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All About TikTok’s New Live Shopping Partner

TikTok has a new partner that can help the social media giant push products to consumers as part of its recently launched shopping pilot.

Cymbio, which helps brands start selling on multiple marketplaces and offer convenient dropshipping, said it’s helping power the TikTok Shop feature giving brands a potential reach of 150 million U.S. consumers.

TikTok Shop is available in the U.K., as well as Southeast Asian countries including Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore among others, and is expected to expand beyond trial mode in the U.S. market by the fourth quarter this year.

The shopping feature enables merchants, brands and creators to showcase and sell products directly within the TikTok app. Where Cymbio’s technology comes in is by embedding a brand’s product data and information to TikTok’s in-video, live shopping offering.

Apparel brands including PacSun, Revolve and Willow Boutique are among the first sellers that have joined the trial. Users who want to shop these brands’ products tap on the shopping bag icon on the brand’s profile to view their catalogs and complete the checkout process without leaving the TikTok app. TikTok says it will take a 5 percent commission on each in-app sale.

Cymbio’s digital commerce enablement platform is built for brands of all sizes to access a centralized platform where they can take a hands-off approach to their back-end operations in an effort to scale sales across various channels. The platform automate marketplace management, dropshipping, and social media sales and operations, such as data integration, setup, mapping, taxonomy, onboarding and daily management of a brand’s operational needs.

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Using Cymbio, brands leveraging TikTok Shop, for example, can automate the processes of listing products, managing inventory, streamlining order processing, fulfillment, and tracking orders and analytics.

“Partnering with Cymbio is a great choice, allowing for seamless and quick connectivity and automation to our platform,” said Sandie Hawkins, head of TikTok Shop, in a statement. “Brands such as New Balance can easily monetize on TikTok, reducing shopping friction and engaging buyers at the exact moment of interest. We look forward to seeing this partnership flourish and helping brands grow.”

The company has provided its services to notables names in fashion such as New Balance, Authentic Brands Group, Steve Madden and Camper. Through Cymbio’s platform, these brands have been introduced to retailers and marketplaces including Farfetch, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Saks, Urban Outfitters, Walmart, Zappos and others. 

“We are thrilled to partner with TikTok, enabling brands multi-channel opportunities to reach a brand new, highly engaged audience via TikTok Shop,” said Roy Avidor, CEO and co-founder of Cymbio, in a statement. “We are humbled and excited to expand and value TikTok Shop as a high-growth opportunity for brands of all sizes.”

Social commerce hasn’t quite found its footing in the U.S. After heavily pushing its Shop feature during Covid-19, Instagram removed the tab in January before dropping its livestream shopping feature in March. Instagram’s sister social network Facebook also shut down its live shopping feature in October to shift its focus to its short-form video feature Reels.

But TikTok has convinced people to buy a product elsewhere after seeing it on the app—perhaps influencing the company’s decision to go forward with TikTok Shop. The phrase “TikTok made me buy it,” has garnered 7.4 billion views on the platform, in fact, and the hashtag has generated 47.2 billion views.

TikTok continues its attempt to capitalize on social commerce amid doubts about the platform’s future in the U.S. stemming from how the app collects data.

In a five-hour hearing on Thursday, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew was grilled by Congress over the firm’s use of consumer data, its parent company’s potential ties to the Chinese government and the app’s impact on mental health especially as it relates to minors.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have criticized the platform, with some calling for either an outright ban and others saying Chinese owner ByteDance should sell it if it wants to keep operating in the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday that TikTok “should be ended one way or another, and there are different ways of doing that.”

To date, U.S. lawmakers have offered no evidence of TikTok harming U.S. national security interests.