Following prior moves in the UK and Southeast Asia, ByteDance’s TikTok is now accelerating plans to expand its cross-border e-commerce business. Reports have emerged that it is preparing to explore the US e-commerce market, while several US merchants have participated in small-scale tests of TikTok’s domestic online shopping platform.
Compared with the emerging markets such as Southeast Asia, South America, Africa and Latin America, the U.S. market, which has the largest market volume, is the best choice for global enterprise or cross-border companies. In general, many enterprises usually choose North America as the starting point when expanding business globally.
According to eMarketer, the U.S. e-commerce market will exceed $1 trillion in sales for the first time in 2022. For cross-border e-commerce merchants, North America is still in the leading position in terms of consuming capability, e-commerce penetration and logistics channels, and this huge market is still a hot cake for enterprises.
In recent years, while the short video app soared to popularity, TikTok has creatively launched a live e-commerce model, TikTok Shop in overseas markets. In June 2021, TikTok Shop enterned into the UK. Subsequently, instead of expanding into traditional European and American markets, TikTok Shop set its sights on the more promising market, Southeast Asia. Data shows that with the gradual expansion of the Southeast Asian market, TikTok Shop has seen a 493% increase in orders and a 92% increase in GMV.
In the first half of this year, TikTok Shop launched new national sites in five countries, covering almost all major nations in Southeast Asia, thus entering a new stage of "one shop selling globally" and ushering in new opportunities for Southeast Asian e-commerce.
Currently, TikTok has 3 billion downloads worldwide, with more than 1 billion monthly users, covering more than 150 markets and 75 languages, and is widely acclaimed in Europe, America, Southeast Asia and other places, and has topped the App Store or Google Play download list in various countries and regions.
Today, TikTok has become the fastest growing and most popular short video social media overseas.
In the past few years, the short video boom has swept the world. TikTok short video easily catches the eye of users with changeable styles and easy operations. Users can self-make interesting videos with very simple bases.
TikeTok Shop is another factor made TikTok popupar quickly. Many e-commerce sellers are using TikTok short videos for online KOL marketing and TikTok Shop to sell goods with live streaming. By cooperating with local celebrities, merchants post videos or invite the KOLs to promote their products.
TikTok has always placed high hopes on its e-commerce business. According to a report by Yahoo Finance, TikTok plans to grow its e-commerce gross merchandise volume to $2 billion this year and $23 billion in 2023, according to a person close to ByteDance. The target of 2023 is more than 10 times higher than that of 2022.
As U.S. is one of the most important and fastest growing consumer markets in the world, there is no doubt that TikTok will not let it go. After entering the United Kingdom and Southeast Asia, it is said that TikTok Shop is going to kick off tests in the United States
According to several sources, TikTok Shop US, which has previously experienced various twists and turns, is definitely going to arrive this time. Its launch date will probably be in the second week of November, and a group of local merchants have participated in small-scale traffic tests, according to a report by Chinese media outlet Egain News.
At present, several companies have reached cooperation intentions with TikTok Shop’s US business team. Although there are no restrictions on goods categories, they are required to “be able to deliver goods locally.”
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