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TikTok Introduces Shop Seller University to Boost E-Commerce on the Platform

Users will now be able to sell their products directly on their accounts or set up an affiliate program.

TikTok Introduces Shop Seller University to Boost E-Commerce on the Platform

TikTok is looking at further ways to expand its E-commerce experience on its platform. In it’s latest E-Commerce move, TikTok has launched the TikTok Shop Seller University –  a training hub that provides creators with educational content on how to use the platform to launch their E-Commerce businesses.

The hub provides a wide array of resources that cover in-depth topics such as intellectual property guidelines, prohibited products, and registration guidelines. At the moment, it is only available in Indonesia.

Tiktok distinguishes two ways users can sell on the TikTok Shop:

The first allows users to directly sell their products and create video content in order to promote it:
users who choose to sell on their personal accounts can do so by displaying products via live stream or short videos “with product anchors embedded into the content”. When potential customers view this content, they will be “redirected to the corresponding product detail page by clicking on the anchor”.

The second is for affiliate sales and allows business owners to “set promotion plans and invite TikTok creators to sell” on a commission-based structure. By using TikTok creators to promote products, individuals or brands will be able to reach larger, niche audiences in unique and creative ways.

The announcement of TikTok Shop and its Seller University comes months after TikTok announced its partnership with Shopify – which allows Shopify merchants to create TikTok campaigns and direct potential customers to their product pages.

In October 2020 Satish Kanwar, VP of Product at Shopify announced:

“We’re thrilled to be the first partner to welcome TikTok to the world of E-commerce, particularly right now, as our merchants prepare for a busy online holiday shopping season…TikTok is one of the world’s fastest growing entertainment platforms with over 100 million highly engaged users in the US alone. The TikTok channel means Shopify merchants—even those without a strong TikTok following of their own yet—can connect with these new audiences using content that feels authentic and genuine to the TikTok experience”.

Kanwar’s commentary reflects how authentic and engaging content is becoming a key strategy for businesses to boost their product sales and brand awareness. The benefits of this partnership between social media and E-commerce – however – is not one-sided: according to the latest Digital Commerce 360 analysis, consumers spent “$861.12 billion online with U.S. retailers in 2020, up 44.0% from $598.02 billion in 2019”. It is clear from 2020’s consumer spending habits that E-commerce is becoming more popular. Because of this, other social media platforms such as Instagram – who updated their shopping feature last year to provide a better overall user experience for shoppers –  have prioritized E-commerce related launches and updates.

With every social media platform trying to dominate E-Commerce, we will have to wait and see who comes out on top.