Is Live Shopping DOA in the USA?

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Is the USA ready to embrace live shopping?

Written by Brook Schaaf

TikTok is reportedly looking for partners to launch its live shopping offering in the United States.

But one wonders if we here in the US are ready now — or if we ever shall be. According to The Verge, Facebook first rolled out its live shopping in 2018 in Thailand. As of October 1, 2022, parent company Meta shuttered this feature to focus on Reels.

So, can TikTok pull it off? Jason “Retailgeek” Goldberg, chief commerce strategy officer at Publicis, made the case against its success last month at CJU. In East Asia, where live shopping is more popular (71% of e-commerce spend), digital wallets are also very popular. With a digital wallet, a purchase is just the touch of a button. Digital wallets are not so popular here, and per Goldberg, it takes “three hands to pay”: one to hold the phone, another to navigate, and a third to hold the credit card. In other words — too much friction.

Things might change, of course. Perhaps, with the holiday sales season almost upon us, shoppers might turn to live shopping rather than brave the in-store rush. But can platforms like TikTok afford the wait to find out if Americans are truly ready to embrace live shopping?

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