Have you heard the news? TikTok is shaking up the eCommerce marketing game with its brand-new feature – TikTok Shopping Ads. Want to make sure you’re up-to-date with all the need-to-know details about this new feature? We’ve got all the info you could possibly need right here.]
TikTok is a place where marketing magic happens, and this new feature is set to make it even better for eCommerce businesses. TikTok Shopping Ads offer an innovative, smart ad platform that allows businesses to successfully target customers throughout the buying journey. It helps spur interest and ultimately drives sales. Without further ado, let’s dive right into what you need to know about this exciting new advertising model.
What are TikTok Shopping Ads?
First up, here’s a quick rundown of the basics. TikTok Shopping Ads are native ads that allow businesses to include a shopping link in their videos. This creates a direct path from the video to an e-commerce purchase. They are a great way to target potential customers during their research and consideration phase. It helps people make the jump from window shopping to actually buying. But there’s even more to them than that – here are a few of the standout features below:
- TikTok Shopping Ads is actually a three-in-one solution, which combines three different ad formats into one. But more about that later!
- With smart, advanced targeting, TikTok Shopping Ads are designed to find users at precisely the right moment – no matter where they are in their buying journey. This “perfect timing” looks different for each user, but TikTok’s smart algorithms will find that sweet spot.
- This new ad solution comes with tons of optimization options so that businesses can continuously improve performance and maximise ROI.
- “Hyper-relevant” is the name of the game when it comes to TikTok Shopping Ads. The combination of different ad formats, smart targeting, and optimization means that businesses can put the right offer in front of the right customer at the right time. This creates an irresistible sequence of engagement that TikTok has termed “The Infinite Loop“
“Customers are engaged at every point in their journey, and their interactions with the brand are constantly being optimised. The cycle continues and evolves with each engagement. It throws the linear customer journey out the window and creates a more organic, dynamic flow, with each customer moving seamlessly from consideration to purchase and back to discovery without breaking the loop.”
What is the Infinite Loop?
The Infinite Loop is the ultimate goal of TikTok Shopping Ads. It is a continuous cycle of engagement, which has no well-defined beginning or end. Let’s break it down a little further.
In the traditional customer journey, the customer moves from awareness to consideration, to purchase, following a step-by-step path to conversion. This creates a funnel where brands can identify which point customers are in the journey. It allows them to target their content accordingly. The familiarity of the funnel might seem comforting to marketers, but like any fixed system, it can limit creativity.
With the Infinite Loop, things look a little different. Instead of a funnel, the cycle looks more like a figure eight – and there is no end. Customers are engaged at every point in their journey, and their interactions with the brand are constantly being optimised. The cycle continues and evolves with each engagement. It throws the linear customer journey out the window and creates a more organic, dynamic flow, with each customer moving seamlessly from consideration to purchase and back to discovery without breaking the loop.
The foundation of the Infinite Loop is entertainment. TikTok Shopping Ads are all about creating content that is not just converting, but also relevant and fun to watch. If you’re playing the TikTok game right then your customers should never feel like they’re being sold to. They should be having fun, and at the same time, being organically guided towards conversion. By design, the Infinite Loop doesn’t force irrelevant products onto customers. Instead, it shows users what they want when they want it and embeds this discovery within the TikTok experience.
Three new formats to make selling simple
We mentioned earlier that TikTok Shopping Ads is actually a three-in-one solution. This parcel of goodness includes three different ad formats, each with their own unique advantages for marketers. Harness the power of all three or pick and choose what works best for you. It’s like walking into an advertising sweet shop. Here are the three ad formats you can use with TikTok Shopping Ads.
Video Shopping Ads
The premise of Video Shopping Ads is simple – they make your video ads shoppable. Like regular TikTok ads, they appear in a user’s For You feed. However, they have the added bonus of an integrated product card or anchor link, which allows viewers to explore products from your store and make a purchase with just a few clicks.
Like all TikTok ads, Video Shopping Ads aim to be hyper-relevant. This means they only appear to users who may be interested in the products you advertise. Video Shopping Ads are currently available globally.
Catalog Listing Ads
TikTok’s Catalog Listing Ads are a game-changer for online merchants. Think Google Shopping, but on TikTok. Essentially, TikTok has created one central location where customers can browse and discover products from multiple retailers. Right now, it’s only available in the U.S. but is expected to roll out to other countries soon.
Advertisers can easily create product listings, which will be displayed on videos in front of potentially interested customers. When users click the listing, they’ll be transported to the Shop With TikTok section of the app. Here they’ll be able to explore related products and even make a purchase.
LIVE Shopping Ads
Remember the days of live shopping on TV? TikTok has brought this format back with its LIVE Shopping Ads. These ads appear during a live stream, allowing viewers to shop for products directly from the stream. This means shoppers can discover and purchase products in real-time while enjoying the show. It’s a great way to inject a bit of excitement into the shopping experience and boost conversions.
This feature is currently being tested wherever TikTok Shop is available which includes the UK, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and invited accounts in the U.S.
Product Links on TikTok
Product links are the backbone of the TikTok Shopping experience. They are the glue that connects users directly to products and allows them to make a purchase without having to figure out where they’re going next. Product links are integrated into the various Shopping Ads formats listed above. You can find them in videos, catalogue listings, and even live streams. Located in the lower left corner of each video, links direct users to an expedited product detail page on TikTok’s Storefront. After tapping a link, customers have instant access to a place where they can buy items directly for checkout.
TikTok Storefront is exactly what it sounds like – your store’s home on TikTok. It’s where your products live and customers can browse, explore, and purchase directly from this page. This is a great way of taking shoppers from awareness to purchase without them ever having to leave the TikTok platform.
“TikTok has found a way to break through this fatigue and give people what they want – intuitive and unobtrusive product discovery. Users still want to find products that are useful and interesting, but without the pushy sales tactics.”
Audiences Love Product Discovery on TikTok
We live in a highly commercialised world. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed, we’re bombarded with advertisements and brand messaging. This can lead to generalised ad fatigue; people get sick of being constantly sold to and they start to tune out anything that looks or feels like an ad.
TikTok has found a way to break through this fatigue and give people what they want –
intuitive and unobtrusive product discovery. Users still want to find products that are useful and interesting, but without the pushy sales tactics. TikTok gives people the ability to do that, and audiences are responding well to it.
#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt is a great (tongue-in-cheek) example of how effective product discovery on TikTok can be. People from all around the world have started posting about the items they’ve bought as a direct result of watching a TikTok video. While the hashtag implies that they were forced in some way, the irony is that the TikTok algorithm is so effective at serving the right products to the right people that the recipient never even felt like they were being advertised to.
Eye-opening TikTok Stats
Here are some stats that show just how effective product discovery is on TikTok:
- TikTok users are twice as likely as users on other platforms to recommend a product or service they found on TikTok.
- As much as 35% of TikTok users have purchased an item they spotted on the app, demonstrating its powerful influence.
- Impressively, 37% of TikTok users encountered something on the app and then immediately went to purchase it.
- 50% of TikTok users report feeling satisfied with their purchases when TikTok was part of the journey (compared to 25% for other platforms).
- TikTok users are 1.5 times more likely to make an immediate purchase after encountering a product or service on the platform compared to users of other platforms.
TikTok actually leads to users spending 14% more when the platform is part of their customer journey.
@cleaningcorner ?Link in my bio? #tiktokmademebuyit #carpetcleaning #cleantok #Bossit2021 #cleaning #cleaninghacks #amazonfinds #fup #4up #foryoupage #carpet ? Zanzibar – Billy Joel
Why Ecommerce Brands Are Turning to TikTok
Is it any wonder why eCommerce brands are turning to TikTok? There are endless advertising mediums for brands to tap into, but none offer the same level of targetability, personalisation, and engagement that you can get from TikTok. And when we say personalisation, this is the real key.
Marketers are used to targeting based on demographic and geographic parameters, and other factors such as interests, gender, age, etc. What TikTok offers is the opportunity to target using behavioural cues. The all-powerful algorithm does more than just serve your ads to the relevant demographic. It performs a deep analysis of user behaviour and then serves ads that are tailored to what users like, want, and need then and there.
You might think you know your target audience, but TikTok knows them even better. And with TikTok Shopping Ads, you get a full-package marketing solution that doesn’t just allow your audience to discover your products; it also allows you to discover your audience.
TikTok Partners for Shopping Ads
If you’re looking to tap into the power of TikTok Shopping Ads, you can enlist the help of several established third party partners. These include Smartly, Shopify, and Woocommerce among others that have been approved by TikTok as official partners. Each one offers its own suite of services tailored to different brands and businesses. As such, there’s sure to be something that works for you.
Smartly.io. This is an incredibly powerful AI-driven platform that helps you create targeted campaigns, track performance and optimise in real-time. It also provides a suite of tools to help you measure, understand, and act on the data it collects.
Shopify. Shopify is the world’s leading eCommerce platform. Its TikTok integration simplifies creating Shopping Ads that take customers from initial discovery to your store in just a click.
Woocommerce. Woocommerce is another popular eCommerce platform designed to help you create an attractive and intuitive online store. Woocommerce’s TikTok integration means you can easily create ads that lead shoppers directly to your products.
Productsup. Productsup helps you manage, optimise, and measure shopping campaigns across all major platforms including TikTok.
Salesforce. Salesforce is a customer relationship management tool that helps you turn anonymous web visitors into loyal customers. With its TikTok integration, you can create targeted Shopping Ads campaigns to generate more sales.
Ecwid. This is a cloud-based platform that helps you create an online store, manage orders and customer data, and build powerful campaigns with TikTok Shopping Ads.
Examples of Ecommerce Brands Thriving on TikTok
Now that you know how powerful TikTok Shopping Ads can be, let’s look at some examples of eCommerce brands thriving on the platform.
Ambitious final-year student Sumayah, the proud owner of a flourishing modest wear business, turned to TikTok LIVE in 2022 as a way to grow her budding venture. By partnering with local influencers, she quickly became the premier TikTok local-to-local fashion seller in the UK. She’s done this by showcasing her modest wear collection via LIVE shopping events. Her spring campaign was highly successful. GMV skyrocketed by 900%, with 80% of sales directly attributed to LIVE Shopping after just two months.
@by.sumayah No caption even needed… The OG Sumayah abaya ?? comes with matching Hijab! #fyp #hijabi #abaya #modestfashion #abayagirls #fashiontiktok #muslimtiktok #ootd ? ??? ???? ? ????? ?? ?????? – Tariq
AE is a global leader in denim and an all-around well-respected eCommerce retailer. They were early to embrace TikTok advertising, and this move paid off. By integrating their catalogue and harnessing TikTok Product Links with in-feed Shopping Ads, they generated an astonishing 20,000 clicks over 21 campaigns.
We all know L’Oreal as one of the world’s leading beauty brands. But what you may not know is that they’re taking advantage of TikTok Shopping Ads too. Harnessing the power of Community Commerce, this beauty giant ran a successful campaign that generated a massive boost to daily sales for two of their sub-brands – Garnier and Maybelline.
By collaborating with influencers on TikTok in Indonesia, they harnessed the strength of Video Shopping Ads, Product Links, and LIVE Shopping to drive sales straight through their profiles. Maybelline and Garnier experienced a 12x and 11x increase in sales respectively, with the GMV targets exceeding expectations by 106%.
Harness The Power of TikTok Shopping Ads
If you’re an eCommerce brand and you want a slice of the action, get on board and start harnessing the power of TikTok Shopping Ads. It’s like having a personal, tailored marketing assistant in the palm of your hand. Of course, here at House of Marketers, we see the power of TikTok first-hand. Brands are boosting their GMV, driving more sales, and reaching a wider base of customers worldwide using this powerful platform.
If you’d like to learn more, get in touch with us today to make the most of TikTok Shopping Ads. We’re here to help you start your very own success story.
House of Marketers (HOM) is a leading TikTok Marketing Agency. Our global agency was built by early TikTok Employees & TikTok Partners, which gives us the insider knowledge to help leading brands, like Redbull, Playtika, Badoo, and HelloFresh win on TikTok. Want us to convert more of Gen Z and Millennials with TikTok? Get in touch with our friendly team, here.