TikTok has exploded in popularity in recent years, with millions of users worldwide creating and sharing short-form videos on the platform. In fact, according to recent statistics, TikTok has over 1 billion active users, making it one of the fastest-growing social media networks on the planet.
With the introduction of commerce features on the platform, many brands are now embracing TikTok as a new channel to reach potential customers. However, the question remains: are TikTok shops truly effective for driving sales?
In this blog, we will explore the world of TikTok shopping, its benefits, its shortcomings, and why some argue that edge storefronts are a better option for social commerce.
What are TikTok shops?
TikTok shops are online storefronts that allow businesses to showcase and sell their products directly within the TikTok app. These shops are an extension of TikTok's social commerce features, which were launched in 2020 to enable users to shop while they scroll through their feeds. TikTok shops make it easier for businesses to reach a large and engaged audience, as users can browse and purchase products without ever leaving the app.
To set up a TikTok shop, businesses need to have a TikTok for Business account, be located in a supported market, and meet certain eligibility criteria. Once approved, businesses can create a storefront within the app, upload their products, and customize their shop's appearance. TikTok also offers various tools and features to help businesses promote their products and reach their target audiences, such as TikTok Ads and Creator Fund.
Overall, TikTok shops provide a seamless and engaging shopping experience for users while also offering businesses an opportunity to increase brand awareness, drive sales, and reach a younger demographic.
TikTok shopping statistics you should know
TikTok is quickly becoming one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, with over 1 billion active users. The platform is not only a source of entertainment for its users, but it also offers a new way for brands to reach their target audience. Here are some interesting statistics that you should know about TikTok shopping:
- This year, 27.3% of TikTok users will make purchases via the platform, up from just 5.7% in 2020.
- Over 7 in 10 TikTok shoppers worldwide are inclined to buy when stumbling on an interesting product, and 6 in 10 use the app for shopping inspiration.
- 2 out of 3 users are likely to buy something while on the platform.
- 50% of TikTok users have bought something after watching TikTok LIVE.
- TikTok users are twice as likely as users of traditional social platforms to recommend a product or service they’ve discovered on the app and 1.5x more successful at convincing others to try the product or service.
- 55% of users use TikTok to research new brands or products.
- 50% of TikTok users reported feeling joyful, excited, or happy about the products they purchased, which is 25% higher than on traditional social platforms.
- Over half of users look for details about where to buy products they’ve seen on the platform.
As these statistics show, TikTok shopping is growing rapidly, and it presents a great opportunity for brands to reach a highly engaged audience. With a variety of advertising options available and a large user base that is highly receptive to shopping on the platform, TikTok could be the future of social commerce.
Who can use TikTok shopping?
TikTok shopping is available for four categories of users: sellers, creators, partners, and affiliates. If you fall into one of these categories, you can use TikTok shopping to boost your business.
If you are a Seller, you must be located in one of the following regions: the UK, Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, or Indonesia. You will also need to provide proof of your location with a phone number from that region, a certificate of incorporation for your business, and identification.
If you are a Creator, you can apply to use TikTok shopping through the TikTok Shop Creator Application. Your account must be in good standing, and you must meet certain requirements. You must have 1,000 or more followers, at least 50 video views in the past 28 days, and you must be 18 years or older. Additionally, you must have posted a video on TikTok in the past 28 days.
If you are a Partner, you must have a registered business in one of the following countries: China, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, or the UK.
Finally, if you are an Affiliate, you must be registered as a TikTok Shop seller from one of the following countries: United Kingdom, Chinese mainland and the Hong Kong SAR Seller (cross-border only), Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, or Singapore. Regardless of which category you fall into, using TikTok shopping can help you reach a wider audience and increase your sales.
Unlock the Power of TikTok Shops: Discover the Benefits
Harnessing the potential of TikTok shops can be a game-changer for your business. By leveraging this innovative platform, you can tap into a wide range of benefits that will propel your brand to new heights. Let's delve into these advantages and explore how TikTok shops can revolutionize your social commerce strategy.
1. Reach More Target Customers
With TikTok's massive user base, you gain access to a vast pool of potential customers. Engage with a global community and connect with individuals who align with your target audience. By leveraging the platform's powerful algorithm and targeting capabilities, you can narrow down your reach to ensure your products are seen by the right people, increasing your chances of conversions.
2. Increase Brand Awareness: Capture Attention in Seconds
TikTok is renowned for its highly engaging and captivating content. By utilizing TikTok shops, you have the opportunity to showcase your brand in a visually compelling and creative manner. Grab the attention of users with short and snappy videos that highlight your products or services, leaving a lasting impression and driving brand awareness.
3. Engage With Your Audience: Foster Meaningful Connections
TikTok shops provide an interactive space for you to engage directly with your audience. Leverage the platform's comment section and messaging features to build relationships and create a sense of community. Respond to customer inquiries, address feedback, and demonstrate your commitment to excellent customer service. By fostering meaningful connections, you can build brand loyalty and turn customers into advocates.
4. Maximize Organic Reach: Ride the Wave of Virality
TikTok's algorithm is designed to promote content that resonates with users. By creating engaging and shareable TikTok shop content, you increase your chances of going viral. When your content gains traction, it can reach an exponentially larger audience, leading to increased visibility and organic growth for your brand.
5. Keep Up With The Trends: Embrace the Latest Buzz
TikTok is known for setting trends and viral challenges. By actively participating in these trends through your TikTok shop, you can align your brand with the latest buzz and capture the attention of trend-savvy users. Stay ahead of the curve, adapt to popular challenges, and inject creativity into your marketing strategy to keep your brand relevant and in sync with the pulse of the TikTok community.
6. Promote Your Products: Drive Conversions with Ease
TikTok shops offer seamless integration of your products into your content. Showcase your offerings in a visually appealing and authentic way, allowing users to discover and purchase products effortlessly. With a streamlined shopping experience within the app, you can eliminate friction points and increase the likelihood of conversions.
7. Leverage Creator Tools: Collaborate and Amplify Your Reach
TikTok provides a suite of creator tools that empower you to collaborate with influencers and creators. By teaming up with popular TikTok personalities, you can tap into their existing audience and amplify your brand's reach. Influencer collaborations can help generate buzz, drive traffic to your TikTok shop, and expand your customer base.
Why do we think TikTok shops are broken?
While TikTok shops hold promise as an emerging social commerce platform, they currently face several significant challenges. Here are a few:
- Limited Conversion Opportunities: Despite the growing popularity of TikTok shops, businesses often struggle to convert views into actual sales. While users may find products interesting and inspiring, the conversion rate remains relatively low. The platform lacks the necessary features and functionality to guide users seamlessly from product discovery to purchase, leading to missed opportunities for businesses.
- Incomplete Product Information: TikTok shops suffer from a major drawback when it comes to displaying comprehensive product information. Users are unable to access detailed descriptions, specifications, or customer reviews directly within the platform. This lack of crucial information hinders their confidence in making informed purchase decisions, resulting in missed sales opportunities for businesses.
- Limited Targeting and Customization Options: TikTok shops currently lack advanced targeting and customization options that businesses require to reach their specific audience segments effectively. The limited ability to tailor product recommendations and personalize the shopping experience for individual users hampers businesses' ability to connect with their target customers on a deeper level.
- Inability to Capture Valuable Customer Data: Unlike other e-commerce platforms, TikTok shops provide limited access to valuable customer data. Businesses are unable to gather crucial insights into customer behavior, preferences, or purchase patterns. This lack of data severely limits their ability to refine their marketing strategies, create personalized campaigns, and build long-term customer relationships.
- Insufficient Integration with External Platforms: TikTok shops lack seamless integration with external platforms and payment gateways, which makes it challenging for businesses to manage orders, track inventory, and ensure a smooth shopping experience for customers. This limitation creates unnecessary friction in the purchasing process and can result in customer drop-offs and abandoned carts.
- Lack of Customer Support and Communication Channels: TikTok shops currently do not provide robust customer support features or direct communication channels between businesses and customers. This absence of real-time assistance and personalized interaction hampers customer satisfaction and makes it difficult for businesses to address queries, concerns, or provide additional product information promptly.
- Limited Discoverability and Search Functionality: TikTok's algorithm-driven content feed primarily focuses on short-form videos, often overlooking the discoverability of products within the platform. As a result, businesses struggle to ensure their products are prominently displayed to relevant users, reducing their visibility and hindering their potential for sales growth.
Why are edge storefronts better than TikTok shops for social commerce?
Edge storefronts offer significant advantages over TikTok shops for social commerce.
Here are a few ways they do so:
1. Seamless Setup for Every Brand
Edge storefronts, just like their Facebook Shop counterparts, offer a streamlined setup process for brands of all sizes. Unlike the complexities and compliance requirements associated with TikTok shops, edge storefronts can be easily integrated with your online store CMS and connected to various social commerce platforms, including TikTok, in a matter of minutes. Solutions like SimplicityDX empower brands to quickly establish their presence and start selling without the hassle of navigating through multiple support channels or compliance issues.
2. Comprehensive Product Information
With edge storefronts, you have the freedom to provide detailed product information to your customers.
Unlike the limitations imposed by TikTok shops' preferred layout, where you must condense product details, an edge storefront enables you to showcase comprehensive information such as product materials, ingredients, maintenance instructions, pricing, variants, and even related products. This immersive experience replicates the richness of an eCommerce website, allowing customers to make informed purchase decisions without any restrictions.
3. Turning TikTok Content into Shoppable Moments
Edge storefronts excel at seamlessly connecting your social media content with the shopping experience. Instead of redirecting customers to external websites, edge storefronts bring the shopping functionality directly to TikTok. This means you can transform any TikTok post, whether it's an image or a video, into a fully shoppable post. SimplicityDX enables you to pull your TikTok content onto a branded site page, providing a contextual landing that allows users to browse and purchase the products they see within the TikTok platform.
4. Capturing Diverse Interests and Intentions
While TikTok shops limit your ability to showcase multiple products or capture varied customer interests, edge storefronts leverage the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence to understand the key elements of your TikTok content.
As users click through to explore more, an edge storefront intelligently displays relevant products, collections, and recommendations, ensuring that customers' diverse interests and intentions are captured and catered to within a single landing page. This personalized experience enhances engagement and increases the likelihood of conversion.
5. Personalization based on Social Content
Edge storefronts empower brands to deliver personalized shopping experiences at scale. By dynamically curating and presenting the entire range of products featured in your TikTok posts, edge storefronts enable customers to effortlessly explore their interests and discover more of what they like.
This level of personalization extends beyond traditional product recommendations, ensuring a natural and intuitive shopping journey that resonates with customers and enhances their overall satisfaction.
6. Branded Shopping Experiences
Studies have revealed that while social media platforms serve as discovery channels for new brands and products, the majority of online shoppers prefer making their purchases directly on branded websites. This preference stems from concerns about transactional security and the need to maintain trust.
Edge storefronts bridge this gap by bringing the branded shopping experience to TikTok, eliminating the need for users to navigate to external websites. With a branded URL and a secure shopping environment, customers can confidently make purchases without leaving the TikTok platform.
The future of TikTok commerce lies at the Edge
Amidst the ever-evolving landscape of social media platforms, TikTok has emerged as a formidable force, captivating millions of users worldwide. As the platform continues to gain momentum, it's crucial for businesses to embrace the future of social commerce by leveraging the power of TikTok shops.
Despite the rise of other visual platforms like Instagram and the entry of new players in the social media arena, TikTok's user base remains robust. With billions of monthly active users globally, TikTok provides an unparalleled opportunity to reach and engage with your target audience. It's a dynamic platform where trends are born, content goes viral, and consumers are actively seeking new products and experiences.
As customer acquisition costs soar on traditional eCommerce platforms, TikTok shops offer a refreshing alternative. By integrating seamlessly with the TikTok ecosystem, TikTok shops bring your brand directly to the users, eliminating the need for them to navigate to external websites. This shift in approach not only enhances convenience but also instills a sense of security and trust in the shopping experience.
At SimplicityDX, we're at the forefront of this social commerce revolution, empowering businesses to unlock the full potential of TikTok shops. Our innovative Edge Storefronts solution is designed to reshape the future of social commerce, offering a secure channel for customers to make purchases directly within the TikTok platform.
Ready to embark on this transformative journey?
Book a demo of SimplicityDX today and witness firsthand how our cutting-edge technology seamlessly integrates with TikTok shops, driving engagement, conversions, and ultimately, your business success.