The live shopping event, taking place only in the UK, allows users to access a “Black Friday” page through the app’s UK discover page from 22 to 30 November. It also provides in-app “Holiday Gifts” guides and users will have the opportunities to win special prizes by participating in the platform’s “Lucky Draw” during that period.
This could be an attempt by Tik Tok to diversify its revenue models within the UK industry, with there perhaps no better time than Black Friday in the UK as shoppers across the country race to get the best deals.
Running in a QVC (a British TV shopping channel) style on Tik Tok, the event will also feature creators and brands on its platform between 25 and 30 November, such as beauty brands Charlotte Tilbury, Elemis, and L’Oréal. In doing so, it intends to bring the live streaming model that has become commonplace for businesses in China to the West.
In the meantime, the diverse involvement would inject a more entertaining edge to the shopping experience, hoping to blend the social media it is renowned for with this new avenue of commercialism.
The event marks a significant move by Tik Tok into the landscape of social e-commerce. Compared with the Chinese version Douyin, Tik Tok is relatively slow to enter the field. While the former had already allowed in-app purchase services in 2019 and continues to expand its online shopping capabilities by launching an e-commerce flagship store for branding earlier this year, it is only recently that Tik Tok began piloting this feature, to invite its overseas users to this long-awaited social commerce experience.
Moreover, it is reported that a product called Tik Tok Seller went live last week for overseas users, it provides services such as order and promotion management, customer service, and sales analysis for e-retailers.
These efforts would naturally draw more businesses to land on its platform while fostering loyalty among existing users, showing the efforts by ByteDance to make the platform more commercially viable and to expand its revenue capabilities.
The rapid roll-out of its e-commerce service shows a strong desire of Tik Tok to catch up in this fast-growing territory and to step up in building its own social commerce community. While the eagerness of Tik Tok is evidently there, it would be interesting to see if the move could take the hype of live streaming back in China to the UK.