TikTok launches new ad solutions with smarter targeting and amplified product discovery

·3 min read

TikTok announced today that it's launching a new commerce ad suite called "Shopping Ads" to make it easier for brands to advertise on the platform. The company is currently testing three formats of Shopping Ads, including Video Shopping Ads, Catalog Listing Ads and LIVE Shopping Ads.

The new Video Shopping Ads allow advertisers to highlight one or more products in their in-feed video ads in a way that amplifies product discovery and purchase intent. TikTok says video Shopping Ads provide dynamic experiences based on the shopper's intent to purchase, with smart targeting and optimized ad delivery. Video Shopping Ads essentially put brands' shoppable videos in front of users who are more likely to buy them. The ads will also automatically create a landing page to better determine a user's intent to purchase. Video Shopping Ads are currently available to select advertisers for beta testing.

The company says Video Shopping Ads combine the best of its current Dynamic Showcase Ads and Collection Ads solutions. Although Dynamic Showcase Ads and Collection Ads will still be available for the rest of 2022, TikTok plans to phase them out next year.

TikTok's new Catalog Listing Ads allow advertisers to scale their product catalogs across the app and expand advertising reach beyond the For You Page. With Catalog Listing Ads, advertisers can promote their products across shoppable surfaces like "Recommended Products" or "Related Products" on TikTok, where users with relevant interests and higher purchase intent can discover and buy them. Catalog Listing Ads are currently being tested in the United States.

Lastly, LIVE Shopping Ads enable advertisers to direct users from the For You page to their LIVE Shopping event, so that they can join in and learn about their products. LIVE Shopping Ads boost traffic to a brand's event and are designed to get their products in front of shoppers who are more likely to buy them. LIVE Shopping Ads are testing where TikTok Shop is available, which includes the U.K., Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

"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," the company said in a blog post.

As part of today's announcement, TikTok revealed that 56% of users say ads on TikTok lead them to discover new products or brands, according to a global research study conducted with Material. The company also notes that 48% of users are interested in making a purchase on or from TikTok in the next three months. In addition, TikTok notes that 70% of users say it seems easy to purchase through the TikTok shopping-related ad they saw.

The launch of the new ad solutions come as TikTok has been expanding its ad products over the past several months. In May, the company launched an ad product called “Branded Mission” that allows creators to connect with brands and possibly receive rewards for videos. The product allows advertisers to crowdsource content from creators and turn top-performing videos into ads.

Also in May, TikTok launched a contextual ad solution called TikTok Pulse to lure advertisers to its platform by giving them the ability to showcase their brands’ content next to the best videos on TikTok. The ad solution ensures brands’ ads are placed next to the top 4% of all videos on TikTok.

Given TikTok's interest in asserting itself as an e-commerce platform, it's no surprise that it's looking to woo advertisers and build out its advertising suite. However, it's worth noting that not all of TikTok's e-commerce plans are going according to plan, as the company has reportedly dropped plans to expand its live e-commerce TikTok Shop initiative to the United States and additional parts of Europe after seeing subpar performance in the U.K.