Tik Tok and the great feat of wanting to challenge Amazon and Shein in e-commerce
Tik Tok wants to expand and wants to do it in a big way by challenging e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Shein and is developing its own version of e-commerce
TikTok has confirmed that it is testing a new e-commerce section called “Trendy Beat” on its app. The products for sale on Trendy Beat are shipped and sold by its subsidiary, ByteDance. The new feature, first reported by the Financial Times , is currently being tested in the UK only. What’s special about the shopping section is that it offers popular items that have appeared in trending videos.
The company specifies that this initiative is not being tested in the United States, because in the American territory they are concentrated in another test. In fact, in the USA they are experimenting with Tik Tok Shop, which allows various brands to sell their products on the well-known platform.
Tik Tok filed an application to trademark Trendy Beat last month, indicating the test could eventually expand to the United States. The trademark application lists clothing items such as dresses, scarves, hats, footwear, swimsuits, sleep masks, sweaters, skirts, shirts, dresses and more.
The Financial Times reports that ByteDance’s plan to start selling its products on the popular app is internally referred to as “Project S.” The FT report states that Project S wants to capitalize on the notoriety of TikTok and consequently products that gradually gain popularity on the app, which will then allow ByteDance to acquire or produce such products. ByteDance will in turn reportedly use a network of suppliers to produce the required items.
With the new e-commerce initiative, TikTok seeks to challenge retail companies such as Amazon and Shein, this new guise indicates the evolution from TikTok’s current e-commerce strategy, which is mainly represented through its TikTok Marketplace Shop. With TikTok Shop, the company allows various brands to sell their products directly within the app, but with this new feature, TikTok would sell its own products. The new guise sees TikTok operate an e-commerce model similar to how Amazon Basics and Shein promote and sell their best-selling products.
The news spread when TikTok included brands such as PacSun and Revolve in the TikTok Shop which has been, as mentioned, being tested in the United States since last November. TikTok Shop has been successful in Asian markets but has struggled to establish itself in the UK, according to previous reports from the Financial Times. As a result, it’s no surprise that the company would choose to test the new e-commerce initiative in the UK before eventually bringing it to the US.
It’s worth noting that although TikTok continues to work on shop features, its competing apps are scaling back some of their e-commerce efforts after they failed to achieve strong results. Instagram removed the shop listing in January and later announced it would abandon its live shopping efforts. Facebook also discontinued its Facebook Live feature in August 2022.
Although TikTok is still in the early stages of e-commerce in the United States, the app already has a significant influence on users’ shopping habits. The phrase “ TikTok made me buy it ” has become popular due to the ability that videos posted on the app have to stimulate impulse sales. The term now has 7.4 billion views on TikTok and the hashtag has 59.3 billion. The new in-app purchasing feature would dramatically increase sales by giving users easy, direct access to a discovery and purchasing experience.