September 2, 2020


Erica Perry


A few weeks ago, TikTok launched a $ 200 million creator fund to help more leading creators in its community get financial support from TikTok alone. Thanks to a new integration in partnership with the broker trading platform, developers will soon be able to sell goods they design and create to fans directly through the app itself Teespring.

This isn't TikTok's first foray into e-commerce, however. Last year it tested social commerce links in videos and tested an ad format with a call-to-action button that connects marketers with social influencers. More recently, the digital gift program "Small Gestures" has been introduced as a gentle reminder to practice digital empathy and not to overlook the power of a small act, especially in these uncertain times.

A step towards non-clothing

As TikTok accelerates its ecommerce plans, it wants to make it clear that its community will be at the center of its decisions and efforts.

"Based on the current trend, we believe that non-apparel items will sell more than apparel by this point in the next year," said Teespring CEO Chris Lamontagne said The Verge. “It's important to use really smart trading opportunities, so it could be physical goods or something more digital. We as a collective have to think about creators this way where they have super dedicated fans who love them – they already have that connection. "

According to the official press release, developers can choose from over 180 different products and have the opportunity to create bespoke products that are specifically tailored to their personal brand. Think beyond your typical t-shirt and hoodie and more, for example, to skateboard decks and smartphone cases.

Rough 7,000 TikTok creators are overall part of the original program, although details of which creators are eligible to participate are not yet known. Another open question: How are the products displayed in the videos themselves? While the details are still being worked out, the platform knows one thing: it wants to ensure full shop functionality in order to make things as rational and simple as possible.

Use underrated functions

Amidst all the talk and social talk about TikTok's future, including the possible $ 30 billion price that is being discussed, was the former CEO of Tendril, Rus Yusupovtook the opportunity to share some of his own advice on TikTok on a CNN commentary, reflecting on the lessons he had learned from his experiences in the short-form video room.

“TikTok has not stopped innovating. They took brave steps that we should have taken. In particular, the algorithmically controlled distribution model is extremely accurate and effectively displays new personalized content. The ability for developers to monetize their content through live streaming is an underreported, underrated feature and key to its success. “In short, where he feels that Vine has failed is not fully embracing new challenges and opportunities to experiment. It's one thing to get popular very quickly, another to sustain yourself by constantly pushing the envelope.

The growing role of exclusive goods

In times of social distancing, e-commerce and exclusive goods are becoming increasingly popular. Artists and creators enjoy immersing themselves in digital experiences like shopping to connect with their fans, collect feedback and get creative in ways they have never done before, and use different platforms to to achieve these goals.

At the beginning of this summer, YouTube discontinued a function with which users can insert a virtual “shelf” under their videos in which their merch is displayed. In June, Instagram opened its own trading platform for developers. Late last month, TikTok took this trend even further by hosting its first shopable livestream in partnership with Ntwrk – a home shopping network for Generation Z – and artist Joshua Vides. These are just a few of the many examples.

With current evidence showing that e-commerce is now five years ahead of us due to the global pandemic, there is no shortage of spaces to consider. However, the brands that will ultimately stand out from the crowd will be the ones that can hit a sweet spot of premium content and experiences, powered by games, purchases, and other means of engagement that feel fresh and accessible.

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