TikTok is taking the next step to increase its popularity in the U.S. with the quiet launch of TikTok Shop, an in-app checkout feature that allows brands to sell their products directly through the platform.
Similair to Instagram Shop, brands that offer the option to sell their products on TikTok will have a small bag icon added to their profile. By clicking on the icon, users can browse a product catalog and add products from various brands to the same cart.
The eCommerce feature is currently being tested by brands invited exclusively by TikTok to try it out. Some of the brands include the beauty brand KimChi Chic launched by Toni Ko and the retail clothing company Pacsun.
While Instagram’s shopping feature proved unsuccessful, TikTok may be an exception. Meta confirmed in January that Instagram’s shop tab would be permanently discontinued from the app, which is shifting its focus from eCommerce to advertising.
However, user trends have shown that TikTok is now starting to be perceived as a search engine. This indicates that the TikTok Shop has hopes of becoming a success, especially when targeting teenagers who make up a large percentage of the entertainment app’s target audience.
TikTok Shop is still in the testing phase and it is currently unknown when the in-app checkout feature will expand to include more brands.