TikTok Ventures into e-Commerce with Livestream Shopping Event

TikTok shopping
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Short video-making app, TikTok has ventured into live shopping with an entertainment event slotted for Wednesday. The company started hosting shopping live streams during the Black Friday weekend with other brands and is now planning to host its own two-day shopping event with support from Ryan Clark-Neal featuring influencers, music and a quiz.

“We think it’s a really significant moment. E-commerce is a big opportunity for TikTok and it’s something we’re investing in significantly,” TikTok General Manager, UK and EU, Rich Waterworth said.

TikTok hopes to capitalize on customers’ increased shopping needs for items such as make-up and sportswear. Facebook and Instagram are already full of merchandizers dealing in different products, and TikTok aims to catch up.

Read: e-commerce Platforms Suffer as More Kenyans Prefer to Transact on Social Media- Report

The live shopping events will be initially launched for UK users before it is rolled out to other countries.

Social media platforms experienced a surge in online shopping activities during the Covid-19 pandemic when more businesses had to close down as a way of curbing the spread. The apps supported the small businesses by developing tools to help them grow their businesses.

Waterworth said that the model had the potential to give users “a new type of shopping experience with a TikTok twist”

“People who have a shared interest or a shared love for a creator or a product area, these communities come together and make the experience of finding and enjoying those products more interesting,” Mr Waterworth explains.

Read also: President Trump Signs Orders Banning Chinese Apps TikTok And WeChat In 45 Days If Not Sold To U.S. Companies

“So when you bring these two things together, the power of the TikTok community and the brands … it’s really exciting,” he adds.

Live stream shopping is a pretty new concept in social media circles. The feature allows users to shop while watching content at the same time. It comes with a direct purchasing tool and can be used for a number of brands and products. The video-making app, which recently disclosed that it has one billion global users monthly, is hoping to cash in on the feature by taking a cut from the items sold.

According to research by the Chinese company, one in four users research or shop for a  product after watching a TikTok video. The company’s #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt hashtag has been used seven billion times, indicating the purchasing power the app harbours.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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