TikTok is reportedly scrapping plans for live shopping in the US and Europe

TikTok may seem like an unstoppable global entertainment machine, but at least one part of the company’s offering isn’t taking off completely: TikTok is scaling back its plans for live trading in Europe and the U.S. Financial Times reportedafter early launches just weren’t successful.

TikTok has been testing live shopping in the UK since late last year, starting with a multi-brand event called “Trending‘ last December. the butt FT reported that these live shopping streams did not attract a large audience or drive many sales, and some of the creators involved in the early TikTok Shop projects dropped out altogether. TikTok had planned to launch Shop in Germany, France, Italy and Spain so far and had hoped to launch in the US later this year, but now said FT that it is currently solely focused on making the product a success in the UK. It is also live in several countries in Asia where the concept is more mature.

Live online shopping, driven by creators and influencers, is huge business for TikTok’s owner, ByteDance. Douyin, China’s version of TikTok, which is also owned by ByteDance, has seen these live sales become huge cultural events that bring in big business for retailers, creators and platforms alike.

But so far, there isn’t much evidence to suggest that the live e-commerce model will work everywhere. Sure, QVC and the Home Shopping Network were once hugely successful in the US, and more and more consumers are buying products through Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, but many platforms have tried to make live shopping work and none have succeeded so far. Plus, as social shopping continues to grow, competition to be the home of that shopping will be fierce. Even Amazon is investing heavily in shopping streams!

However, you should not turn off TikTok. The app continues to be a center of culture and where huge numbers of people spend their time and increasingly their money. There’s also no doubting TikTok’s commitment to the idea: the company was build and test special shopping experience for more than a yearand it currently is testing the TikTok Shop section in the application in Indonesia. If any company can make live social shopping work outside of Asia, it’s probably TikTok. But that’s a big if.

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