After huge success in Asia, and hitting some speed bumps in the UK, TikTok is doubling down on guiding users toward in-app purchases in the US.
TikTok Shop continues to aggressively gain traction in Southeast Asia – According to Singapore-based consultancy, Momentum Works, TikTok Shop is estimated to have sold $4.4 billion through its platform last year. That’s up from $600 million in 2021.
The Shop feature launched in the UK in 2021 – which was a testing ground ahead of a US launch. Although many brands were successful utilizing the new selling platform, it was considered a failure as users weren’t as familiar as Asian markets with livestream-style social commerce and it failed to turn similar profits.
Initially it was rumored that TikTok Shop was intended to launch in the US shortly after the UK. However, plans were stalled in the US when TikTok’s Chinese ownership raised concerns about data privacy, security, and regulation compliance. This delay has given TikTok extra time to hone its in-app selling campaign for the US.
Currently, a controlled beta roll out in the US seems to be working in the app’s favor. For both pre-recorded and live content, interactive shoppable widgets allow brands to showcase TikTok Shop products available for purchase. This rollout allows TikTok to familiarize US users with shopping on the platform, before launching a dedicated Shop tab, like we’ve seen in the UK.
We think this gentler approach, coupled with heavy creator and influencer engagement, as well as strategic partnerships with US brands, will quickly integrate TikTok Shop into the fabric of the US e-commerce scene.
If you’re closely observing the TikTok landscape like we are, you might wonder how these changes will transform social media shopping experience altogether. How do you think this narrative will unfold?