TikTok Partners With Teespring to Let Users Sell Branded Merchandise Directly in App
TikTok, the politically divisive but wildly popular app, is now opening the door for content creators to sell merchandise directly through the app.
So, for parents whose kids can’t get enough of TikTok dances, make sure your credit card info isn’t saved on your smartphone’s wallet app or anything.
TikTok partnered with Teespring for the merchandising platform, allowing content creators to design their own merchandise and let fans buy it directly on the app. This is a first for TikTok, but not new for similar apps like YouTube or Instagram.
If you remember, Teespring is the force behind YouTube's creator-merchandise offering, which in 2019 brought in almost $30 million from the top 20 sellers alone.
Right now, more than 7,000 TikTok users have access to the beta, helping the app developers work out the kinks. According to The Verge, the Teespring team is still trying to figure out exactly what it will look like layout-wise—a merchandise shelf somewhere while you’re watching a video, or a built-in shop within the app?
What they do know is that the products will start primarily as apparel like T-shirts and sweatshirts, but anticipate hard goods taking over as the centerpiece relatively quickly.
Teespring CEO Chris Lamontagne told The Verge that in addition to “bespoke” apparel products, the merchandise supply will evolve as audiences get older and their tastes change. He specifically mentioned skateboard decks as one possible option.
“We believe, based on the current trend, that non-apparel items will be outselling apparel by this time next year,” he told The Verge. “Layering in really smart commerce opportunities is key, so it could be physical merchandise or it could be something more digital.”
This is a major step in TikTok’s evolution to allow quick and easy monetization for its users. They were previously able to get brand sponsorship for posts, and TikTok created a $200 million fund to make sure that some of its biggest names can make a living solely from using TikTok. But for those creators with growing audiences or maybe even just a few followers right now, having merchandise is a good way to build a career while you grow, similarly to bands selling T-shirts and other merchandise while they’re still cutting their teeth in small venues.
The full program is set to debut on the app this month, and Lamontagne says that the company hopes to get through the existing waiting list of content creators looking to sell merchandise so everyone can get going right away.