ByteDance is hoping to better monetize the popularity of TikTok in the United States with the official launch of its online shopping platform in the country.
The company is now letting brands, merchants, and content creators develop shoppable video and livestream content, allowing users to purchase products without leaving their feeds.
“TikTok Shop empowers brands and creators to connect with highly engaged customers based on their interests, and it combines the power of community, creativity, and commerce to deliver a seamless shopping experience,” the company said in a blog post.
To enable the experience, the company has rolled out a new shop tab where businesses can list their products and is offering a supporting fulfillment and checkout solution powered by TikTok. In addition, the company is offering integrations to various eCommerce solution providers, such as BigCommerce, Magento, Salesforce, Shopify, WooCommerce, and Zendesk, among others.
Last month, the company launched another “Search Ads Toggle” feature that enables advertisers to engage with TikTok users who are actively exploring information about novel products or brands by entering their queries into the app’s search bar.
The launch of the new online shopping feature in the U.S. follows similar rollouts in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. It marks the company’s latest effort to stand up to competition from players such as Shein and Amazon and better capitalize on trends such as #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, which has garnered billions of views so far.
Last month, reports indicated that the company was considering plans to ban third-party eCommerce links on the TikTok app. However, the company reportedly denied the claim.
With the service’s launch, ByteDance will also be positioned to gain deeper insights into its user base, especially about their shopping habits, addresses, and financial data. While the company now stores and manages data of its U.S. users within the country, the additional data collection may further draw scrutiny from lawmakers, who have called on the SEC to investigate the company before it goes public.