Late in 2021, a hashtag went viral in the US—#tiktokmademebuyit. The hashtag, which accumulated over four billion views four billion views TikTok For Business #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt: The power of community reviews Read more , showcases all the products users discovered on TikTok. If the short-video giant has its way, it could soon be replicating that kind of virality in Southeast Asia (SEA).
In December 2021, it launched TikTok Shop, its e-commerce offering, in Indonesia and quickly followed it up with launches in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Around the same time, it also launched TikTok Seller in Indonesia, an app aimed at businesses and sellers, offering a suite of services such as inventory and order management and analysis.
While the app was made available only on iOS devices, TikTok launched an Android version this June this June TechCrunch TikTok’s newest app lets sellers manage their online stores via their smartphone Read more . In barely a month, it zoomed to claim the #7 spot in the Top 10 E-commerce Apps in Indonesia, according to data from mobile app tracking company data.ai (formerly App Annie). And recently, it has been testing testing TechCrunch TikTok tests a dedicated Shop feed that highlights products you can buy now Read more a dedicated ‘Shop’ feed that functions as a product showcase tab within the app. It has also reduced, and in some cases, waived commissions for certain sellers.
The moves are much-needed for TikTok. One in every four users on TikTok is SEA, according to data from data analytics firm SensorTower. But TikTok earned only 2.8%—around US$48 million—of its global revenue of US$1.7 billion from in-app purchases from the region in the first half of 2022. App downloads have also slowed, going from a 116% year-on-year (YoY) growth in 2019 to a negative 23% in 2021.
Social commerce in the region, on the other hand, has picked up speed. As per data compiled compiled The Ken VCs have new online faves—social commerce, q-commerce score big in SE Asia Read more by The Ken, at least ten funding rounds were closed in the sector in 2021, a substantial rise from the four social commerce deals in 2020.
In addition, the app has faced regulatory headwinds regulatory headwinds Forbes India The effect of China's tech crackdown Read more in its home market China, where antitrust laws hit some of the country’s largest tech companies, including e-commerce giant Alibaba, internet conglomerate Tencent, and video-streaming company ByteDance.