29 Jun

Alison Harvard


The digital landscape is getting a new makeover as TikTok, the popular social media platform, is planning to launch an online retail store in the U.S. next month. A twist to the conventional in-app shopping experience, this new venture by TikTok would house an exclusive line of products shipped straight from Chinese manufacturers. This strategic move is geared towards rivalling e-commerce giants such as Amazon, Shein, and Temu.

The product portfolio of TikTok's online store would be a diversified one, featuring items ranging from toys to kitchen gadgets. The new online store would be integrated into the existing TikTok Shop platform, where businesses sign up to offer their goods against a commission. With the introduction of the online store, TikTok's proprietary line of products would also join the plethora of items listed by various vendors.

Last week, the company started to test the waters in the UK, having launched the "Trendy Beat” shopping feature. Although initially, the firm dismissed any plans for testing this feature in the U.S., recent findings by TechCrunch tell a different story. The discovery of a U.S. trademark application for Trendy Beat filed by the company has fuelled speculation that this shopping feature could soon make its way to the American version of the app.

While the company introduced TikTok Shop last November, this feature has yet to gain significant traction in the United States market – a key reason behind the decision to delay the U.S. trial of Trendy Beat. Success for TikTok's e-commerce venture has mainly been observed in the Asian markets, particularly Southeast Asia, thanks to its rapidly growing economic context. Looking ahead, TikTok has ambitious goals, aiming to grow its e-commerce business by a staggering 350%, from $4.4 billion in sales last year to $20 billion in gross product value in 2023.

As the U.S. e-commerce market braces for the arrival of a new competitor, it remains to be seen how this move will reshape the dynamics of online shopping. If successful, TikTok's venture could not only revolutionize the in-app shopping experience but also challenge the supremacy of established players in the e-commerce arena, such as Amazon. The next few months, therefore, promise to be an exciting time for both consumers and market watchers alike.