(Bloomberg) -- LTK, the SoftBank Group Corp.-backed social shopping tool, is now allowing users to buy from virtual storefronts curated by influencers through its own app.

Formerly known as Like to Know It, LTK helps influencers on Instagram and TikTok sell items they’re wearing in their published photos and videos. It now fuels more than $3 billion in annual retail sales via 200,000 creators, the company said. 

Adding shopping to its standalone app makes it more of a destination, potentially drawing influencers and their fans to spend more time there than on other social media, and boosting its shopping business. LTK is betting that if shoppers have fewer steps to checkout on a purchase, they’ll be more likely to spend money.

LTK doesn’t hold any inventory. That means a shopper will browse influencers’ content and product recommendations, purchase in the LTK app, and the product brand or retailer will fulfill the orders directly to the customer. Content creators make brand-specific commission on any sales, while LTK takes a cut of the money brands spend on the influencer marketing.

“Our shoppers have asked for that,” co-founder and president of LTK Amber Venz Box said of the checkout function in an interview. “We want to make sure that our creators are offering a world-class shopping experience to their followers.”

Adding checkout in-app also makes it easier “for our creators to get the credit for the work that they’re doing,” Box said. Being able to attribute a sale to a certain influencer or marketing tool is more important than ever as Apple Inc.’s privacy policies make it more difficult for online platforms to track consumer behavior on iPhones, she added.

Dallas-based LTK, with the corporate name RewardStyle Inc., has been helping influencers make money off the products their followers discover via their feeds since 2011, when these creators were largely referred to as bloggers and before social media platforms like Instagram had their own commerce tools. Back then, influencers would add special links to their social media posts so users who liked that content would be sent an email with the products featured. In 2017, the company launched its own consumer-facing app.

The major social apps, including Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest, have tried to make forays into social shopping, but still make the vast majority of their revenue from advertising. Fundamental changes to apps like Instagram -- such as the reworking of the algorithm so people see content from those they don’t follow -- have made it harder for influencers to keep in touch with their superfans, providing an opening for apps like LTK to fill in the gap.

Read more: Zuckerberg Is So Worried About TikTok He’s Blowing Up Instagram

Still, Box says her company has a “symbiotic relationship” with other social media firms as its influencer partners usually post to three or more platforms at a time.

“They both need our creators’ content and they need creators to make money,” Box said. But the platforms make money by “taking free content and monetizing the eyeballs with advertising, so it’s inherently at odds with the creator.”

All are trying to take a bigger share of the growing social commerce market. US retail sales through social commerce are expected to increase by 63% to $86.7 billion in the next two years, according to eMarketer’s Insider Intelligence. Already, about half of US social media users are making purchases on those platforms, spending around $500 on average this year, the researchers said. LTK’s $3 billion in annual retail sales is 50 times what it saw in its first full year in business a decade ago.

Today, LTK is also rolling out more analytics tools for its 200,000 influencers to see more details on their commissions, and what users are tapping on and buying. Box is expected to announce the new features during LTK Live, its first product-focused event in Dallas this week.

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