Mobile Applications

TikTok Enters eCommerce With In-App Shopping Links

TikTok Enters eCommerce With Shopping Links

The popular video app TikTok is testing out a new feature that will give certain video creators the option to add links to videos for eCommerce purposes, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

The move would allow the growing app to earn an additional stream of revenue outside of advertising. Right now, the new feature is only available to a few top creators. Although the functionality is not limited to retail, some video creators have been linking to products on Amazon.

“We’re always experimenting with new ways to improve the app experience,” a TikTok spokeswoman said.

No specific information has been shared about how TikTok plans to collect fees or how certain users were chosen.

Many other social media companies have also entered into the eCommerce space as a way to diversify income streams. Instagram, for example, now lets users purchase products directly from feeds. Pinterest has a similar feature, and Snap launched shoppable ads about a year ago.

TikTok has been downloaded over 100 million times in America alone and has more than one billion users around the world. It differentiates itself from other sites by offering 15-second videos. The company rivals YouTube and Facebook in popularity, and the startup that created it, China’s ByteDance, is now valued at approximately $75 billion.

TikTok’s Chinese counterpart, called Douyin, already has a strong eCommerce functionality. Creators can position product listings directly in videos, and users can interact with the listings and complete a transaction without leaving the app.

Earlier this year, TikTok signed on brands including Pepsi, Myntra, ShopClues and to help with advertising.

The app does not charge for filters or video effects, but users can purchase TikTok coins to buy gifts for other streamers.



Social distancing has changed eCommerce from a ‘want to have’ to a ‘must have’ for businesses, yet retailers could struggle to create convenient payment and refund experiences for their apps and websites, says Abdul Raof Latiff, head of DBS Bank’s digital institutional banking group. In the April 2020 B2B API Tracker, Latiff explains how banks can provide a timely assist via application programming interfaces (APIs) that integrate payments into those eCommerce platforms.