TikTok Launches Seller University

In attempts to ensure that TikTok’s base of creators stay active on the app, the company began searching for more monetization opportunities. The latest development the platform started testing earlier this year is the new education portal, TikTok Shop Seller University, which vows to teach creators how to do business and sell on TikTok. This comes after a partnership with Shopify, which allows Shopify Merchants to run promotions on TikTok, showing their aggressive strategy to offer their creators more ways to make money. Although the partnership with Shopify offered merchants a way to promote their store within the app, it did not offer any direct selling opportunities. It is expected, however, that TikTok will begin allowing users to join the TikTok Shop by signing up through the Seller Center, which would allow them to sell items directly from their page. 

These features could not only change the way the app looks and feels, but could also reshape the way that users and brands interact with the platform. This has the opportunity to have a large impact on the social media and eCommerce industries by giving TikTok an opportunity to solidify their relationship with their users while breaking further into the eCommerce space. Other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, have begun offering ways for users to sell on their platforms, and the Seller University shows TikTok is following in their footsteps, while still differentiating themselves by creating a higher level of trust between the company and its creators.


TikTok Shop Seller University – What Is It?

The education portal describes itself as “a training hub to help you do business on TikTok.” The program helps users understand the intricacies of the TikTok shop, and offers “a full suite of lessons on seller tools, policies and the latest updates to the shop.” TikTok is indicating that the TikTok Shop will be a main focus going forward, as they search for new ways to keep their main creators happy as well as draw in new creators from other social media platforms to generate more business opportunities. Although many users are already utilizing their pages to sell in some form, this development will offer many more opportunities to do business within the app.
Creators will be able to sign up to sell products through the TikTok Shop in multiple ways– either selling through an affiliate or selling their own products. When selling through affiliates, users can have other TikTok creators promote their products for them for a commission of sales. This is beneficial for those looking to get exposure to large followings in creative ways through the use of influencers. When selling through their own page, creators are able to display products on videos or live streams with product anchors embedded in the content. This feature will benefit those looking to increase traffic to their products directly through their page while maintaining greater control over the content. Depending on the primary goals for the brand, either of these could be successful strategies to grow brand awareness and increase traffic to their products.

What Does This All Mean?

TikTok has very quickly become a competitive player in the social media and digital advertising space, and these actions show an opportunity to earn an even stronger grasp on the industry. These new developments show the dedication that TikTok has towards breaking further into the eCommerce industry and finding new ways to generate revenue. This could have an effect on the overall feel of the app as businesses begin to utilize the new features to sell on the app. In order to stay at the top of the social media game, TikTok needs to pay their creators or they will move to platforms that they can make more money on. The more potential money that TikTok is able to make for their creators and sellers directly from consumers, the more TikTok is able to grow the brand and break into new spaces. This will be an interesting story to follow as more and more sellers take advantage of this feature. Although some more casual users might not be as happy about the app becoming more focused around selling, many are already using the app in similar ways organically. This has the chance to keep TikTok at the forefront of the social media and digital advertising landscapes. 
If TikTok is successful with this venture, we may see them grow into an eCommerce giant, to the likes of companies like Facebook. This may be an important platform to pay attention to if they are able to pull advertisers and creators from other platforms like instagram. TikTok has already begun expanding their advertising offerings, and is likely to continue doing so as the app continues to find new ways to generate revenue. More than likely, TikTok will quickly grow into a key social media advertising platform, and the development of TikTok Seller University shows their commitment to this direction.

Written by Zachary Thompson

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