Citing low pay, long hours and inferior products, TikTok influencers in the United Kingdom have begun leaving the platform’s eCommerce program, the Financial Times (FT) reported Friday (June 17).
Their departure is the latest indication that the Chinese company’s live shopping concept has yet to flourish on a global scale.
Parent company ByteDance debuted TikTok Shop in the U.K. in 2021, the first time the service had been made available outside Asia, according to the report. The idea was to bring live shopping — similar to QVC — to TikTok’s 1 billion users, with brands and influencers selling during live broadcasts.
But several popular content creators said they stepped away from the project after their pay was cut, and shipping and stock issues led them to be the target of online abuse, the report stated.
“We are promised the world as creators and then told [we’re] not going to be getting that much,” said Carolina Are, one of the influencers, per the report.
TikTok told FT it is “redefining shopping culture” and had witnessed a positive effect on small businesses that had increased revenues on the platform, along with larger brands that had found new audiences.
“We are committed to learning, growing and improving as we build commerce solutions that bring value to merchants, creators and our community across the U.K.,” the company said in the report.
Another streaming/shopping marriage took place earlier this week, as Walmart teamed up with Roku to combine eCommerce with TV streaming.
The companies said their partnership lets viewers buy Walmart products from Roku’s streaming platform, a collaboration that melds product discovery with a “seamless” checkout experience.
Walmart Chief Marketing Officer William White said the goal is to connect customers “where they are already spending time, shortening the distance from discovery and inspiration to purchase.”