TikTok is on a mission to re-design the marketing funnel to create an “infinite loop” powered by discovery and creativity, and while that might sound a little ‘sunshine and rainbows’, and more than a tad far-fetched, we should all pay attention.
That’s because while TikTok’s shopping efforts haven’t brought riches to creators or brands just yet, the weight that is being thrown behind it by one of the true giants of the internet means one day its efforts will stick.
What are TikTok’s new shopping ads?
The latest way TikTok is trying to appeal to shoppers is via Shopping Ads.
“Shopping Ads is a simpler, smarter, and more advanced ad solution that helps brands meet shoppers wherever they are in the purchase journey, sparking demand and boosting sales.”
Shopping Ads come in three new formats: Video Shopping Ads, LIVE Shopping Ads and Catalogue Listing Ads.
TikTok says it will help brands reach audiences who are more likely to convert thanks to automated creative features – although it does concede that these features are currently in development so we don’t know when we might see them.
Video shopping ads
Video Shopping Ads lets brands create “hyper-relevant” shoppable adverts that are displayed on the For You page – which will entice people to check out your products and learn more about your brand.
If users are interested, they can shop your video by clicking on the ‘sponsored’ banner at the bottom of the screen. Of course, the content will work best here that’s creative, entertaining and can stop a scroll.
Catalogue listing ads
Catalogue listing ads let you promote your products at scale across TikTok without video assets. It could be a format that could be perfect for marketers who lack the resources to create TikTok content but still want to use the platform to target their audience.
Catalogue Listing Ads are currently in testing in the US.
Live shopping ads
Just like Video Shopping Ads, LIVE Shopping Ads could be perfect for those influencer/brand collaborations and should help marketers drive engagement from the For You page by showing their product to customers who are more likely to purchase it.
However, the ability to go live with them gives it a little twist. For example, if you’re a beauty company with a new range of eyeliner, your influencer could host a LIVE video where they’re trying them out or giving styling advice while your products appear in the ‘sponsored’ banner at the bottom of the screen.
TikTok Shopping Ads
TikTok says that there are four main benefits of shopping ads:
- Simply the buying experience via three new advertising formats.
- Unlock your full catalogue potential.
- Meets shoppers wherever they are in the buying journey.
- Greater performance and optimisation opportunities.
Furthermore, 56% of TikTok users say that ads on TikTok lead them to discover new products, 48% say they are interested in making a purchase on or from TikTok in the next three months, and 70% say it’s easy to purchase through TikTok Shopping Ads.
Those numbers sound pretty good – so if it tickles your fancy, then you should run a test of Shopping Ads. To do that, you must share your advanced signals and have your catalogue connected.
You can find a much more detailed guide here. It’s well worth a look.
Use Shopping Ads with TikTok Shop
Although you don’t need a TikTok Shop to use TikTok Shopping Ads, it’s recommended.
“We developed Shopping Ads to work perfectly with TikTok Shop—unlocking more capabilities and better performance, like advanced features within Video Shopping Ads as well as full access to LIVE Shopping Ads.”
TikTok Shop is a full-service eCommerce platform that lets marketers sell directly through a TikTok account. So, it does make sense to set one up if you’re planning on using Shopping Ads.
TikTok Shopping offers two ways for brands to sell their wares: Direct Integration and Partner Integration. We’ll talk about Direct Integration first.
With Direct Integration, you can sell your products on TikTok and creators can participate in an affiliate programme.
“With TikTok Shopping’s Direct Integration, TikTok offers a fully native shopping experience where product discovery, product detail pages, product management, shipping, billing, purchases, and returns are powered and performed on TikTok.”
Using Direct Integration, you will have access to TikTok Seller Center, TikTok Affiliate Program and Native Checkout Flow.
If that’s not for you, that’s all good. You can participate in Partner Integrations, which lets you create a product catalogue via a TikTok For Business account and sell them on TikTok. However, check-out and post payment is handled away from the app.