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TikTok Launches New Program To Attract More UK Merchants

TikTok’s trying out another way to get UK businesses to sell their products in the app, this time via a new £1 Million Club” initiative, which aims to help UK retailers reach £1 million ($US1.28m) in revenue via the app

TikTok UK Club

The program will offer “special incentives” and support offerings designed to help UK retailers specifically in building their TikTok shopping presence.

As per TikTok:

“The £1Million Club plan brings five core benefits to new merchants: up to 90 days 0% commission free sales, free storage and fulfillment through “Fulfilled by TikTok”, and seller support priority service. At the same time, TikTok Shop will also provide dedicated promotion support for merchants, ensuring that merchants’ brands and products can get more exposure and attention through campaigns, creator, content and traffic support.”

So, to be clear, the five key benefits of the program are:

  • Up to 90 days commission-free sales
  • Free fulfillment via TikTok Shop
  • Support via TikTok experts
  • Training via TikTok experts (TikTok’s “Seller Academy”)
  • Marketing tips and assistance

The campaign essentially aims to provide expanded assistance to get more UK sellers into the app, as another element of TikTok’s broader push to convert itself into an eCommerce powerhouse.

Which hasn’t exactly gone to plan as yet.

TikTok actually made a significant push on its UK shopping plans back in 2022, before scaling them back due to lack of consumer interest, as well as internal conflicts.

Initial reports suggested that TikTok’s tough working conditions, modeled on its Chinese operations, had not been well received among UK staff, which eventually led the replacement of local management. That reportedly then derailed its broader eCommerce push, though it’s the lack of consumer interest part that still poses the bigger challenge.

Though that may be improving.

In-app spending on TikTok is increasing (even if most of it is going to creator donations), and TikTok remains hopeful that it’ll be able to convert that activity into broader shopping behavior.

It’s just not going to happen as quickly as it did in China, where in-app shopping is now the key revenue driver for the local version of the app.

That’s always been TikTok’s guiding light, in following the same roadmap to eCommerce success. But for whatever reason, Western consumers have not been as enticed by in-stream shopping in the app.

At least, not yet.

Maybe we’re reaching the next threshold on this, and TikTok will be able to establish a bigger shopping presence in the UK, before expanding to other markets. It remains to be seen, but possibly, given the success of Chinese retailers like Temu and AliExpress, we are on the cusp of TikTok becoming a bigger retail player, which will open up all new revenue opportunities for the app.

Maybe, then, the £1Million Club is another key step forward for the app’s ambitions.

Interested retailers in the UK can sign up for the program here.

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