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TikTok Explores eCommerce with New 'Shop' Tab Test

TikTok pushes forward with its eCommerce experimentation, introducing a new 'Shop' tab for some users. Will this pave the way for in-app purchases?

TikTok Trials 'Shop' Tab in eCommerce Push

TikTok is taking another crack at eCommerce, this time via a new 'Shop' tab that's cropped up for selected users. Located next to the familiar 'Following' and 'For You' tabs, the new feature signals the platform's ongoing quest to blend social media and shopping.

The social media titan has previously experimented with other options for a third tab, like its 'Nearby' feed, but the 'Shop' tab takes a more direct approach, linking users straight to the TikTok Shop display.

TikTok's journey in eCommerce has seen mixed results. While in-stream shopping has become a major revenue driver in the Chinese version of the app, as well as in other Asian markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, Western users have been less enthusiastic about mingling their social media scrolling with shopping sprees.

Past endeavors by TikTok to introduce live-stream shopping saw a lukewarm response, leading the platform to adopt a more cautious strategy with its latest eCommerce trials. The trials include a 'Shop' tab on select retailer profiles and a new in-app product showcase called 'Trendy Beat', which features TikTok's own products.

With this latest experiment, TikTok aims to discover if a more accessible shop tab can stimulate browsing and purchasing activity. The fact remains, though, that the platform has yet to find a definitive path forward in the face of Western audiences' resistance to in-app shopping.

Nevertheless, TikTok remains determined to uncover the right approach, so we can anticipate more eCommerce experiments from the app in the future.