TikTok's First $1 Million Shopping Livestream

TikTok hosted its first $1 million shopping livestream. TikTok Shop is bringing the long-promised live commerce to the masses.

Canvas Beauty TikTok Shop livestream

Canvas Beauty, a beauty brand, set a TikTok U.S. record on June 8th with a 6-hour live stream that achieved $1 million in sales. Stormi Steele, the brand’s CEO, hosted the broadcast that peaked at 10,000 tuned-in viewers. The day before, Simply Mandys, a different cosmetics brand, surpassed $730,000, setting a then-record. Less than two weeks before that, Jeffree Star hosted a stream that grossed $665,000.

According to 36Kr, TikTok has set an ambitious goal of reaching $12 to $13 billion in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) in the U.S. in the second half of 2024. Shopping on TikTok is unique because content, not search, inspires and thus drives sales. TikTok will also uniquely drive a lot of it through live commerce.

Live commerce — shopping while watching a video stream — has been a major e-commerce channel in other markets for years, most notably in China. Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, has been particularly successful there. The natural logical jump was that it would inevitably be big in the U.S. and other countries in the West, too, for no other reason than because it is big in China. That logical jump turned out to be a fallacy.

Live commerce in the West has remained a niche. Collectibles are the most popular category on shopping apps like NTWRK, Popshop Live, OOOOO, and Whatnot. Facebook and Instagram had the functionality but shut it down as recently as March 2023 when Instagram removed product tagging in live broadcasts. Amazon has been hosting live streams for five years, but it’s been clear for just as long that if live commerce were to happen in the U.S., Amazon wouldn’t be the one to bring it.

@canvasgirlbeauty on Instagram sharing TikTok Shop live $1 million record

Like when TikTok launched shopping in September of last year, it is now aggressively pushing live commerce with a level of buy-in not seen from the others before it. It appears to be working with select creators, has multiple streaming studios, and prioritizes video broadcasts in the algorithm. Stormi Steele of Canvas Beauty shared a video of TikTok’s team congratulating her on the $1 million milestone from an office full of people monitoring her stream.

TikTok is not a sales channel; it’s an entertainment platform that competes with YouTube and Netflix for attention and sometimes acts as a discovery engine for commerce. It doesn’t replace Amazon or any other retailer. However, live commerce is a natural fit for TikTok.

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Juozas Kaziukėnas

Founder of Marketplace Pulse, Juozas wears multiple hats in the management of Marketplace Pulse, including writing most of the articles. Based in New York City. Advisor to other startups and entrepreneurs. Occasional speaker at conferences.

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