TikTok to abandon plans for live shopping expansion in the EU and US

TikTok to abandon plans for live shopping expansion in the EU and US
Almost every social media platform sooner or later takes a liking to the idea of introducing some sort of service that facilitates online shopping. Some, like Facebook Marketplace, even end up being successful, but most usually result in a degree of controversy.

Therefore, it is only natural that TikTok, perhaps the most rapidly growing social media platform, adopt a similar strategy. TikTok live shopping is one such attempt, but the company has reportedly “abandoned e-commerce expansion in the US and Europe”. This information was brought to light in a recent article by the Financial Times.

TikTok is no stranger to e-commerce business models. The company had already pushed forward its TikTok live shopping initiative in the UK. The “On Trend” event with which the new feature made its debut was received with limited enthusiasm, however, and things did not take a turn for the better.

The Live Shopping programme was consistently met with lukewarm interest and never managed to fully take off. As a result, TikTok made the decision to abandon its plans for EU/US expansion. Based on the aforementioned Financial Times article, the rationale behind the move was that the feature was simply not successful enough.

Nevertheless, this does not mean that TikTok is giving up on its e-commerce ambitions altogether. The company is reportedly pooling its efforts in order to make the “Live Shopping” feature as successful as possible in the UK, before a potential reconsideration of a future expansion.

TikTok’s Chinese counterpart, Douyin (for reference, both social media platforms are under the same owner) has reaped great success after the introduction of its live online shopping tool, which has since become a major source of revenue.

Whether the same results can be replicated in Europe and the United States through TikTok, however, remains up for debate. One thing is certain - TikTok has not given up.

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