TikTok will reportedly bring live shopping to the US this holiday season

TikTok plans to bring its live shopping feature “TikTok Shop” to North America using outsourced technology, it says The Financial Times. It will reportedly be rolling out “with major brands over the next month” to capitalize on the holiday shopping season.

Based on a similar, successful feature of TikTok’s sister app Douyin in China, TikTok Shop is available in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia. Last year it launched in the UK – the only country with availability outside of Asia.

A similar feature on Douyin reportedly hosted 9 million live e-commerce broadcasts per month and sold over 10 billion products in a single year from May 2021 to May 2022 – triple the year-ago figure. However, TikTok Shop doesn’t appear to have fared as well in the UK, and as a result, TikTok has delayed a planned launch elsewhere in Europe.

The underlying technology is said to be provided by the US company TalkShopLive, which will also support live streams from influencers and brands. The agreements are still being discussed and “no contracts have been signed yet,” according to the FT.

TikTok has neither denied nor confirmed its upcoming availability in the US. “When it comes to market expansion for the TikTok Shop, we are always guided by demand and are constantly exploring new and different options on how best to serve our community, creators and merchants in markets around the world,” the company said FT. “This effort includes exploring partnerships that will further support a seamless e-commerce experience for merchants, which is an important part of our ecosystem.”

The report comes just a day after rival Facebook ditched its own live shopping feature. Facebook now encourages merchants to showcase products on Instagram Reels via Reels, Reels Ads and product attribution. Last year, TikTok began testing a shopping tab that would allow business users to add their profiles, sync their product catalogs, and link to their online stores. It has also previously piloted live shopping in the US, most notably with Walmart.

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Russell Falcon

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