TikTok tests e-commerce integration in Southeast Asia

TikTok e-commerce ByteDance
Image by Mehaniq | Bigstockphoto

TikTok is trialling e-commerce integrations in various geographical locations, allowing ByteDance to take advantage of this key opportunity for the platform, reports TechCrunch.

The latest test saw users in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Singapore get access to a new ‘Shop’ tab in the app, which sits alongside their ‘For You’ and ‘Following’ feeds. This is similar to how ByteDance’s Chinese app Douyin generates most of its revenue through e-commerce integrated into streams that include brand partnerships.

The tab includes various shopping categories such as beauty, women’s wear, electronics, accessories, bags, kitchen, footwear, baby, office, bedding and more. The Shop tab also includes perks for users, such as free shipping on select purchases.

“The Shop Tab is currently testing in Indonesia and serves as a hub for products being sold in TikTok Shop. Brands on TikTok have found a creative outlet to authentically connect with audiences, and we’re excited to experiment with new commerce opportunities that enable our community to discover and engage with what they love,” said a spokesperson.

Recently, ByteDance has been under pressure to make TikTok more sustainable and generate revenues as the app faces an uncertain future in the United States and China. An officer from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the US government suggested that TikTok should be banned in the United States, over concerns about user data security.

In China, meanwhile, the government has subjected Tiktok and other Big Tech firms to a crackdown as it looks to tighten its grip on the internet. In response, ByteDance implemented a number of measures, including downsizing its investment team and dissolving a subgroup.

According to analysts, ByteDance would no doubt welcome any new revenue streams that TikTok can bring in. E-commerce is a logical next step for TikTok, as the app is built around quick videos often accompanied by music. This has led to content, including people promoting products creatively, that could translate into actual sales. According to analysts, ByteDance would welcome any new revenue streams that TikTok can bring in.

Socialmedianews.com notes that TikTok must be competitive with Instagram and YouTube if it wants to keep creators on its platform. This is because many flock to platforms where they can make the most money.

TikTok’s e-commerce push is still in its early stages, and it remains to be seen how successful it will be. The platform has also been testing gaming features in Vietnam, as another way to retain users and increase revenue.

TikTok has been downloaded over 2.6 billion times globally.

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