Remember shopping channels? It might be a little out of style these days, but it was all the rage in the ‘90s. Viewers would be able to see live demonstrations and presentations of products and proceed to purchase the item there and then through the phone.
If you’ve been active on TikTok Live, you may have noticed an increase in teleshopping-like live streams. Now, creators demonstrate a product that audiences can purchase online through TikTok Shop, where creators can then earn affiliate commissions.
But now, per The Information, TikTok is investing heavily in its live e-commerce platform by building its own live shopping studio space in Los Angeles. (According to the Information, this news comes from three sources who are said to be familiar with the project.)
Eventually, live studio spaces by TikTok are rumored to be built in other areas in the U.S., too. Each location is set to have multiple studios in order to accommodate dozens of creators each day. Manufacturers may also be able to send samples to the studios for creators to try out.
In 2022, consumers spent $208 billion on shopping via Douyin, so it makes sense that ByteDance would want to build a similar infrastructure in the US. After all, the U.S. has the largest TikTok audience, with over 135 million users.
This is all part of TikTok’s aim to diversify its revenue and expand its e-commerce capabilities.
The launch of TikTok Shop and other e-commerce ventures is said to have cost the company $500 million in total in 2023. While its launch has been largely successful, there has been some uncertainty along the way, with the slashing of subsidies and increase in seller fees.
Still, if its live shopping streams get the same kind of success as Douyin, the platform may finally be able to quell those doubts for good.