- TikTok users will soon be able to buy goods in the app, the Financial Times reports.
- The app is working on new in-app features like live-streamed shopping, similar to QVC.
- TikTok partnered up with Shopify last year as it began to move into e-commerce.
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TikTok is moving further into e-commerce as it rolls out new features like livestreamed shopping and product catalogs, the Financial Times reported.
The video app, owned by China's ByteDance, said its new livestreamed shopping feature is similar to traditional TV shopping channels - but for mobile, the FT said. Users can purchase products with a few clicks after watching a quasi-infomercial. Though some social media apps have slowly added in-app shopping capabilities, traditional TV shopping channels like QVC and HSN have been moving to digital video commerce for years, adding to their popularity.
TikTok's other new e-commerce features include a tool that allows companies to display catalogs and another feature that allows users with a big following to link to products and earn money off sales. TikTok confirmed its plans to explore new tools such as product links and catalogs, in an emailed statement to Insider, though it did not comment on plans for the livestreamed function.
"We started previewing ad products that we will be focusing on more in 2021, and supporting our e-commerce ecosystem with more advertising solutions is a priority," said Lan Nguyen from TikTok's Global Communications.
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The new features, which are reportedly set to roll out this year, follow months of efforts for the company to move into e-commerce. According to data from BDO, companies are looking to invest more in mobile and social commerce to increase their online sales.
Last year, the video app launched its "TikTok for Business" marketing suite. Then in October, it partnered with Shopify, a platform where small businesses can attract customers online, in order to give sellers the ability to use the video app to run ad campaigns. Months later, TikTok struck a deal with Walmart to allow users to buy products in-app without ever leaving the platform.
Individuals have already found success selling their products through TikTok, as the platform is top among its peers in increasing brand awareness among young people. Users such as artists, used clothing retailers, and slime sellers have all sold their items on the app, increasing sales and followers through video advertising.