TikTok Plans U.S. TikTok Shop Release for October

Over the past year, TikTok has been testing the shop features on their platform that redirects to the TikTok marketplace, and they recently rolled out TikTok Shop to the US with a goal of having the platform accessible for all US users by early October – just in time for the holiday buying surge.

In this post, we’ll look at the ins and outs of TikTok Shop and make some recommendations for putting it into play in your ad campaigns.

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What logistics do you need to know about Shop?

Shop will be a completely in-platform experience, designed to keep users in the TikTok app while they shop. The Shop button will be available to all US users to drive traffic to an in-app marketplace or specific products.

Current ad types include video shopping ads and live shopping ads, as seen here:

Tiktok Shop

Product shopping ads utilize existing images from the Product Detail Page, with no additional content creation needed.

Of note: TikTok’s algorithm is serving more videos with Shop CTA to drive more awareness about the new feature and to drive traffic to TikTok shops.

Bidding and targeting options

Shop campaigns offer an option to use a new campaign objective (Product Sales), with bidding options including “highest value/lowest cost” and the ability to set a minimum ROAS target with a cost cap.

On the optimization front, advertisers can choose from goals including GMV (gross merchandise value), Purchase, Initiate Checkout, and Click. Targeting capabilities, to this point, look to mirror TikTok’s other campaign types.

What kinds of retailers should consider testing Shop?

Currently, Shop is featuring mainly home goods/QVC-type products (water bottles, hair accessories, camping chairs, etc.) and Fashion/Beauty retailers. Verified brands currently advertising on TikTok Shop include Revolve, Benefit, Whitelab, and Otterbox – and TikTok claims that several enterprise beauty brands (including Olay, L’Oreal, and E.L.F.) will be joining soon. 

If you’re a higher-end brand, you may want to wait to see how the platform’s catalog takes shape to gauge whether it’s a good fit for you; I’ve heard concerns that products listed are generally lower-quality and comparable to those sold on low-cost platforms like Shein and Temu. TikTok is saying that 200,000 sellers have signed up to date, and that number will certainly increase – but the general mix is to be determined.

What are your recommendations for testing this before the holidays?

If you have no concerns about brand misalignment and you’re trying to get in front of TikTok’s younger shopping demographic, I recommend testing Shop as soon as possible for a couple of reasons: 

1) TikTok is offering coupons and discounts to users and forgoing commissions for Shop merchants in a play to get the platform early momentum; 

2) TikTok plans to beef up Shop awareness for Black Friday and Cyber Monday with increased traffic, free shipping, and deals, so it’s a good idea to set up your brand shop beforehand and run campaigns to prime awareness before sales kick in.

At the very least, I recommend you test some small deals prior to the holiday to understand setup, mechanics, and reporting options before the holiday rush.

Wrap-up

Even if you choose to sit out the 2023 holidays and wait to see how Shop performs, the introduction should come as good news – any competition introduced to take market share from the Facebook/Google/Amazon triad will make a healthier advertising economy. If you have questions or need help setting up Shop campaigns, just reach out – we’re here to help.

Jordan Digital Marketing's B2b Guide to TikTok Ads

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