TikTok launches live shopping experience for UK users

TikTok launches live shopping event for UK users
The two day event will include a mixture of shopping and entertainment. Credit: TikTok

TikTok is venturing into the world of online shopping. The video sharing app has launched a live event where users will be able to buy products directly on the platform. 

Hosted by celebrity Rylan Clarke-Neal, it’s the first time TikTok is producing its own two-day event for a UK audience and will use influencers and music to attract users to purchase a range of different items. 

The app previously held livestreams with retail brands during Black Friday and now it’s hoping this major move will help cement its place in the online retail space.

What is livestream shopping?

Livestream shopping allows viewers to watch online content and shop at the same time. It’s similar to home TV shopping where someone demonstrates how to use a product while live on video.

The concept first became popular in China but is quickly gaining tractionaround the world as more and more people turn to online shopping. 

According to figures by Statista, the global number of consumers purchasing goods online is forecasted to have risen to 2.14 billion by the end of this year. 

Livestream shopping which first became popular in China is gaining a growing market around the world Credit: AP images

It’s a trend that industry expert and founder of The Retail Champion, Clare Bailey believes has been aided by the pandemic. 

“When people could no longer go out to shops, they created new spending habits. In turn, businesses have had to go online to capture the attention of shoppers in spaces and ways they had never thought of doing before.” she explains. 

The future of shopping

One of the spaces that businesses are turning to is social media. There’s been a growing number of influencers who use their online platforms to promote goods for certain companies such as ex Love Island star Molly-Mae Hague, who became the brand ambassador for the fashion retailer Pretty Little Thing.

Influencers such as Molly-Mae Hague are paid by brands to promote their products on social media Credit: PA

Last year, Instagram launched a feature which allowed users to visit a shop from a business’ profile page or through their feed. Similarly, Facebook recently held its own series of livestream shopping events with a mixture of brands for its American audience. 

TikTok takes on e-commerce

Now TikTok is following in its competitors' digital footsteps.

Just like online shopping, the app has also risen in popularity over the pandemic, with people using it as a creative medium to occupy their time. 

It has already demonstrated its power when it comes to persuading people to purchase things. #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt , which is posted when consumers buy something that was recommended on the site, has been used 7 billion times. 

Millions of users have already been influenced to purchase products they've seen on the app Credit: TikTok

“It’s only natural for TikTok to go down the social media shopping path,” says Ms Bailey.

“What works in its favour is that it attracts a much younger audience who are the next generation of spenders. Companies who want to tap into this market would be silly not to take advantage of this.”