular social media app, is making a renewed effort to boost its in-stream shopping initiatives in the Western market. The company has already had notable success with in-app shopping in China, where it has become a key revenue driver. Western audiences, however, have yet to fully embrace TikTok’s shopping features, prompting the company to launch a new push aimed at boosting adoption.

Inviting Select Sellers to Join In-App Shopping

According to a report by Insider, TikTok is inviting select retailers to join its in-app shopping push by offering them subsidies on shipping and sales in order to maximize interest. The company is also incentivizing influencers to promote products via clickable links in videos and livestreams by offering sales commissions in a new affiliate marketing program. TikTok is fronting the cost of free shipping and discount coupons to encourage more purchases through the app.

TikTok Sees Success in Enlisting Influencers for Product-Focused Platform

TikTok has recently seen remarkable success in promoting its new app Lemon8 in several markets by using TikTok influencers to promote the product-focused platform. Over the last week and a half, Lemon8 was downloaded over 650,000 times in the US, reaching the top 10 in the ‚Lifestyle‘ category. This success demonstrates the level of influence that TikTok’s platform has over interest and usage trends, providing hope that the company’s new shopping push will be equally successful.

The Success of Douyin’s Live-Stream Shopping in China

In China, Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, has reported a 320% increase in eCommerce sales last year, largely driven by surging demand for live-stream shopping. The Chinese live shopping economy is predicted to be worth more than $500 billion in 2023, which would amount to around half of all US eCommerce activity. These figures have piqued interest in in-stream shopping in almost every social app over the past two years.

The Impact of COVID Lockdowns on Social Media eCommerce Efforts

During the COVID lockdowns, almost every social app experimented with in-stream shopping as a bridge to the next stage of online spending. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest all tried out some form of in-stream shopping in response to the changing retail landscape. However, once physical stores reopened, sales trends returned to their normal patterns and many consumers reverted to in-person buying habits. As a result, most apps scaled back their eCommerce efforts.

TikTok’s Continued Push for In-Stream Shopping

Despite the challenges of getting Western audiences to embrace in-stream shopping, TikTok is continuing to pursue this new revenue stream. The potential benefits are significant, enabling TikTok to provide more monetization opportunities for its top creators and expand its business horizons. Lemon8 provides influencers with the opportunity to earn affiliate commissions, while incentivizing sellers through free shipping and discount coupons could encourage more purchases through the app.

The Possibility of a TikTok Ban

However, the possibility of a TikTok ban remains a significant concern which could derail the company’s efforts to expand its eCommerce efforts. Despite this risk, TikTok appears determined to make in-stream sales a more habitual and commonplace behavior, opening up many more monetization opportunities for the app.

Overall, TikTok’s continued push in in-stream shopping could prove a valuable investment if the company can successfully shift usage behaviors to make in-app purchasing more common among consumers.


– https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/tiktok-sees-big-potential-in-in-stream-shopping-launches-new-push-to-enlis/606813/
– https://www.businessofapps.com/data/tiktok-statistics/
– https://www.insider.com/tiktok-shopping-push-incentivizes-sellers-free-shipping-coupons-2021-10