Working The TikTok platform, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, with brands, including the fashion brand Hype, to test in-app sales in Europe, a step that is intensifying its competition with a company Facebook and further blurring the line between social media and online shopping.
The popular platform hopes abroad to replicate the success of its Chinese version of Douyin, which generated $ 26 billion in e-commerce transactions in its first year of operation.
TikTok has begun working with merchants in markets, including the United Kingdom, on ways to sell products directly to millions of users within the app.
While TikTok has run marketing promotions in the past, the current experiences are a prelude to a wider launch of a global e-commerce service.
The prototype is so far only available to select participants, and it remains unknown when the company will start the official launch.
The Hype storefront under her TikTok account displays a range of merchandise along with product images and prices.
ByteDance is heading strongly into the $ 1.7 trillion Chinese e-commerce scene hoping to add another massive growth story to its pre-IPO track record.
It aims to handle more than $ 185 billion in e-commerce annually by 2022, relying on the reach its social media platforms TikTok and Douyin have.
And unlike the Chinese competitors, Alibaba and Tencent, ByteDance apps have a wide global fanbase and the company’s founding partner wants to use that as a starting point in the online trading game.
“We have tested TikTok and learn through e-commerce offerings and partnerships, and we are constantly exploring new ways to add value, and providing updates as we explore these important avenues for our community of users, creators, and brands,” the company said in a statement.
The move comes as social media giants around the world are scrambling to seize their share of online retailing, a sector that is making $ 5 trillion in sales this year, according to eMarketer projections.
Last May, Facebook introduced new tools to improve the shopping experience on its platform, in addition to the Instagram photo-sharing application.
TikTok began testing online shopping with promotional links with Walmart and the Canadian e-commerce company Shopify.
Usually companies tag their products in Tik Tok social content, with links directing buyers to their own sites, but technically users are still present on the TikTok app.
And Facebook allows merchants to either set up storefronts within the app or direct users to third-party services.
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