- TikTok reportedly wants to “more than quadruple” the size of its ecommerce business.
- It seeks to grow TikTok Shop from $4.4 billion in sales last year to up to $20 billion this year, Bloomberg reports.
- It faces big challenges in the US market where livestream shopping hasn’t caught on.
TikTok wants to “more than quadruple” the size of its ecommerce business to as much as $20 billion in sales this year, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.
That would be a huge increase from the $4.4 billion in sales TikTok Shop did last year, and the bulk of the growth would come from markets in Southeast Asia like Indonesia, where livestream shopping is very popular, according to Bloomberg.
TikTok Shop is available in seven regions in Asia. It launched in the UK in 2021 and is in “beta” in the US. TikTok has been trying to ramp up its US offering by giving merchants discounts to try out the product.
TikTok is looking to increase sales in the US and Europe and have consumers see it as an alternative to Amazon, but the realities of the current market mean those places would make up a much smaller slice of this year’s $20 billion goal, Bloomberg reported.
The global roll-out of TikTok Shop has faced some setbacks, however. The Information reported in April that product had struggled to attract merchants. Some of TikTok’s expansion plans in markets like the US were also slowed in May, The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times reported.
Patrick Nommensen, the GM of UK ecommerce at TikTok, recently told Insider’s Marta Biino that TikTok Shop had seen success with small and mid-sized merchants and that his team had been working to onboard larger brands like L’Oréal.
He said US expansion was “completely on track.”
Read more about TikTok’s vision of global expansion for its shopping feature
While TikTok Shop has been a bonanza in Southeast Asia, the lack of enthusiasm for the livestream shopping model in the US and Europe has hindered its efforts there.
Nommensen told Insider that while short-form video was still the primary ecommerce driver for TikTok, he thought livestream shopping would pick up steam over time.
There certainly hasn’t been much evidence of that so far. The major social platforms like Instagram and YouTube have struggled to make livestream shopping a habit among US consumers. Instagram killed its live shopping feature in March, for example.
If TikTok hopes to ride the livestream shopping wave to go head-to-head with Amazon, something will have to change drastically in the way Americans shop.
TikTok did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment ahead of publication.