TikTok is moving forward with plans to launch live shopping in the United States, despite an unsuccessful launch in the UK this summer.
The Financial Times reports TikTok is getting ready to launch live shopping ahead of the holiday season with several large brands.
Live shopping combines TikTok livestreams with ecommerce to allow viewers to buy products without leaving the app.
Think of it like QVC for the social media age.
Live shopping is transforming ecommerce in Asian markets but is struggling to take off in the West.
In July, TikTok abandoned live shopping in the UK after it failed to meet expectations.
A launch in the US will make it the second time TikTok has tried to launch live shopping outside Asia. However, this time will be different, as TikTok isn’t doing it alone.
TikTok is set to partner with Los Angeles-based TalkShopLive to bring live shopping to the United States.
TalkShopLive has four years of experience running shopping streams and the infrastructure necessary to bring TikTok’s vision to life.
The Financial Times reports TikTok and TalkShopLive are still finalizing arrangements, and no contracts have been signed. That’s likely why there’s no official announcement yet.
There’s considerable incentive for TikTok to succeed at live shopping, which is why we see the company continuing to push forward with this endeavor.
While brands and influencers make money selling merchandise, TikTok earns a commission on every purchase. The gamble on live shopping has the potential to pay dividends.
Live shopping is a massive success in China, where annual sales are in the hundreds of billions, though western consumers haven’t responded to it the same way.
Meta is learning that first-hand, as it shuttered Facebook Live Shopping at the beginning of October, saying consumers’ viewing habits are shifting to short-form video.
TikTok already has the short-form video market locked down. Now it wants to be the leader in live shopping.
With no established social media live shopping competitors, there’s perhaps no better time for TikTok to move into the US market.
What that means for businesses remains to be seen. We don’t know if TikTok live shopping will be open to all interested businesses or only limited brands.
We’ll likely learn more when TikTok finalizes details and makes an official announcement.
Sources: Financial Times (1, 2, 3), Meta
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