ByteDance, maker of video app TikTok, is working with at least one UK merchant to test in-app sales in the Europe market.
TikTok is running a test with Hype, a streetwear brand, according to a Bloomberg report.
In the Hype pilot, the e-commerce feature is being provided to certain participants and there is no information regarding a formal launch, according to the news report.
“TikTok has been testing and learning with e-commerce offerings and partnerships, and we are constantly exploring new ways to add value”, the company told Bloomberg in an email. “We will provide updates as we explore these important avenues for our community of users, creators and brands.”
By integrating e-commerce into its video platform TikTok would have more opportunity to reach consumers.
The news comes as social media giants, including Facebook and Instagram, are striving hard and fast to tap into growing number of mobile device consumers and their love of shopping online.
Ed Hill, SVP EMEA, Bazaarvoice, said: “Commerce has become a cornerstone feature for social platforms, and it is a natural next step for TikTok to want to compete with those platforms – just 15% of UK consumers currently use TikTok to discover new products online, behind the likes of Instagram and Facebook.
“Retailers need to take customers from just buying online to truly shopping online, and by incentivising users to shop on the platform, it will take them from the point of product inspiration and discovery, all the way through to purchase without even leaving the app.
“Social commerce isn’t simply just about making posts shoppable though, it’s about delighting shoppers in an engaging and inspirational shopping journey. In fact, product discovery on social media is growing, with more than 80% of shoppers saying they’ve discovered a product they were interested in on social media, up from 58% in 2017.
“Quality content provides smarter shopping for customers and business growth for brands and retailers, and TikTok’s focus on shopping and driving conversion will be an encouragement for brands to invest in advertising spend – a win-win for TikTok. Brands that succeed in the coming decade will take advantage of these emerging revenue channels, which will allow them to engage and get closer to their customers. If done correctly, this move will be hugely successful for TikTok, perhaps even making it the leader in social commerce if the tests are received well in Europe.