• Akina Wong

Tik Tok invites Chinese businesses to its online shop service in the UK

Tik Tok, the video-sharing platform owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance has welcomed some businesses based in China to its online shop in June, according to Chuanfic.com, a Chinese ecommerce agent who provides cross-border ecommerce service by connecting business owners in China to international platforms including Amazon, Shopify US and Tik Tok Shop UK.



| Business Registration


Only companies with a valid business license registered in China are eligible for application while individuals are not yet allowed to opt in. Products like skincare and personal protection equipment may be subject to providing additional supporting documents such as qualification certificates, while brand licenses are required from brand accounts, the register guidance says.



Applicants are also expected to submit a screenshot of the latest annual sales on other ecommerce platforms. Although a UK-based data is preferred, sales in the US or other countries might also be acceptable. There is no specific requirement of GMV (Gross Merchandise Volume – the total amount of sales made over a specific period time). A UK address will be required for returned purchases, but goods can be sent out from China. All payments are made through the American financial service company Payoneer.


| Douyin & TikTok


While the Chinese version of Tik Tok – Douyin has already allowed in-app purchase in 2019 and continues to expand its online shopping capabilities, including the move of launching ecommerce flagship store for brands this year. Tik Tok Shop feature is only available in Indonesia after the official launch in mid-April and is reportedly being tested in Europe.



The online shopping tools allow users to explore products through short videos, livestreams and enable shoppable product catalogues for sellers. Users will also be able to check out, track and manage their orders as well as contact customer service within the app.


Unlike Douyin charging a 10% fee from each sale for certain products, and influencers who help promote can ask a 5 to 50 percent fee, Tik Tok Shop UK charges 5% and business owners can invite influencers to promote their products or vice versa and negotiate commission fee.



| Strengths


Tik Tok is taking baby steps towards “social commerce” compared with online shopping features afforded by other social media. While the general rule is to keep people using its app by offering one-stop online services, providing customers with in-store experience on a virtual space is also crucial to the race.



In addition, with people overwhelmed by products on different platforms, a more tailored content-based algorithm recommendation would be more attractive to both business owners and shoppers – a key feature that many users in China on Douyin appreciate for.


Source: Vfluencer Platform


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