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Tik Tok Moves into Ecommerce, Taps into the Rise of “Social Shopping”

3 min read

By Andrew Kaminsky

One of the world’s largest social media platforms is embracing the ecommerce wave. Fueled by the pandemic, more consumers moved their purchasing patterns online as many brick and mortar stores were forced to close their doors. Tik Tok is looking to take advantage of this growing trend.

Best known for dance videos, comedy, and lip sync routines, the social media giant wants to explore the opportunities that ecommerce and “social shopping” offer.

Whereas physically going shopping can be a social event, online shopping has largely been a solitary affair. Tik Tok is looking to combine the aspects of shopping online and social media with its first live shopping and entertainment event on Wednesday.

Users can tune in to one of their favorite creators’ events where they’ll be advertising products. Users can engage with their close contacts and other users while watching the event in a “social shopping” occasion that brings the interpersonal element of shopping into the online world.

Customers are increasingly finding products online by browsing social media. All varieties of products can be bought through social media platforms. Other social media giants like Facebook and Instagram have been capitalizing on the ecommerce movement. Tik Tok is looking to explore the potential that this untapped market presents.

According to an Insider Intelligence report, from 2019 to 2020 the number of US social ecommerce shoppers grew 25% to 80 million, and there are no signs of this growth slowing.

Tik Tok has previously held livestream shopping with different brands during Black Friday and they just recently produced a 2-day shopping event with influencers, and interactive activities.

People already love the convenience of shopping online, as well as interacting with their friends on social media. Those friends who share a mutual interest in Tik Tok creators can now interact with each other while shopping online for products.

The opportunity for online shopping with Tik Tok is massive. Tik Tok already has more than a billion monthly users. Internal data from Tik Tok estimates that after watching a Tik Tok video, 1 in 4 of its users will either research a product or make a purchase. Needless to say, there is massive potential to convert views into sales on the platform, and that is exactly what Tik Tok aims to do.

The popular hashtag, #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, has been used 7 billion times on the app.

The possibility of Tik Tok become a major player in the online retail world will undoubtedly disrupt the retail industry, eating into the sales of traditional stores than online shopping has already done.

There are barriers to shopping at brick-and-mortar stores that aren’t there when sales can be made through an already popular social media app. Having to shop during hours of operation, physically traveling to the store, and finding the time to make it all happen around your other obligations are barriers that Tik Tok removes for its shoppers.

With more and more of our world becoming digitalized, it’s a safe bet that more companies will be looking to take advantage of this new sales territory. Tik Tok is one of the latest to jump on the bandwagon.

About the Author


Andrew Kaminsky is a freelance writer from Canada. He holds a BA in International Development and taught English up until 2021. Andrew has published articles in health, technology, and sports. In his free time Andrew loves to explore new places, laugh with friends both old and new, and discuss, play, or watch anything sport-related.

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