Pretty much every social media platform sooner or later likes to introduce some kind of service that makes online shopping possible. Some, like Facebook Marketplace, even become successful, but usually lead to a certain amount of controversy.
It is therefore only natural that TikTok, arguably the fastest growing social media platform, adopts a similar strategy. TikTok live shopping is one such attempt, but the company has reportedly “gave up its e-commerce expansion in the US and Europe”. This information came to light in a recent article from the Financial Times†
TikTok is no stranger to e-commerce business models. The company had already pushed forward its TikTok live shopping initiative in the UK. However, the “On Trend” event that debuted the new feature was met with limited enthusiasm and it didn’t get any better.
The Live Shopping program was consistently met with lukewarm interest and never quite got off the ground. As a result, TikTok made the decision to abandon its plans for EU-US expansion. Based on the aforementioned Financial Times article, the reason for the move was that the position was simply not successful enough.
Still, this doesn’t mean TikTok is giving up its e-commerce ambitions altogether. The company is reportedly pooling its efforts to make the “Live Shopping” feature as successful as possible in the UK, before reconsidering a possible future expansion.
TikTok’s Chinese counterpart, Douyin (for reference, both social media platforms are under the same ownership) has achieved great success after introducing its live online shopping tool, which has since become a major source of income.
Whether the same results can be replicated in Europe and the United States via TikTok, however, is up for debate. One thing is certain: TikTok has not given up.