TikTok could be launching an online retail store in the U.S. as early as next month. The in-app shopping section would feature TikTok’s own line of products – supplied by manufacturers in China – allowing the company to compete directly with Amazon, Shein, Temu and other major e-commerce platforms.
As reported by Semafor, TikTok’s new store will sell products like toys and kitchen gadgets, among other items within the platform via the new online store as well as a dedicated e-commerce tab in TikTok Shop, an existing feature where businesses pay a commission to sell their products on the app.
TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Last week, the company confirmed that it’s testing a “Trendy Beat” shopping feature in the U.K. where products are sold and shipped by a Singapore-based company owned by TikTok parent ByteDance. Although TikTok initially denied that the new e-commerce offering wasn’t being tested in the U.S., TechCrunch found that the company previously filed a trademark application in the U.S. for Trendy Beat, suggesting that the feature is likely expanding to the U.S. version of the app.
TikTok’s e-commerce strategy is still in the early stages in the U.S. The company has been testing TikTok Shop since last November, which has yet to gain significant traction in the U.S. This is likely the reason why TikTok waited to test Trendy Beat in the U.S. market.
TikTok‘s e-commerce business has mainly been successful in Asia, where the industry has seen the fastest economic growth. The company is banking on Southeast Asia to grow its business; TikTok wants to more than quadruple the size of its e-commerce venture to as much as $20 billion in gross merchandise value in 2023, compared to last year’s $4.4 billion in sales, per Bloomberg.