TikTok has launched its e-commerce platform, TikTok Shop, in the US after testing the initiative in other markets since November.
TikTok has announced the launch of TikTok Shop in the US after almost a year of testing. The company’s e-commerce initiative is rolling out with features like a dedicated shop tab on the home screen, shoppable ads, live video shopping, and affiliate programs for creators.
Since TikTok announced its plans for an e-commerce product last November, its launch of the feature in the US follows months of testing different shopping formats in various markets, including the UK and many Southeast Asian countries. Within the last few months, TikTok has added more vendors in preparation for the rollout.
Creators can tag products, enabling users to easily buy things from in-feed and live videos. Brands can also make their own product portfolios, which will be accessible from their profile page. A dedicated tab for TikTok Shop, which rolled out in other markets at the beginning of the summer, lets users search for different products, browse items in various categories, discover products through recommendations, and manage their orders.
“TikTok Shop empowers brands and creators to connect with highly engaged customers based on their interests, and it combines the power of community, creativity, and commerce to deliver a seamless shopping experience,” said TikTok in a blog post.
The company has also set up an affiliate program for sellers, letting them connect and work with creators on a commission-based arrangement to sell products. Further, ByteDance provides logistics solutions under “Fulfilled by TikTok” alongside a secure checkout method.
TikTok Shop is the result of a long partnership with Shopify in providing businesses with shopping solutions. The company also offers integration with e-commerce platforms, including customer service solutions Salesforce Commerce Cloud, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Zendesk, Gorgias, and 1440, Printful and Printify for print-on-demand merchandise, and WeeBee, Flowspace, and Easyship for shipping services.
Bloomberg reported last week that many US users began to see the shop button appear in their TikTok app — but the “recommended” random products appeared to be cheap counterfeit listings shipped from China. Yet TikTok executives told The New York Times that more than 90% of sellers on TikTok Shop were based in the US.
Whether TikTok Shop will, in practice, be comparable to Amazon (as ByteDance hopes) or the rapidly growing Chinese shopping apps like Temu and Shein remains to be seen.