Latest statistics put the number of social media users worldwide around 4.59billion in 2022. In terms of commerce, 27.9% of buyers use social media for inspiration with 23% specifically looking at what content their favourite brands/individuals are promoting.*

*Statistics from Oberlo

What is digital retail?

At the most fundamental level digital retail is the experience that permits individuals to move through your website, engaging with your brand at various points of the purchase. In comparison, e-commerce involves buying products from a seller or promoter rather than the brand itself.

The link between social commerce and TikTok is unavoidable with the exponential growth in the short-video platform. A unique blend of creator content and paid advertisements makes it the number one stop for digital marketing.  

 For example, Pink Honey is a TikTok account that links a TikTok shop to their short videos meaning that in three simple clicks the browser can purchase the product that caught their eye. This is more convenient for the customer as it capitalises on impulse purchases leading to an increase in conversion rates.

US retail commerce sales are projected to exceed $56bn by 2023, according to Jamie Gilpin, CMO at Sprout Social *

* Quote taken from Ecommerce Times

Why use TikTok?

By capitalising on the TikTok creator community you benefit from:

- Established connections between the influencer/creator and their subscribers, fundamental in incentivising purchases.

- Understanding of the audience’s interests and how your brand fits into that.

The TikTok community has been developed naturally but influencers can grow millions of followers in a matter of weeks. The opportunity that this provides brands is reaching new customers on a scale that is simply impossible via traditional routes. New lines of products that are promoted on the TikTok shop have sold out in 48 hours rather than 4-6 months.

The TikTok shop makes it easier for brands, consumers, and influencers to work together to improve the customer experience. There is a sense of authenticity and novelty to the TikTok shop, thanks to the creators, that encourages purchases.

How to: TikTok merchandising

Here are ten top tips on how to improve your social commerce skills through TikTok, in particular:

  1. Create bundles to incentivise larger purchases.
  2. Align content with the content creator and their audience for maximum success.
  3. Stay true to your brand. You need to have a cohesive image across all platforms.
  4. Keep an eye on the trends to maximise your exposure. Entertainment is key on TikTok, and this is why people keep scrolling.
  5. Put your product first; that is why you are on the app, after all.
  6. Utilise the Live feature. It looks expensive without costing much so long as you have good lighting. Besides, customers love to meet the people behind the brand.
  7. Keep it short and sweet. Attention spans have never been shorter.
  8. Look at the prices of popular products. The TikTok shop is probably less effective for products that are costing over £20, due to the impulsive nature of the purchase. See how people react to end of line products. A lot of people shop based solely on price.
  9. Offer freebies to loyal customers, or to those present in your Lives to encourage more people to jump on next time.
  10. Be consistent; post regularly, engage often.


Abby Millar

Content specialist with experience in food & drink