The Influence of Community Commerce

“Community Commerce is the digitization of word-of-mouth marketing amongst people who share the same interests and who are creating content in an authentic manner that fosters trust.”

– Aref Yehia, Head of Retail and E-Commerce, TikTok


Since its inception just a few years ago, TikTok has changed the very manner in which we consume content online. Having just surpassed the one billion active monthly users mark, Rohma Theunissen caught up with TikTok’s Head of Retail & E-Commerce, Aref Yehia, to talk about the draw of short-form content, TikTok’s unique algorithm, the new definition of influence, and how brands can leverage the power of community commerce to boost awareness, engagement, conversions, and sales.

About Aref Yehia

Aref is the Head of Retail and Ecommerce at TikTok Global Business Solutions in the METAP region. Leading a team across omnichannel retail and pure play e-commerce verticals, Aref is in charge of building and growing the TikTok business in the MENA region. A digital savvy and accomplished business leader, Aref brings over 15 years of multinational experience across Consumer Packaged Goods, having been part of Procter and Gamble (P&G) for 13 years, holding different brand building roles for the IMEA region and across Retail, from his journey as the Head of Marketing for Mall of the Emirates, at Majid Al Futtaim (MAF Properties).Aref has extensive experience leading cross-functional teams across geographies and building iconic brands across developing markets. He specialises in digital marketing and is equipped with a proven track record in brand and asset development, stakeholder management across complex organisation structures, digital marketing, strategic planning, digital media planning, business insights, data analytics and people management. Aref holds a an Executive MBA (TRIUM), ranked #2 globally – from the London School of Economics, New York University and HEC Paris, as well as an Executive Education in Digital Marketing from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the American University of Beirut.

About TikTok

TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video. Our mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy.

TikTok has global offices including Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul, and Tokyo.