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The ‘TikTok Shop’ Will Revolutionize Social Media Commerce

Social media has long been a place for Gen Z discovery. These apps have allowed users to find new products, often through influencer content and viral trends. This has influenced users’ purchasing habits. 


According to Forrester’s August 2023 Consumer Pulse Survey on back-to-school shopping, 52% of respondents purchased products they found on social media and 46% of them bought directly from an ad they saw on social media.


Now, TikTok has made the process easier.


The short-form video app launched the “TikTok Shop” three months ago in the United States. Users can use this in-app social commerce experience to search for products, browse categories, see items tagged by content creators, complete purchases, and more. 


The Impact of Social Shopping


If this experience is successful, TikTok could turn social media into the preferred shopping destination in the nation. 


Social media is known for helping businesses build brand awareness. Brands can create campaigns that use influencers, hashtags and challenges to put their names out there and create interest among potential customers.


TikTok has differentiated itself from other apps by successfully funneling users from awareness to purchase — even before the shop feature launched. A study conducted last year showed that 60% of users go to the app for shopping inspiration, and that 70% of them buy products they stumble upon on TikTok. 


This success is expected to continue with the TikTok Shop, as the app has focused on crushing people’s inhibitions with social commerce. Secure checkouts and an easy-to-use design challenge concerts about personal information breaches and bumpy shopping experiences. 


The social psychology of social shopping also points toward success. Social media apps are designed to stimulate users’ shopping impulses. Social commerce sites like the TikTok Shop will likely be at the right time and place, pushing people to buy products they come across without second thoughts.


Taking Advantage of the TikTok Shop


Brands that embrace the TikTok Shop can open new opportunities for growth, sales and engagement. This can be done by:


  • Revamping social media pages to support social shopping, such as by creating and promoting product catalogs

  • Collaborating with social media influencers and content creators who can recommend your products to their followers

  • Incentivizing user-generated content — such as reviews and testimonials from regular customers — that can inspire others to purchase mentioned products

  • Garnering expert reviews and product referrals from niche leaders and industry experts who are trusted within their social media communities

  • Winning spots inside the popularity lists that are shared by TikTok users, from the “best product” to “most useful product”

  • Creating social media campaigns and advertisements focused on increasing sales rather than building brand awareness


By: Adriana Dos Santos

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