Wednesday, September 29, 2021

TikTok Moves Forward In E-commerce and Now Lets You Sell Products from its Platform

TikTok is growing meteorically. The short-form video platform has announced that it now has 1 billion monthly active users worldwide. The Chinese platform, which has caused Youtube and Instagram to imitate it by launching similar functions (Youtube Shots and Instagram Reels), wants to take advantage of this success and yesterday announced new solutions linked to marketing and e-commerce to attract more brands that want to take advantage of the audience that comes to TikTok to be entertained, inspired or discover something new.

Among the most notable new features, the company presented TikTok Shopping, a set of functions and tools for brands to strengthen their relationship with their customers. Specifically, the First-Party Integration solution will enable these companies to upload products to the platform. So, if until now a brand could redirect a TikTok user to its own website and sell its products there, now companies that wish to do so will be able to upload their items to TikTok and sell them from this platform. "Advertisers can manage the entire process, from uploading products to managing shipping or checking the point of purchase," explained the firm's managers.

The company specified that this tool is not available for the moment in the European market.

Other solutions announced and linked to ecommerce on the platform were Live Shopping, which will allow brands to connect with their audience in real time, while sharing automatic links to products and services, and Product Links, a feature for brands to highlight one or more products directly through an organic TikTok video, taking users to external pages with product details, which will be loaded instantly.

L'Oreal is a pioneer on the platform, testing new products and services. Thus, in the UK, its audience can purchase products directly from the Garnier and NYX Professional Make-Up account pages on the app. Once there, TikTok community users will have multiple ways to view and subsequently purchase products, from short video posts, live streams and listings in a special TikTok product tab located on the brand's profile, next to the main feed tab.

The short video platform also placed special emphasis on the solutions it will make available to brands so they can measure how their campaigns are performing on TikTok, something important for the platform, which aspires to compete for the advertising market with Facebook, Instagram or YouTube, among others.

"At TikTok we want to make it as easy as possible for brands to land, find their community and succeed on the platform, and to that end we are launching tools to help them easily buy ads, measure the success of their campaigns and track their campaign performance," the company said. For example, the survey-based TikTok Brand Lift Study will measure users' opinions about the ads they see on the platform; with MOAT and DoubleVerify, they will provide their partners with the information they need about invalid traffic and viewability on TikTok. And the TikTok Inventoy Filter solution will allow advertisers to have more control over where they want their ads to run so they feel safer on the platform.

The company is also putting a marketplace in the hands of brands that will help them find creators that align with their interests, and an API will make it easier for those brands and influencer marketing companies like Whalar, Influential and Captiv8 to collaborate with brands.

Satya Nadella: Negotiating the purchase of TikTok "is the strangest thing I've ever worked on in my life."

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said during the Code Conference event that the negotiation to buy TikTok has been "the strangest thing I've ever worked on in my life." The deal was negotiated last summer under pressure from former U.S. President Donald Trump, who demanded that the short video platform be bought by a U.S. company if it wanted to continue operating in the country.

Nadella clarified that it was TikTok that approached them, not the other way around. He added: "TikTok was caught between a lot of things happening in two capitals and needed a partner. President Trump had a particular view of what he was trying to do there, and then it just disappeared."

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