ByteDance Plans Cost-Free Platform for TikTok’s Marketplace


TikTok will soon be launching its first online retail store within the United States version of the app.

The ByteDance-owned social media app’s new store will be up and running as soon as next month, Semafor reported Thursday (June 28).

The store will include an array of consumer goods, from kitchen gadgets to toys, most of which will be manufactured in China, according to the report. The goal of the U.S. retail store is to mirror the success of the company’s Douyin — the Chinese version of TikTok.

TikTok plans to buy inventory, manage warehousing and logistics, and handle customer service, the report said.

To build an initial base and facilitate a more competitive edge for its retailers, ByteDance is also working on a cost-free platform to promote its marketplace with no commissions, shipping fees, or warehousing costs, Bloomberg reported Friday (June 30)

The new venture has challenges, Semafor reported. ByteDance faces the costs of setting up a supply chain, including shipping, warehousing and payment; the risk of taking financial losses for unsold stock; and the challenge of the price war that is often present in eCommerce.

This new initiative with TikTok comes at a time when ByteDance is also on a mission to make Douyin become China’s next “everything app” to rival the success of Tencent’s WeChat.

ByteDance has been expanding the offerings of Douyin — which features streaming video and messaging — to include food and grocery delivery in major cities like Beijing and Shanghai.

The Douyin app already includes links to place delivery orders or redeem coupons for products shown in videos, making it easy for users to make purchases directly from the app. Additionally, users can search for movie theaters, bars and beauty salons within the app.

All-in-one mobile applications, or super apps, are popular in Asia and are poised to expand to other markets.

It is estimated that 96 million people in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Australia and Germany are drawn to the idea of a super app, according to “Super Apps for the Super Connected,” a PYMNTS and PayPal collaboration.