TikTok Storefront shutdown: What does this mean for brands?
As of September 12, 2023, TikTok is officially discontinuing its TikTok Storefront. This feature previously allowed users to showcase their recommended products in one spot. Influencers, celebrities, and brands have extensively used this feature to promote affiliated products. TikTok’s decision stems from a desire to encourage sellers to sell via TikTok Shop instead.
Why is TikTok Storefront shutting down?
According to TikTok, the move to shut down Storefront and pivot sellers to TikTok Shop is part of keeping up with the evolving ecommerce landscape.
“We are committed to building native, engaging and entertaining shopping experiences that empower you to meaningfully engage with customers and grow your business. As the retail industry changes rapidly, we are committed to enhancing and expanding our product offering to meet your evolving needs.” — TikTok.
Products currently linked and sold via TikTok Storefront will no longer feature in profiles, short videos, and ads. TikTok Shop is the answer for sellers, creators, and brands that want to continue selling on the social media giant.
TikTok’s decision to sunset its Storefront is part of its strategy to become a one-stop-shop for everything related to social media buying and entertainment. The main goal is to ensure that users don’t leave the app — not even to purchase something between one TikTok and the next. TikTok Storefront was a stepping stone to help sellers and brands expand into social commerce, and now, it’s time to take the next step.
What is TikTok Shop?
TikTok Shop was launched in November 2022. It allows brands and retailers to sell their products directly within the app. Brands & sellers can choose to sell in three ways:
1. Live shopping — Users can shop directly from and during a TikTok live by tapping pinned products or browsing the shopping basket icon.
2. Shoppable videos — In-feed product videos (organic posts and ads) allow users to shop right then and there by clicking the product link and basket icon.
3. Product showcases — Followers can shop directly from a brand or creator and get access to all linked products within the TikTok app.
TikTok Shop offers an all-in-app experience without any redirection to partnered shopping apps or websites, meaning higher conversion and sales for sellers. In addition, TikTok Shop offers seller insights (performance, traffic, customer reviews, and transaction data), which allows brands to revisit campaigns and strategize better to reach more shoppers.
Why should brands and creators sell on TikTok anyway?
Shopping on TikTok is a growing opportunity for brands and sellers. In the UK, 54% of users have purchased from a brand after seeing it on TikTok. Moreover, TikTok is increasingly a ‘search’ option for Gen Z & younger Millennials, who are more likely to search for what they want to buy on social media instead of search engines.
Along with easier shopping, selling on TikTok Shop means higher discoverability. 79% of UK TikTok users discovered new brands to shop at through the app. Selling via TikTok Shop allows you to collaborate with TikTok Shop Partners (TSP). These creators and talent agencies can bring your brand stories to life and help you reach wider audiences. Not only that, your business can also participate in TikTok’s monthly themed sale campaigns. This gives brands a unique way to grow their community and be culturally relevant while also providing a way to showcase products and boost sales.
So, how can you continue selling on TikTok?
The easiest way to continue selling on TikTok is to (manually) migrate your products over to TikTok Shop. To do this, you need to register on TikTok Shop.
It can be daunting to figure out another sales channel, especially if your business is just dipping its toes into social commerce. Incorporating a marketplace integrator like ChannelEngine into your tech stack can make this shift easier.
As one of the few global TikTok Shop integrators, we’ve worked first-hand with brands and businesses expanding on TikTok. There is huge potential for growth, especially as more and more users buy while they’re scrolling through TikTok.
If you’re a brand or seller looking to expand into the UK, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, or Singapore with TikTok — let’s talk. We can help you seamlessly navigate this change from TikTok Storefront to TikTok Shop.