Marketing

TikTok could introduce an in-app retail store as soon as next month

The news comes after it recently debuted UK shopping feature Trendy Beat.
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Illustration: Francis Scialabba, Photo: TikTok

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TikTok could debut an in-app retail store in the US as early as July to compete with e-commerce giants like Amazon and Temu, according to Semafor.

TikTok will buy its own inventory, such as toys and kitchen tools, largely from manufacturers in China, sources told the news outlet. The store will be separate from the TikTok Shop feature it began testing in November, where brands can sell their products on the app, though both will be included in a new e-commerce tab.

A TikTok spokesperson said in a statement to Semafor that the platform is testing a retail feature called Trendy Beat in the UK, but it doesn’t “have anything to share for the US.” Retail Brew received a similar statement. Trendy Beat offers products popularized in viral videos which are sold by a Singapore company owned by TikTok parent ByteDance, the Financial Times reported last week. TikTok filed a trademark application for Trendy Beat in the US on May 30, listing apparel from bathing suits to shirts and coats.

The Information reported last week that TikTok has signed logistics deals for warehouses to store, pack, and ship inventory. TikTok listed a Los Angeles-based job for “Global E-Commerce Shopping Center Operations,” describing a feature called TikTok Shop Shopping Center, where users can find promotions, shop, and manage orders in a “central hub.”

TikTok's efforts to become a marketplace have faced an uphill battle so far, as live shopping features popular in Asia have yet to take off in the US, and its Shop feature had under 100 merchants as of March, according to The Information.

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