Video-sharing app TikTok is testing an ecommerce-related feature that could provide retailers with a new way to market their products.
The app is conducting a test in the United States that allows users to include a link within their bio or a post. When a consumer clicks the link, it opens up a browser within the app so the shopper doesn’t have to leave the social network to complete her purchase.
Fabian Bern, founder of the Chinese influencer agency Uplab, first shared a video showcasing the feature on Twitter. The video features dogs in costumes created by influencer Eugenia Chen’s company, Pandaloon, with a link to product listings on Amazon.com. Clicking on the link takes a consumer to Pandaloon’s Amazon page where the shopper can complete a purchase without leaving the TikTok app.
— Fabian Bern 法比安 (@iamfabianbern) November 14, 2019
While TikTok began testing shoppable ads that drive consumers outside the TikTok app earlier this year, the new test enables shoppers to complete their purchase without leaving the social network.
“We’re always experimenting with new ways to improve the app experience for our users,” says a TikTok spokeswoman. “Ultimately, we’re focused on ways to inspire creativity, bring joy and add value for our community.”
The spokeswoman declined to disclose whether TikTok plans to develop a revenue stream from the ecommerce links, such as collecting a share of sales from shoppers who click and buy from influencers’ links.
TikTok is the latest social network to seek to find ways to integrate ecommerce elements into its platform. Instagram, for example, earlier this year rolled out its Checkout feature that allows a shopper to complete a purchase leaving the social network. Pinterest is experimenting with multiple ecommerce-related elements such as Shop the Look ads, that enable consumers to learn more about the products that appear within a pin, and Catalogues, which enables retailers to upload their full catalog to Pinterest and automatically turn their products into shoppable product pins.
TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese social media company ByteDance, has roughly 26.5 million monthly active users in the United States, about 60% of whom are between the ages of 16 and 24, the company said this year.Favorite