Amazon’s Rival: TikTok’s Explosive $17.5 Billion Surge Prediction, eBay’s Bad Buyer Experience and More News

With Saturday peeking just around the corner, it’s time to update our readers on the latest eCommerce news. We hope you’re looking forward to the nice weekend ahead and that the second week of the New Year has been a great success. 

Last week, we had a chance to look at the new side hustle tax law (make sure to check out the article if you haven’t already), and today we’re diving deep into TikTok Shop predictions, eBay buyer’s bad experiences, and more. 

Today’s news is 1694 words.

Amazon’s Rival: TikTok’s Explosive $17.5 Billion Surge Prediction

TikTok is setting its sights on Amazon’s turf with plans to expand its U.S. eCommerce business, TikTok Shop, to $17.5 billion this year. Marketers should especially take note, as 83% of TikTok users make purchase decisions on the platform. 

If TikTok successfully executes this expansion, it will provide brands with a golden opportunity to showcase their products to a larger, engaged U.S. audience, promising higher returns on investment.

TikTok aims to leverage its active user base and viral video content to boost merchandise sales through the U.S. TikTok Shop. While specific strategies are still in the works and subject to change based on business performance, TikTok’s ambition poses a challenge not only to Amazon but also to online retail media brands like Temu and Shein. 

The timing of this expansion is strategic, as TikTok looks to expand its sales footprint in the U.S. and Latin America after generating substantial revenue, particularly in Southeast Asia.

ecommerce news

What is TikTok Shop?

TikTok Shop offers a unique shopping experience, allowing users to make purchases seamlessly while browsing short videos and live streams within the main app. Both retailers and creators can showcase and sell products, creating an integrated in-app shopping experience for the TikTok community. 

What does it mean for eCommerce sellers?

TikTok Shop’s expansion into the U.S. eCommerce market signifies a major shift for eCommerce sellers, presenting a unique opportunity to tap into TikTok’s large and diverse user base. 

This move is particularly beneficial for brands aiming at younger audiences who are highly engaged with digital content, as it offers a new platform for reaching an audience known to make purchase decisions influenced by social media. 

This represents a significant change in the digital retail landscape, where sellers can leverage TikTok’s integrated shopping experience within its highly popular video and live stream content.

MORE: Modash: Reach 250 million influencers instantly.

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Big Retailer News

eBay’s Bad Buyer Experience

eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee program, designed to reassure buyers about the authenticity of high-value items, has hit a snag, leaving both buyers and sellers frustrated. One significant issue revolves around the program’s restriction on communication between buyers and sellers. 

Buyers have expressed their displeasure, with some stating that buying sneakers on eBay used to be a favorite pastime but has now become a “horrible” experience due to the inability to contact sellers regarding orders sent for authentication.

Sellers face challenges in communicating shipment updates and addressing after-sales inquiries. This issue dates back to 2020 when a buyer encountered an error messaging a seller about an item under the Authenticity Guarantee. 

Sellers fear negative feedback for delayed shipment before authentication, leaving them unable to explain the situation.

eBay stands by this policy, explaining that they disable messaging at the moment of purchase when items go through the authentication process. They assure that all necessary tracking information and updates regarding the order are readily available on the platform for both buyers and sellers to access.

What does it mean for eCommerce sellers?

This longstanding issue underscores a critical challenge in the eCommerce landscape: balancing the need to ensure product authenticity with maintaining satisfactory communication and customer service. 

The ongoing discontent among eBay users highlights the need for the platform to reconsider its approach to better align with buyers’ and sellers’ needs and expectations.

MORE: How to remove negative feedback on eBay

Walmart’s AI Plans

Walmart’s CEO, Doug McMillon, took center stage at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where he shared the retail giant’s plans to leverage AI technology to enhance the Walmart and Sam’s Club apps. 

The company aims to streamline its supply chain and introduce drone delivery services. McMillon emphasized the importance of responsible AI adoption, seeking guidance from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on using generative AI for societal good.

Walmart has teamed up with Microsoft to deploy generative AI-powered search capabilities within its app. This feature, currently available to iOS users, will roll out to all app users soon. 

The AI search combines Microsoft’s large language model with Walmart’s data, delivering relevant results across product categories while considering individual user preferences and location. 

On top of that, Walmart introduced several AI-driven features to enhance the shopping experience, such as automated checkout and personalized product recommendations. 

For Walmart+ customers, there’s the InHome Replenishment service that uses AI to restock essentials directly into their homes. Walmart is also optimizing its supply chain by implementing automated machine learning to predict customer behavior and streamline product allocation. 

The company is further embracing drone delivery, with plans to serve 75% of households in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by the end of 2024, promising incredibly fast delivery times.

Walmart’s strategic embrace of AI and technology at CES underscores its commitment to enhancing the customer experience, streamlining operations, and staying at the forefront of retail innovation.

What does it mean for eCommerce sellers?

For eCommerce sellers, Walmart’s announcement at CES about leveraging AI technology represents a significant shift in the retail landscape. The company’s AI integration aims to offer more localized and personalized services. eCommerce sellers should consider how to use data and AI to tailor their offerings to individual customer needs and preferences.

MORE: Generative AI in retail

Also in the News 

International Retailer News

AliExpress and Temu’s Rapid South Korea Expansion

Alibaba’s AliExpress and PDD-owned Temu are rapidly expanding in South Korea, offering competitive prices on their online shopping platforms. 

AliExpress, launched in 2018, has seen its monthly users soar to over 7 million, while Temu, introduced in July, averages 3.5 million monthly users, making them the fastest-growing apps in Korea in 2023. 

Despite their growth, the companies face challenges in the South Korean market, including long delivery times and concerns about product quality.

Although South Korean consumers appear to enjoy the lower prices on AliExpress, they also express frustration over the extended delivery times.

Across the internet, you can find many opinions of customers waiting for weeks to even months for items they ordered. In contrast, the local eCommerce company, Coupang, can offer same-day delivery through its Rocket Delivery service. Both AliExpress and Temu are working with South Korean logistics providers, but supply chain issues still persist.

While AliExpress and Temu have launched initiatives to improve supply chain efficiency in South Korea, such as AliExpress Choice offering delivery guarantees, they face cultural and policy barriers in their overseas expansion.

Chinese eCommerce platforms are also criticized for copycat designs and counterfeit products. Despite the competitive prices, some South Korean consumers prefer to turn to local platforms like Coupang or Naver Shopping for their daily necessities and fashion items.

What does it mean for eCommerce sellers?

As these platforms evolve, with initiatives like AliExpress Choice aimed at enhancing supply chain efficiency, sellers have the opportunity to expand their market presence. 

However, they must remain aware of the cultural and policy barriers in the South Korean market and the strong competition from established local platforms that offer faster delivery and a perceived higher quality of goods.

MORE: How to make a shipping label

Alibaba’s New AI Dance Feature

Check out Alibaba’s captivating new AI feature that lets users experience the iconic Terracotta Warriors dancing to the viral “kemusan” dance challenge. 

This innovative technology, powered by the image-to-video tool known as Tongyi Wuwang (meaning “one dance king” in English), utilizes Alibaba’s foundation model, “Animate Anyone.” 

With this cutting-edge feature, you can transform a full-body photo into a mesmerizing ten-second dance video, all while preserving the original facial expressions and background. What’s even more exciting is that you can try it out directly through Alibaba’s ChatGPT-like program, Tongyi Qianwen. 

This MagicAnimate-like tool marks the latest addition to Alibaba’s growing portfolio of generative AI products, offering a unique and entertaining experience.

The introduction of this AI feature is part of Alibaba’s ongoing efforts to bring the wonders of artificial intelligence to the public. By allowing users to animate historical figures like the Terracotta Warriors, Alibaba is bringing a new level of engagement and entertainment to social media. 

The “kemusan” dance challenge has taken the internet by storm, and now you can join in the fun by watching these ancient statues groove to the beat.

With Tongyi Wuwang and “Animate Anyone,” Alibaba continues to push the boundaries of what AI can achieve. This technology not only preserves the authenticity of the original photo but also adds a fun and interactive twist to it. 

What does it mean for eCommerce sellers?

For eCommerce sellers, this technology means an opportunity to create more dynamic, engaging, and personalized content for their products. With such AI features, sellers can bring a novel and interactive aspect to their online stores, potentially increasing customer interest and interaction.

Also in the News 


For everyone 

Various dates: Amazon advertising’s global webinar program continues with 20+ webinars scheduled, covering Amazon Prime Day preparation, sponsored products, sponsored brands, reporting, optimization, and other tips. 

Learn more: Amazon.

January 23: How mature is your eCommerce search — are you ready for AI? Learn more: DigitalCommerce360

Available to watch now: 

How to sell more with TikTok for Business. Learn more: Bigcommerce

For US sellers

February 7: The Amazon and Retail Media Summit. Learn more: Tinuiti

For UK sellers

Various dates: Amazon advertising’s global webinar program continues with 20+ webinars scheduled, covering Amazon Prime Day preparation, sponsored products, sponsored brands, reporting, optimization, and other tips. 

Learn more: Amazon.


Dominika Kaminska

Dominika Kaminska

Amazing content you need, amazing content we deliver. Whether you need marketing, eCommerce, or news digest related to eCommerce, Dominika is here to guide you through it all. You will also find her in the top tips section, giving only top-notch advice.

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