TikTok showcases new marketplace with 1.5m firms on board

Nearly 1.5 million UK firms, including family ventures emerging side-hustles and promising scale-ups, now have a presence on TikTok,

The platform launched here in 2018, and has quickly become home to businesses of all kinds and sizes – including as the hosts point out – butchers, bakers and candlestick makers.

Three such firms – E.V Slack & Sons, bakers Ooh & Aah Cookies and Bear Burners candlestick makers – are among dozens featured on a new website showcasing the small businesses creating the most joyful, authentic and engaging content.

According to TikTok, promoting services this way gives businesses access to a thriving community of 150 million users across Europe.

Rachel Spence: back to our market days

The 1.5m firms milestone follows research from Oxford Economics which showed that activity by small and medium sized businesses on TikTok contributed £1.63bn to UK GDP last year and supported 32,000 jobs.

Hashtags such as #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt have reached over 74 billion views and made it a destination for people to discover the biggest trending products across beauty, fashion, food, tech and more.

Rich Waterworth, General Manager, Operations Europe said he was “humbled” by the numbers. “This ranges from household name brands like Tesco and NatWest to a huge variety of small and medium-sized businesses who are seeing phenomenal success on TikTok, telling their stories in a more creative and authentic way and finding new customers for their products.”

Emma Jones founder and CEO of small business support platform and membership community Enterprise Nation, said: “TikTok has clearly established itself as a key channel for business growth.”

Matt Slack, Master Butcher at Doncaster’s E.V. Slack & Sons, said he now has almost 130,000 followers – a long way from whe he “used to rely on leafleting to spread the word” and Ruth Armstrong, partner at Ooh&Aah Cookies, of Ballyclare, Northern Ireland saidthat selling on TikTok LIVE “took us back to our market stall days, allowing us to build relationships with customers and answer their questions in real-time, just like a modern-day glass-fronted shop.”

As for the candlestick maker, Rachel Spence, founder of Bear Burners, said that the ability to talk to customers about our products “has translated to queues regularly going up the street outside our physical shop, with customers visiting from all corners of the UK. We are now consistently selling out, we have expanded our team from three to seven – and we are aiming to sell £50,000 worth of products on TikTok per month by the end of the year.”