As first reported by Bloomberg, TikTok is experimenting with a feature that includes the ability to shop all posts on the app. The move is part of the company's plans to turn TikTok Shop into a multi-billion dollar e-commerce business in the United States. TikTok confirmed that the feature is currently in limited testing, but did not provide further details.
The new test feature automatically detects items in videos and instructs viewers to “find similar items in the TikTok shop”. Previously, only approved influencers and brands had the ability to tag products. The new feature brings e-commerce links into more videos in the app.
Bloomberg reported earlier this month that TikTok is looking to increase the size of its TikTok Shop US business tenfold to $17.5 billion this year. To this end, TikTok not only beats Amazon, but fellow Chinese-owned companies Temu and Sheen are popular in the U.S. However, TikTok has what these other companies don't, being the most popular social media network with the potential to reach millions of buyers.
During the Black Friday and Cyber Monday season in November, more than 5 million new US customers made a purchase through the TikTok Shop. For context, the social media app currently has over 150 million users in the US
Officially launched in the US in September 2023, the TikTok Shop will allow creators to tag products to allow users to purchase products from feed videos and live videos. The new feature brings TikTok Shop links to regular content within the app, which may not be a welcome change for some.
New data reveals that TikTok's growth has started to slow, raising the question of whether the app's TikTok Shop e-commerce efforts are to blame. In 2022, TikTok's monthly active users will grow at an average of 12% quarter over quarter, but this number will drop to 3% year over quarter in 2023. The slowdown came after the launch of TikTok Shop. In the US
People are debating online whether the TikTok Shop has “ruined” the app, with some lamenting that the TikTok Shop is turning the app into an “ad-filled wasteland”.
Besides bringing TikTok shop links to more videos on the platform, TikTok is also exploring other ways to grow its e-commerce business. TikTok is planning to open studios in Los Angeles where creators can live stream and sell products, the Information reported today. Creators currently record promotional videos in their home setups, but some of them will soon have the option to shoot and broadcast content from TikTok-operated studios.