TikTok Is Bringing Live Shopping For The Holidays?

Tiktok could be bringing live shopping for the holidays and the social media platform might rival other giants in the space.

By Joseph Farago | Published

TikTok is undoubtedly one of the breakout social media stars of the pandemic. Due to a successful feature in China’s app, live shopping could soon be added for American audiences. Douyin, which is what TikTok is called in China, has over nine million live shopping broadcasts per month, selling more than 10 billion products in a single year from May 2021 to May 2022.

For US shoppers, a feature called TalkShopLive will likely be implemented on TikTok to emulate a live shopping experience. Agreements are still being formulated between TalkShopLive and the video app, so nothing is set in stone yet. TikTok’s introduction of shopping to American audiences comes days after Facebook abandoned similar efforts, finding it hard to garner profits through live shopping features.

Now, Facebook is planning to transform live shopping through Reels, a popular feature on Instagram. Unfortunately, social media apps outside of Asia have found it hard to launch virtual shopping features successfully. The TikTok Shop in the UK was created as the first live shopping experience outside of Asia, but it hasn’t attracted the same traffic or profits as China.

Last July, a report from the Financial Times indicated that the UK TikTok endeavor failed to meet the company’s expectations. TikTok had plans to expand live shopping throughout Europe, but now those plans have been stalled. Even with the abysmal outcome of TikTok Shop, the company still intends to expand live shopping for US audiences, hoping to find a modicum of monetary success.

TikTok began its e-commerce ventures last year, partnering with Shopify to provide free tools for users to monetize and run their own marketing campaigns. It also allows for these users to manage their virtual press through the Shopify dashboard, as well as includes Shopify features in TikTok’s settings, like the Business Ads Manager. Since 2021, users have been able to create TikTok For Business accounts, which helps merchants sink their inventory to create virtual storefronts on their pages.

TikTok hasn’t confirmed anything for its possible collaboration with TalkShopLive, nor has a spokesperson for the company elaborated on what type of e-commerce partnership they’re trying to attract. In a statement to TechCrunch.com, TikTok said they’re surveying countless options for the optimal live shopping feature. TikTok mentioned that they’re focused on seamlessness as a critical quality for an e-commerce partnership, wanting to provide a shopping experience for its dedicated users.

As the leading social media app currently, TikTok inspires trends worldwide. Especially for food enthusiasts, the app is known to circulate culinary trends until every user on the platform has experienced the newest, popular food ideas. Recently, “butter boards” have taken over the video app, showing people how to make these creative h’ors d’oeuvres by spreading seasoned or flavored butter on a charcuterie board accompanied by toasted bread or crackers.

This culinary movement has become so popular that this unstoppable TikTok trend could influence butter prices. The average price of butter is already a dollar higher than last year, and there’s no evidence to suggest its cost will stabilize. There’s a chance the social media platform could have a similar effect on the retail shopping sector.