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TikTok launches in-app shopping to directly compete with Amazon



Social media video platform TikTok has now brought its e-commerce marketplace to American consumers. 

TikTok Shop, already available to users in seven Southeast Asian countries and the U.K., is now live testing in the U.S.

The feature allows users to make purchases directly in the app. The company’s foray into online shopping is part of an internal initiative called “Project Aquaman”, according to news site Semafor. 

“We’ve seen the positive impact of TikTok Shop, and we’re excited to continue experimenting with this new commerce opportunity to support businesses of all sizes,” a TikTok spokesperson told Semafor.

The app is currently inviting select U.S. businesses to participate, according to Semafor. Vendors can also apply on a TikTok Shop seller center website.

“TikTok Shop is an innovative new shopping feature which enables merchants, brands and creators to showcase and sell products directly on TikTok through in-feed videos, LIVEs, and the product showcase tab,” copy on the TikTok Shop seller center site reads.

For the first 90 days after a merchant is registered, they only pay TikTok 1.8% in commission. After that, the commission rate reverts to 5%.

In charge of the new feature is Sandie Hawkins, formerly TikTok’s North America general manager. The internal swap was announced internally earlier this week, according to the Financial Times.

“She will be a valuable partner . . . as [ecommerce] becomes a critical part of our client needs and TikTok builds on many of the native behaviors we already see on the platform,” TikTok executive Blake Chandlee said at a Monday meeting announcing the move, according to FT.





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