TikTok is pushing shopping features into nearly every part of its app

Shopping features, including live stream shop buttons, a dedicated shop tab and more, are currently live for some users in the United States.


Influencers have been using TikTok to land brand deals and promote products for years, but now the company is ushering in a more formal shopping experience. TikTok is launching its e-commerce product in the United States in an attempt to capitalize on the app's popularity, and turn its viewers into consumers. In a recent blog post, the company announced its TikTok Shop — which includes a host of features for users, content creators and businesses.

The TikTok Shop includes a “Shop Tab” for businesses to display their products, affiliate videos placed in users' feeds that allow creators to earn commissions and shopping ads for businesses. TikTok is also launching its own logistics arm called “Fulfilled by TikTok,” which will facilitate storage and shipping for registered merchants.

In an interview with The New York Times, TikTok executive Nico Le Bourgeois said the TikTok Shop had more than 200,000 registered sellers, with over 100,000 creators already having access to its livestream shopping buttons. Bourgeois went on to discuss the company's plans to shake up the industry.

“We have a very aggressive plan to make a splash in the industry and make sure that people out there understand that TikTok is a place for shopping,” he said. “We’ll be very present for Black Friday and Cyber Monday through a combination of traffic, free shipping and deals.”

TikTok Shop is based on a similar and hugely successful feature on its sister app, Douyin, available across Asia. While there's no doubt that hashtags like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has fueled product discovery on TikTok, live shopping hasn't quite taken off in the US yet. Of course, TikTok isn't the first social media app to attempt a pivot to e-commerce. Meta has tried for years with Facebook and Instagram. Pinterest has also been navigating the e-commerce waters by offering its users an easier and faster way to by what they see. However, those efforts have not skyrocketed just yet.

As of right now, the Shop Tab is available for 40 percent of TikTok users. The feature will be rolled out gradually and become available for all users by early October.