After months of testing, TikTok Shop launched in the U.S., where it has over 150 million users. The rollout includes a dedicated shop tab on the home screen, live video shopping, shoppable ads, and creator affiliate programs.
TikTok began testing its U.S. e-commerce initiative last November. Over the last few months, the company has tested more vendors. Bytedance has been testing different shopping formats in the U.K. and Southeast Asia.
In a blog post, TikTok Shop said it connects brands and creators with highly engaged customers based on their interests and combines community, creativity, and commerce to deliver a seamless shopping experience.
Creators can tag products to make in-feed and live video purchases easier. Brands can create product portfolios on their profiles.
The TikTok Shop tab, which was launched in other markets in June, lets users search for products, discover them through recommendations, browse categories, and manage their orders.
TikTok also lets sellers sell products on commission with creators through its affiliate funnel.
Along with hosting brands’ products, Bytedance offers logistics solutions under “Fulfilled by TikTok” and secure checkout.
TikTok has long offered business shopping solutions with Shopify. WooCommerce, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, BigCommerce, Magento, Zendesk, Gorgias, and 1440 for customer service, Printful, Printify, NovaTomato for print-on-demand merchandise, Yotpo for reviews, and WeeBee, Flowspace, and Easyship for shipping are also integrated.
TikTok told TechCrunch it has over 200,000 Shop sellers. Over 100,000 creators have joined the Affiliate program.
Bloomberg reported this week that many U.S. app users have seen the shop button. It was just a display of cheap Chinese counterfeits. TikTok executives told NYT that over 90% of TikTok Shop sellers were American.
Bytedance’s subsidiary sells products on TikTok in the U.K. In June, the Financial Times reported that this new “Trendy Beat” section challenged Shein and Amazon.
TikTok is hoping to capitalize on #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, which has garnered billions of views, in the U.S. The company faces stiff competition from Amazon and Shien, which is reportedly planning an IPO. The Information reported last month that TikTok would ban third-party e-commerce links. The claim was denied by Bytedance.
With the launch of TikTok Shop, the social network may collect users’ financial, shopping, and address data. The company stressed that USDS, a separate unit, manages all U.S. user data in the country. Many lawmakers have called for the app’s ban, so the additional data collection may still be scrutinized.