Is TikTok Shop on the way to replace Amazon?

Is TikTok Shop on the way to replace Amazon?

TikTok plans, according to a report from The Information, to ban links to external e-commerce websites. However, TikTok denies this claim. According to the report, the company aims to compel people to use the TikTok Shop if they want to purchase an item.

According to the report, it is expected that the TikTok Shop will incur over $500 million in losses in the US this year. These losses reflect the company’s deep investment in infrastructure, establishing a delivery network, and subsidizing merchants who offer discounts and free shipping.

If TikTok were to indeed ban links to external e-commerce sites, this would follow a tactic already employed by its Chinese counterpart, Douyin. In 2020, Douyin banned links to other e-commerce sites such as Alibaba’s Taobao.


The presumed measure is intended to boost sales on the TikTok Shop, which is currently not particularly successful. Currently, US consumers are spending about 3 to 4 million US dollars per day on the TikTok Shop. Their employees anticipate that this number will increase to over 10 million US dollars by the end of the year.

TikTok Shop is not the only way the company aims to expand into e-commerce. The company recently confirmed that it is testing a new in-app “Trendy Beat” shopping section. This section will offer products for sale that are shipped and sold by a subsidiary of ByteDance. The feature is currently being tested in the United Kingdom, but it’s highly likely to be introduced in the US as well, as TikTok filed a trademark application for “Trendy Beat” in the US in May.

TikTok is panning “project S”

ByteDance’s plan to sell its own products within the video app is internally referred to as “Project S.” In this initiative, ByteDance leverages TikTok’s knowledge about products to either acquire or manufacture these products. Reports suggest that ByteDance utilizes a network of suppliers to produce these items.

Although TikTok’s e-commerce efforts in the US are relatively new, the app has already had a noticeable impact on user shopping behavior: the phrase “TikTok made me buy it” has become popular, symbolizing the app’s ability to trigger impulse purchases. The term currently has 7.4 billion views on TikTok, and the associated hashtag has been used 67 billion times.

While TikTok strengthens its Shop, the company has announced that it will be discontinuing its “Storefronts” feature on September 12th. TikTok had introduced Storefronts in 2021 when TikTok’s e-commerce offerings in the US were quite limited. With TikTok Shop now available, TikTok no longer sees a need for the “Storefronts” feature.

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