TikTok is reportedly planning to launch an online retail store in the US, connecting Chinese sellers to American buyers. But can it compete with the likes of Shein and Temu?
What Happened: TikTok is launching itself onto the e-commerce battleground. According to news sources, the short-video platform plans to introduce an online retail store to the US later this month, which will offer made-in-China goods to American shoppers.
TikTok will reportedly sell a wide array of items, from kitchen gadgets to toys, while handling marketing, sales, shipping and post-sales services on behalf of Chinese merchants. The new store will be distinct from TikTok’s existing TikTok Shop feature, which enables brands to sell their products on the app for a small commission fee.
If realized, the move could help the ByteDance-owned company grow closer to its goal of quadrupling the size of its global e-commerce business from $4.4 billion to $20 billion by the end of 2023.
The Jing Take: Short-video platforms have become formidable e-commerce players, putting pressure on traditional online marketplaces like Amazon and Tmall. In 2022, TikTok’s sister app Douyin grew its gross merchandise value (GMV) by 80 percent, and in the first quarter of 2023, it surpassed Tmall in sales of clothing, bags and accessories, according to data from BigOne Lab.
Having a social media infrastructure, including livestreaming capabilities and a community of creators, allows content-first apps to facilitate a more seamless shopping experience — to enable what TikTok calls the “infinite loop.” Continue to read the full article here