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TikTok goes into e-commerce 

July 26, 2023

Through its parent company ByteDance, Tiktok is currently testing its new in-app purchases section. The new feature is called TrendyBeats, and the test phase is currently taking place in the UK. 

Product sales already exist on the TikTok Shop application. Brands can sell their products directly there, and use the virtual store as a marketplace. According to one study, 1.09 billion people over 18 can be reached by ads on TikTok (21% of Internet users over 18), with an increase of 12.6% in one year. For the most part, it’s the 18-34 age group that represents the greatest potential for brands. France ranks 14th, with a pool of almost 22 million people. 

This is why, with its new functionality, Tiktok is seeking to adopt a business model similar to that of Amazon Basics or Shein, which are enjoying real success through the promotion of their in-house products. The items are expected to be varied, but primarily promoted by TikTok users: shoes, dresses, hats, suits… or beauty items such as epilators, earwax extractors. This list is by no means exhaustive, and is sure to grow as the test phases progress.

This is not Tiktok’s first foray into e-commerce. TikTok had already begun exploring more advanced e-commerce functionalities, through several initiatives such as : 

  • Buy buttons : TikTok has tested native buy buttons in certain regions, enabling users to discover and purchase products directly from the platform. These buttons are integrated into videos and redirect users to product pages where they can finalize their purchases.
  • Affiliate links : The application has also launched an affiliate link program, enabling content creators to generate revenue by placing links to products in their videos. When users purchase products via these links, creators can receive a commission on sales.
  • Online store integration : TikTok explored partnerships with existing e-commerce platforms to enable brands and content creators to connect their online stores to their TikTok profiles. This would facilitate the sale of products directly from TikTok profiles.
  • Brand collaborations : TikTok has sought to establish partnerships with brands to promote products and advertising campaigns. These collaborations often focus on the creation of original, engaging content highlighting products, with the aim of boosting sales.

In its annual report, Brand Finance announced that TikTok was the world’s fastest-growing company. The app’s value has increased by 215% in 2022, now weighing in at $59.0 billion (up from $18.7 billion in 2021). This explains the social network’s ambition not to limit itself to its status as a network, but to expand into the e-commerce market.


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