TikTok’s Giant Shopping Mall

Updated: Sep. 12, 2023 at 9:42 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -This is a pretty big deal. Fans of TikTok can now buy products used in live videos.

TikTok has the largest audience in the United States - millions of users - the company is looking to translate into sales.

After months of testing, the TikTok Shop has officially opened for business. The short-form video platform launched its in-app shopping experience in the U.S. on Tuesday, according to a company blog post.

TikTok Shop allows users to find and directly purchase products used in live videos, tagged in content shown on their algorithm-driven For You page, pinned on brand profiles or marketed in a new “Shop” tab.

For creators, the feature could bring new streams of income by connecting them with brands for commission-based marketing partnerships. TikTok is also offering “Fulfilled by TikTok,” a program that handles all of the logistics for sellers, including storing, packing and shipping.

“With community-driven trends like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt inspiring people to discover and share the products they love, TikTok is creating a new shopping culture,” the company wrote. “With TikTok Shop, we’re giving people a place to experience the joy of discovering and purchasing new products without leaving the app.”

Currently, TikTok spokesperson Laura Perez said more than 200,000 sellers have registered for TikTok Shop. Meanwhile, over 100,000 content creators are participating in the affiliate program, which allows users who have 5,000 followers to create videos that go directly to TikTok’s algorithmically-engineered “For You” feed.

Right now, about 40% of users can see the Shop tab, eventually all 150-million of us will be just a tap away from buying whatever random product gets featured in videos.

Social shopping is big business, an estimated $69 billion dollars in the U.S. already.

Tiktok will be joining a competitive landscape that includes Amazon Live and Alibaba’s Lazada, among others.

If TikTok can pull it off it could be game changing. But will people want their feeds taken over with #ads...and will the products be any good?

I guess we’ll see.

TikTok’s not just about viral videos anymore. It’s officially a place to shop. What a world.