Tok market: The TikTok Shop is gaining momentum.

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One-stop Tok

Following the success of "social shopping" offerings in Asia, TikTok may soon reap retail rewards from its >150 million monthly active users in the US.

The e-commerce arm of the platform, TikTok Shop, opened up in the States this September, features a new marketplace tab on the homepage; a commission-based programme for content creators; and the ability to buy tagged products using shop links featured on livestreams and in-feed videos.

The move into the shopping sphere feels like a natural progression for TikTok, having already established itself as a hub for young people to discover new products, particularly clothing and cosmetics. Some of the app’s most popular trends, including the 6-million-post strong #tiktokmademebuyit, are related to marketing. In fact, the #tiktokshop tag itself has racked up some 5 billion views over the last 30 days in the US alone.

By allowing for in-app purchases in America, TikTok aims to raise its global gross merchandise value to $20 billion, up from $5 billion last year — pitting itself directly against e-commerce behemoths like Amazon.

However, political roadblocks remain in TikTok’s master plan. After ramping up e-commerce efforts in Southeast Asia earlier this year, its online shopping operations were banned in Indonesia just months later. And, with privacy concerns still high on legislators' radars across the US, the dance app might have a new, shop-sized target on its back.

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