TikTok Tests New Visual Product Search Option to Boost its eCommerce Efforts


TikTok has been relentless in exploring ways to drive in-stream shopping among Western audiences and duplicate its Chinese success in these markets. In its latest effort, TikTok is testing a new visual product discovery option to help users conveniently locate similar items in TikTok Shop listings by taking photos of the products.

TikTok’s New Visual Product Search Option

The new search option, which is currently being tested in some markets outside the US, functions similarly to image search on Pinterest’s Lens and Google. Users can capture photos of products they like, then use these images to conduct their searches. This innovation provides greater potential for discovery and turns TikTok into a shopping search tool.

The Global Market Variance

Live-stream shopping significantly dominates in the Chinese market, as local app Douyin uses it as its main income stream. This market trend spills over to its Southeast Asian neighbors such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

However, Western consumers on TikTok may not be as inclined to shop in-stream due to concerns regarding product quality, safety, and the replacement of real-life shopping experiences. Online shopping in the US and the EU has not yet reached the transformative stage that it has in Asia, where people are more adaptive to online marketplaces.

TikTok’s Goal to Crack the US and EU Market

Despite this, TikTok’s cultural presence and young audience demographics give some hope that it can still capture important market shares, especially as younger audiences reach higher spending brackets. TikTok continues to push for user behavior adaptation towards in-stream shopping, with this new search option’s introduction as one of its many tools to power its eCommerce growth.


TikTok’s initiative to test a visual product search option is a refreshing take on in-stream shopping that might just be the springboard needed to boost its eCommerce potential. Western audiences may have yet to fully embrace in-stream shopping, but with TikTok’s growing audience and influence, coupled with its innovative approach, there’s no telling what the future may hold for in-stream shopping on this social media platform.


  • The original article: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/tiktok-tests-new-visual-product-search-option-to-boost-its-ecommerce-effort/607635/
  • Image search on Pinterest’s Lens: https://in.pinterest.com/lens/
  • Online shopping trends in the US: https://www.invespcro.com/blog/e-commerce-trends/
  • TikTok statistics: https://influencermarketinghub.com/tiktok-stats/