Saturday, June 15, 2024

No concrete plans for TikTok Shop in continental Europe

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TikTok Shop has been launched in parts of Asia, followed by expansions in the United Kingdom and the United States. However, there are currently no plans for a launch in continental Europe.

This information came from TikTok’s Koen Vanderhoydonck at the Emerce E-Commerce Live conference in Amsterdam. Vanderhoydonck, who previously worked for Google and the Dutch online marketplace Bol.com, is the Product Marketing Manager at the social networking company owned by Chinese ByteDance.

“If you thought this presentation would announce the arrival of TikTok Shop in the Netherlands, I have to disappoint you”, Vanderhoydonck said on the main stage. “That is not going to happen.”

‘If you thought this presentation would announce the arrival of TikTok Shop, I have to disappoint you.’

TikTok’s Dutch sales team, which was appointed at the beginning of this year, is primarily focused on advertising sales, according to Vanderhoydonck. The Belgian TikTok employee did not provide any information about whether there are any plans for expanding TikTok Shop, let alone when.

TikTok Shop

TikTok Shop, that entered into a partnership with the Dutch marketplace integration service ChannelEngine, allows companies to sell their products directly on the app with a full checkout experience. It was launched over a year ago in select Asian markets, including Indonesia, Vietnam, and Singapore. Shortly after, it expanded to the United Kingdom, where brands and influencers can broadcast live and sell products through a clickable basket on the screen.

Livestream shopping

Reportedly, TikTok had plans to quickly expand the integrated shopping feature to continental Europe, but those plans were put on hold after disappointing results in the UK market. The popularity of livestream shopping and social commerce was said to be far behind that of the Asian market. “The market just is not there yet”, a TikTok employee was quoted in the Financial Times last summer.

‘General consumer awareness and adoption are still low and nascent.’

The company itself denied that the rollout of TikTok Shop was “paused, delayed, or withdrawn”. Afterward, the shop functionality was gradually introduced only in the United States, starting from last November.

Entertainment platform

Vanderhoydonck also mentioned various other advertising methods through which businesses can leverage the reach of the “entertainment platform”, as he explicitly referred to TikTok. According to him, the company competes not only with platforms like Facebook and Instagram (owned by Meta) but also with entertainment platforms like Netflix.

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