Photo of the TikTok logo overlayed on a photo of a phone.

TikTok has quickly become a key eCommerce player in a culture of instant gratification and impulsive buying trends with the newly launched TikTok Shop. InteractOne believes TikTok Shop will change the way businesses and creators connect with their audience on social media by offering a seamless way to integrate viral content and product sales right within the app, which is something other social media platforms have been struggling to do. If you sell consumer goods online, you should seriously test selling on TikTok Shop.

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What’s TikTok Shop?

TikTok Shop is a community-driven eCommerce platform that brings shoppable videos, live streams, and a central product marketplace to the TikTok app. Now sellers can seamlessly connect and sell to their customers through engaging content while also easily collaborating with creators to promote their products.

How Selling with TikTok Shop Works

  • In-Feed Video & LIVE Shopping: Users can shop directly from videos and live streams that appear on their “For You” page.
  • Profile Shop Page: Sellers can display their products on their TikTok profile page, inviting users to explore collections and make purchases while browsing a seller’s profile.
  • Shop Tab: A central marketplace within the app accessible directly from a user’s feed, offering users a comprehensive product browsing experience.
  • Creator Content: TikTok has made it easy for sellers to partner with popular creators so they can spotlight and promote products directly to their communities while earning commission from referrals. Creators can tag products from a seller in their videos.
  • In-Feed Shop Ads: Users can find products while scrolling TikTok with targeted shop ads that prompt users to purchase a product or visit a seller’s store.

Why is TikTok Shop Positioned for Success?

Seamless Shopping Integration with Content

Across the United States, TikTok has over 150 million people consuming all kinds of content from creators. A large portion of these users have experienced the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt phenomenon where they discover, share, and purchase products they see in their feed. Before the launch of TikTok Shop, users would have to leave the app to make a purchase of any exciting new products they discovered. Now, TikTok Shop allows sellers to sell directly to users after they discover a product without having to leave the app. TikTok has even been giving users coupons to encourage initial purchases.

Selling Through the Affiliate Program with TikTok Creators

Content on TikTok seems to go viral easier than any other social media platform. This means that any piece of content could reach a large audience organically, including videos about products. The new affiliate program sets sellers up for success by being able to connect with creators through commission-based product marketing. Creators can partner with sellers to promote their product through monetized content. This creates a win-win situation for sellers who can capitalize on a creator’s content, while creators can easily monetize their content.

eCommerce Integrations 

TikTok has created an ecosystem of 3rd-party integrations to easily support seller operations. Some of these integrations include commerce partners like Shopify, WooCommerce, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, BigCommerce, and Magento. The integrations even support multi-channel partnerships and an array of service apps designed to streamline eCommerce operations from print-on-demand, customer service, and shipping. Allowing sellers to integrate the eCommerce platforms they are already using to sell into the TikTok Shop reduces the friction for sellers to use their platform, showing that TikTok is trying to create a seamless experience for both users and sellers.

Should I Sell My Products on TikTok?

Deciding to sell on TikTok Shop depends on how well you understand your audience and the unique, dynamic marketplace that TikTok has created. It’s a platform where quick, eye-catching content reigns supreme and where the users eagerly engage with brands that can provide value through their content. If your products and content have visual appeal and you’re adept at crafting stories that captivate users, TikTok Shop could significantly amplify your online sales. 

eCommerce success on this platform requires more than just listing your products. Success on TikTok demands active engagement and a flair for creating buzz-worthy moments. If your brand is about being adaptable, trend-forward, and interactive, then TikTok Shop offers an exciting avenue to expand your digital footprint and connect with an audience that values novelty and authenticity in their shopping experience. TikTok has even created the TikTok Shop Academy to help sellers learn how to boost their sales and find success on their platform.

However, TikTok may not align with every company’s strategy. Businesses with an audience that is not heavily engaged on TikTok or those offering products that require a more traditional or detailed purchasing process, might not benefit as much from the platform. If your brand’s marketing approach relies on long-form content, in-depth education, investing in TikTok Shop could lead to a misallocation of resources. Companies that prioritize a hands-on customer service experience and controlled brand environment may find the fast-paced, influencer-driven nature of TikTok Shop challenging to navigate. If this is you, focusing on more established eCommerce channels or platforms that better cater to your specific market segment and sales approach might yield better results.

Can TikTok Shop Be Trusted?

Consumer safety and trust seems to be the largest speed bump for the TikTok Shop. When launched, TikTok made a commitment to creating a secure shopping environment with policies to foster trust. Initiatives like partnering with trusted brands and offering promotional incentives have been key in building credibility for TikTok Shop, but many users are still skeptical about the quality of the items being sold. Users are also tired of advertisements, generic TikTok Shop product videos, and creators giving inauthentic product reviews that can show up too frequently on their feed. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to build trust with your audience to ease consumers’ fears.

TikTok Shop & Marketing

While skepticism exists, the key to dispelling doubts lies in building trust. TikTok proudly showcases the platform’s potential as an eCommerce and marketing powerhouse with these compelling stats:

  • 70% of TikTok users discover new brands and products on TikTok
  • 3 in 4 users are likely to make a purchase while using TikTok
  • 83% say that TikTok plays a role in buying decisions

Integrating TikTok Shop into your marketing strategy is a game-changer. It’s not just about selling your products; it’s about authentic storytelling, community building, and creating an immersive brand experience that resonates with the TikTok user.

Use the content you create to organically promote your products, leveraging the community and trust you’ve built. Be sure to post a mix of promotional content with valuable videos to avoid audience fatigue. Nobody wants to be sold to all the time.

The affiliate program also gives you the opportunity to work with trusted creators to boost your brand awareness and expose your products to a potential new audience. Creators know how to create content that appeals to their audience which sets you both up for viral success. Creator partnerships are an effective way to promote your products without breaking the bank on advertising.

Our Take

As we witness the evolution of social media into dynamic eCommerce platforms, TikTok Shop emerges as a revolutionary force, reshaping how brands and consumers interact within the digital marketplace. Embracing this change offers many opportunities for you to authentically connect with your audience, creating a community around your products through storytelling and shared experiences. As TikTok Shop continues to expand and refine its offerings, adapting to its ecosystem can provide a competitive edge, tapping into a market of engaged and ready-to-buy users. The journey toward eCommerce success on TikTok is ripe with potential—businesses willing to innovate and build trust within this space are set to thrive.

Give us a shout if you’re ready to set yourself up for eCommerce success with a new TikTok Shop.


Sources: (1) TikTok Marketing Science Global Retail Path to Purchase (US Results) conducted by Material August 2021. (2) TikTok Marketing Science Global Entertainment Study (US Results) conducted by Material, December 2021. (3) Marketing Science EU Holiday Shopping Behavior Research 2020 conducted by Walnut International for TikTok For Business.

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