tiktok shop beta, tiktok, social media marketing

TikTok Shop beta goes live

Despite incredible success in Asia, live stream shopping has so far failed to properly take off in Western countries, so much so that Instagram began removing its native live stream shopping options.

However, it would appear that TikTok remains committed to the cause, issuing invitations to retailers and ecommerce merchants last month, ahead of an upcoming live stream shopping push.

Now, brands and businesses have been sent notifications from the platform, encouraging them to sign up as the TikTok Shop beta goes live ahead of a wider public release.

In the message, TikTok described TikTok Shop as a “one-stop ecommerce solution for driving sales and brand growth”, and that “83% of users say TikTok plays a role in their purchase decisions”. The notification went on to detail that, “with TikTok Shop, users are able to discover and purchase products from their favourite creators and brands in one seamless experience.”

Merchants who sign up for the TikTok Shop beta will have access to the platform and will be able to provide feedback before its official launch. They will also be offered a promo, with 90 days’ worth of 0% referral fees.

Live stream shopping has proved extremely popular in Asian countries such as China and Indonesia, with the Chinese market expected to generate upwards of $720 billion this year. However, the format has proved less successful in the West, with markets in the US and the UK lagging miles behind those in China.

Despite a surge of popularity during lockdown, the format’s popularity has waned in Western countries, with Facebook joining Instagram in a decision to step back from live stream shopping, removing features dedicated to pushing the format.

Could TikTok’s commitment to live stream shopping pay off and see it gain traction in Western countries too? TikTok will certainly hope so, as the potential returns are enormous, but whether or not this gambit will pay dividends remains to be seen.

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