TikTok ‘stops e-commerce expansion plans’

TikTok reportedly scraps plans to expand TikTok Shop livestream commerce in Europe and US after UK version finds ‘nascent’ adoption

TikTok has reportedly canceled plans to expand its live e-commerce initiative to Europe and the US after a UK pilot struggled to spark buyer interest.

The TikTok Shop initiative launched in the UK last year is the first market outside of Asia where it is seen as the future of e-commerce.

The feature sees companies and influencers broadcast live and sell products through a clickable orange basket on the screen.

TikTok’s Chinese sister service, Douyin, has more than tripled its live stream sales year-over-year and has sold more than 10 billion products.

smartphone, iPhone XR, appleLive stream trading

After launching in the UK, TikTok had planned to roll out the feature in Germany, France, Italy and Spain in the first half of this year, followed by the US, the largest market, later in 2022, the Financial times reported.

But the expansion plans have been scrapped after the UK service failed to meet its targets and influencers withdrew from the offering, the report said, citing unnamed sources.

TikTok Shop live streams reportedly recorded low sales despite subsidies and cash incentives from the company to encourage businesses and individuals to sell through the platform.

The paper quoted a TikTok employee as saying that the market “just isn’t there yet” and that consumer awareness is “still low and in its infancy.”


TikTok said it had no plans at this point to expand the feature and was aiming to make it a success in the UK.

“Always looking for ways to improve our community’s experience, we regularly test new features that inspire creativity, bring joy and innovate the TikTok experience in markets around the world,” the company said. “We are excited to experiment with new commercial opportunities that will enable our community to discover and interact with what they love.”

The offering has been available in Indonesia since last year and was recently launched in Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam.

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