TikTok Shop will not come to the US after rocky pilot

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Despite proving popular in Asia, TikTok’s own ecommerce platform is unlikely to make its way to the US after several teething problems in the UK.

According to the Financial Times, the social media company has now “abandoned plans” to extend its “QVC-style” shopping experience to several European countries and the US due to a failure to gain traction and concerns among company staff.

Germany, France, Italy, and Spain were just some of the countries that TikTok had hoped to gain a foothold in when it comes to live, online shopping, a phenomenon which has taken countries like China by storm.

The same article reports that several influencers previously involved in the pilot scheme had decided to leave, and that the shopping platform was failing to meet targets. This is despite TikTok offering financial incentives for people to sell on the app. 

Selling on TikTok Shop

A 9to5Mac article highlights that almost half of the staff involved in the European trial had walked out, while a company executive in charge of TikTok Shop in Europe had to be replaced owing to comments he made with regard to maternity leave, a workers’ right that he “didn’t believe” in.

Long hours, late finishes and heavy workload were just some of the reasons that staff had quit. TikTok claimed that employee shifts needed to "match customer use patterns", and that the company had attempted to avoid these disruptions to routine where possible.

This news comes almost one year after the Chinese-owned company initially engaged in a partnership with Shopify, a shopping scheme that saw the likes of Kylie Jenner selling her own cosmetics line on the social media app.

Instagram has its own Shop in which users can find products recommended for them based on various data points, such as who they follow, and while TikTok’s attempt has been a failure this time around, it’s unlikely to give up on this growing market.

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!