Developed and launched in 2016 by ByteDance, TikTok is a social media application that allows users to share short videos. In early 2020, TikTok gained massive popularity across the globe, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic that triggered the social isolation and lockdown policies. While this application was solely meant for entertainment at first, e-commerce sellers are now taking advantage of it to market their products. With that in mind, here's a look at some of the new TikTok's new features.
TikTok Product Links
This feature allows the seller to add a product link, which enables the users to click and view the products in the online shop. This way, TikTok sellers get to market their products on this platform without necessarily displaying them.
Short Video Displays
Apart from adding a link to your products, TikTok also allows you to display your products in form of short videos. Here, you can demonstrate the actual working of the product and get people interested in purchasing it.
This feature allows brands and influencers to host shopping livestreams, enabling viewers to view products and make in-app purchases in real-time. The TV shopping channel feature is suitable for brands and influencers that command a massive fan following.
Currently, TikTok is competing with numerous other ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, Wix, Square online, BigCommerce, and Squarespace. Despite their different business models, these platforms target virtually the same audience, meaning the competition in this space is cutthroat.
TikTok Partnership With Shopify
In October 2020, TikTok announced a partnership with Shopify that would allow at least 1 million merchants to market and sell their products through video ads. So far, the TikTok for Business feature enables ecommerce entrepreneurs to create and run campaigns on TikTok and engage their online communities. Beyond advertising their offerings on TikTok, merchants can also sell their offerings on the platform, and therefore, earn money on the platform.
TikTok Operation in the US
In 2019, the U.S. Department of Commerce and other government agencies, under the leadership of the former president, Trump, banned the usage of the TikTok application citing a threat to national security. Other bans happened in India and Indonesia based on "pornographic content". However, the ban in the US was reprieved in 2020 after numerous legal arguments, as reported by the New York Times. For now, more Americans are signing up for this application every day as it gains more popularity.
TikTok ecommerce has generally changed the lives of many online sellers. While some earn money, others struggle to make their first sale due to their small following. In other words, having a large following on TikTok is the first step towards making money from the platform.
TIK TOK: How To Use TikTok For eCommerce | Feat. Rachel Pedersen