TikTok forces creators to use TikTok Shop by removing all competition on the app

If you want to buy or sell products on the app, TikTok Shop will soon be your only option.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
TikTok shop feature
Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

TikTok videos are a great source for product discovery and purchasing, and TikTok wants all those transactions to go through the app's native shopping platform. As a result, you will need to say bye to TikTok Storefront and other third-party commerce linking features. 

TikTok announced that as of Sept. 12, Storefront will be discontinued globally, and the service will no longer be available. Instead, TikTok is redirecting creators to its new TikTok Shop.

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TikTok's Storefront was launched in 2021 as a collaboration with Shopify, which allowed content creators to link their products on TikTok where audiences could then see and purchase the linked items in a tab on the creator's profile. 

When a customer went to make a purchase, they would be redirected to the seller's website, which TikTok plans to remove with the shift over to TikTok Shop. 

Using TikTok Shop, viewers can make purchases directly within TikTok, "a frictionless experience that lowers dropoff rates and turns viewers into loyal customers faster than ever before," according to TikTok. 

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Many creators have already made the switch, including Taylor Swift. As seen by the photo at the top of the article, the new layout resembles the prior one, with the major difference being you make purchases without leaving the app. 

In addition to the product showcase tab, the TikTok Shop will allow creators to have shoppable in-feed videos and live shopping sessions. Since the entire shopping journey takes place within the app, creators will have access to complete store performance analytics provided by TikTok Shop. 

Because Storefronts will be discontinued and creators will lose access to it when it does, TikTok encourages creators to migrate from Storefront to TikTok Shop before Sept. 12 by registering for TikTok Shop and uploading the products to their Shop manually. 

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The Information recently reported that inside sources revealed that TikTok Shop is expected to lose more than $500 million in the US this year. TikTok's push towards in-app shopping is likely an attempt to raise revenue and curtail further loss. 

The same report revealed that TikTok plans to ban outside e-commerce links, such as the Amazon Storefront links that most creators keep within their TikTok bio to push viewers further to purchase the app. 

YouTube also recently changed the linking policy on the platform for creators to reduce spam and drive more views toward their long-form content. 

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