On November 10, news that TikTok Shop will be launched in US was finally confirmed. According to the official website, in order to register for TikTok Shop in the US, merchants will need to use a domestic mobile phone number and email address, or an existing TikTok account. An invitation code is also required.
To register, merchants must provide a US company license and the passport or driver’s license of the person in charge, while individuals only need to submit their US passport or driver’s license. After successful registration, the TikTok account of the merchant can hold livestreaming sessions, even if it has no followers.
Unlike TikTok Shop in the UK and Southeast Asia, which have been online for some time, the firm has been much more cautious in developing e-commerce in the US. From October 2020 to November this year, TikTok spent two years paving the way for the US sellers and users to get used to shopping on the platform.
In October 2020, TikTok and Shopify cooperated for the first time, and in August 2021, the cooperation deepened. Shopify merchants with TTFB accounts can add “shopping” label to the homepage of their TikTok accounts and create mini-storefronts on the homepage. In October 2022, TikTok planned to create an international e-commerce compliance system in the US.
According to a report by DataReportal, as of July 2022, there were more than 140 million TikTok users in the United States, ranking first among all markets that TikTok had entered. In addition, among the top 10 markets with the largest number of TikTok users, only the United States is a mature market with average consumption power higher than that of other emerging markets.
According to the Financial Times, TikTok has reorganized its US leadership. Sandie Hawkins, the general manager of its North America business, has been transferred to take charge of TikTok Shop’s US business, and about 20 senior executives were dismissed. From these structural adjustments, we can see that TikTok’s business focus is gradually shifting to e-commerce.
In the past few years, TikTok has been very cautious in the American market, while in other markets, it has not been so patient. In April this year, TikTok Shop was opened in four markets in Southeast Asia including Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. According to the Financial Times, TikTok plans to expand e-commerce channels to North America, Spain, Ireland and Brazil in the next few months.
According to recruitment information released by TikTok on LinkedIn within one week, there are indeed some jobs from TikTok’s e-commerce team in Dublin, Ireland and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Brazil is the third-largest market for TikTok, and in recent years, the foundation needed for the development of e-commerce, such as online payment and logistics in the country, has gradually improved, especially since the launch of the PIX payment system by Brazil’s central bank. According to LatePost, TikTok’s e-commerce team has recently raised the priority of the Brazilian market, which is largely due to SHEIN’s active performance in Brazil.