TikTok partners with startups to boost struggling eCommerce platform

TikTok has partnered with multiple eCommerce companies in hopes of attracting more users and merchants to TikTok Shop – a shopping feature accessible directly on the TikTok platform that lets merchants, brands, and creators display and sell products directly on TikTok.

Users can access TikTok Shop, the social media platform’s eCommerce space, to purchase items shown in ads on the app directly. The decision to outsource some operations to external companies is the latest effort by TikTok to boost its eCommerce arm, an area of the market that might become the core revenue stream in the future. Social commerce, where users can buy items without leaving the social media app, has already seen massive success in China.

But customers have been complaining about the new service, citing shipping delays and being sold counterfeit products as chief concerns. Moreover, the staff has left the department complaining of burnout and brands have abandoned the platform due to a lack of sales. The brands and retailers also found the platform too difficult to navigate and the level of resources needed to sell on the app not worth the returns.

The Chinese-owned social media platform hopes to remedy some of the issues that have plagued its live shopping rollout by seeking help from tech companies like ChannelEngine, TalkShopLive, and YunExpress. By teaming up with eCommerce players, the company hopes to give TikTok Shop a much-needed push in Europe.

In Europe, TikTok is partnering with marketplace integration platform ChannelEngine to sync retailers’ catalogs. The app also partnered with live shopping startup TalkShopLive from Los Angeles. The partnership with YunExpress, a logistics service provider of cross-border B2C business lines, has been done to help with logistics.

Tiktok hopes to fix the issues and expand the number of buyers and sellers using TikTok’s eCommerce tools.