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TikTok rolls out Shop feature to select US merchants

The news: TikTok has begun testing its Shop feature in the US as it continues to go full steam ahead on social commerce. TikTok Shop is currently invite-only for US companies, although the feature is available to merchants in the UK as well as seven countries in Southeast Asia.

How we got here: TikTok’s US social commerce initiatives have proceeded in fits and starts, hampered by TikTok Shop’s poor UK performance. But there are signs the platform is now fully committed, perhaps because it senses an opportunity to gain market share as Meta backs away from direct commerce.

  • After scrapping plans over the summer to launch livestream commerce in the US, TikTok quickly reversed course by partnering with TalkShopLive.
  • TikTok is also planning to build fulfillment centers in the US, per an analysis of LinkedIn job postings by Axios, in a bid to create a complete ecommerce ecosystem and potentially appeal to Chinese merchants looking for an opening to reach consumers in the US.

A lucrative opportunity: Launching in-app commerce in the US gives TikTok the opportunity to unlock more revenues from the 23.7 million users who already shop on the platform and effectively monetize the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt phenomenon, which had 29.1 billion views as of this writing.

The additional revenues from social commerce could help TikTok make up for lower-than-expected ad sales, and insulate the company against an advertising downturn.

Go further: Check out our Social Commerce Forecast to see how TikTok stacks up against competitors. Or see what our Payments Innovation Briefing had to say about the news here.


This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Retail & Ecommerce Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the retail industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.