TikTok is ramping up its efforts to introduce in-app shopping to Western audiences, following the success of its shopping initiatives in China. The platform is inviting selected retailers to create shops on its app and promote their products via clickable links in videos and live streams. To entice retailers to join its in-app shopping push, TikTok is offering them big subsidies on shipping and sales. The company is also incentivizing influencers to promote items in videos by offering sales commissions in a new affiliate marketing program.
Live-stream shopping has been a massive success in Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, which reported a 320% increase in e-commerce sales last year. The potential of these figures has sparked interest in in-stream shopping across social media apps, with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest all testing out various forms of in-stream shopping.
TikTok's latest efforts to encourage in-app shopping come after the success of its recent Lemon8 app, which has been downloaded over 650,000 times in the US in just a week and a half. With its massive user base and range of subsidies for retailers, TikTok has the potential to become a significant player in the in-stream shopping game.