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TikTok launches holiday discounts to compete with Amazon, Walmart

The social media app may have taken the first shot at a pricing war

TikTok is reportedly making plans to offer steep discounts this holiday season, starting next month according to internal documents reviewed by Bloomberg News, which also said that the social media app is “hoping these bargains can attract consumers to its newly launched marketplace as it aims to compete with Amazon and Walmart.”

Owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd, TikTok is hosting training sessions next week for merchants selling on its marketplace and is offering to subsidize discounts of as much as 50% to entice seller participation in its Black Friday program, which begins Oct. 27 and runs through Nov. 30.

TikTok has 150 million American users. The company launched its shopping platform to a nationwide audience in the U.S. last week after first testing it last year, reports news and analysis company PYMNTS

“TikTok Shop will now bring shoppable videos and LIVE streams directly to For You feeds across the country — and give brands, merchants and creators the tools to sell directly through shoppable content on the TikTok app,” the company said in its announcement.

Holiday retail sales are predicted to increase between 3.5% to 4.6% in 2023, according to an annual holiday retail forecast from Deloitte. In addition, the professional services company said it expects ecommerce holiday sales to grow between 10.3% to 12.8% compared to last year’s holiday season.

“This season ecommerce sales should continue to be strong as consumers search for the best deals online to maximize their wallets,” Nick Handrinos, vice chair, Deloitte LLP, and U.S. retail, wholesale and distribution and consumer products leader said in the report.

Sharing in the same sentiment, TikTok is offering deep holiday discounts early in the season as the social media app “aims to lure inflation-battered shoppers to its new online marketplace, taking the first shot in a price war with established competitors Inc. and Walmart Inc.,” Bloomberg said.

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