TikTok, the app we all love for quick-bite entertainment, is bidding farewell to its Storefront feature, where users could connect TikTok to their ecommerce software, such as Shopify.
Instead, the platform will force retailers and brands towards its in-house shopping tool: TikTok Shop. Users will need to make the change by September 12, 2023.
By pushing users in this direction, TikTok is hoping to make shopping a seamless experience right within its own ecosystem. For example, a user watches a video of the latest fashion trend and then buys the garment without leaving the app.
This change isn't sudden move by TikTok. In China, in-stream shopping ads are the platform’s golden goose, raking in a majority of its revenue. However, the same hasn't held true for Western countries, where the uptake has been a lot slower.
While TikTok has done a good job integrating with other ecommerce software beyond just Shopfiy, there’s no doubt that some will be annoyed by this move. Storefront was versatile and gave businesses a more distinct online presence, and required minimal set up.
Regardless, TikTok seems confident in its decision and the success of in-stream shopping ads in China can be replicated in the West too. And if it works out, both retailers and users might find themselves enjoying a more integrated and smooth shopping spree on the app.