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FT: TikTok Planning to Launch North American Live Shopping Platform

TikTok will reportedly enter a partnership with TalkShopLive to launch its live shopping platform in North America, two people familiar with the matter told the Financial Times. The companies are still finalizing the arrangements and no contracts have been signed so far. TikTok’s live shopping platform is already operational in Asian markets including Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam as well as the U.K.

TalkShopLive has previously worked with U.S. retailers to help them launch or expand their live shopping options. In late 2021, the company helped Walmart add embedded shoppable videos across Walmart.com, multiple media outlets, brand and talent sites and social platforms. The technology lets shoppers purchase products within the video player on any site where it is embedded, turning everywhere a video is shared into a potential POS.

“Powering our commerce API with TalkShopLive will provide customers with a seamless checkout experience anywhere online while being entertained,” said Casey Schlaybaugh, VP of Brand at Walmart in a statement at the time.

TikTok also has added a number of social shopping features over the past year. Innovations include product links and live shopping, which allow brands to feature specific items in their in-feed ads and livestreaming videos to drive users to product pages and the Creative Exchange portal, aimed at helping brands develop TikTok-specific ads that will resonate with the platform’s users.

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“The success of #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt and commerce on TikTok as a whole has to do with the fact that marketing on TikTok goes beyond the traditional funnel,” Tao Baecklund, Director of Product Management at TikTok during the TikTok World virtual event for businesses and marketers. “Users aren’t aggressively pushed from awareness to conversion through prescriptive measures. Instead, they quickly go through all the steps of the funnel that brands are familiar with. This process happens so quickly and in such an engaging way, users often repeat it several times in one session, going from discovery to action [and then] back out to their For You page to be entertained and discover even more products. This is how we know our platform is influential in the user’s purchasing journey.”

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