31 January 2022 @ 17:33pm | Dan Wilson
A leaked email from social platform TikTok shows that they are ramping up their ecommerce capabilities to more effectively monetize the popularity of the channel. According to Business Insider they are offering prizes of up to £10,000 as an incentive for signing up as a new small business retailer or “TikTok seller”.
The aim of the scheme is to encourage new UK small business retailers to engage with the TikTok audience by posting 5 or more videos a month showcasing their products. The top rated new recruit retailer will win £10,000, the next two ranked can pocket £5,000. The next 10 popular retailers will receive £1,000 each.
It’s not clear that such incentives will be a driving force in recruiting new merchants to TikTok but it is revealing in the sense that the platform is keen to develop and expand its reach as an online marketplace.
The TikTok demographic is appealing to many retail brands and the community continues to grow. TikTok is available in more than 150 countries and users number over 1 billion globally. The app has been downloaded over 200 million times in the United States alone but the platform is popular in Europe and Asia too.
Crucially for retailers the TikTok audience is younger than is typical on other social media platforms and also highly engaged. 83% of users have posted a video. One 2021 report says that users spend an average of 52 minutes per day on the platform. And younger people aged from four to fifteen spend an average of 80 minutes per day on the app. The average TikTok user reportedly opens the app 8 times per day.
The TikTok opportunity is obvious for retailers but the question is how realistic, reliable and profitable it can be for ecommerce merchants in the long term. Integration of sophisticated business management tools and analytics will be essential.
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