Should TikTok Shop be Your 2024 Focus? Everything You Need to Know

  • Written by Jana Gentry Smith
Should TikTok Shop be Your 2024 Focus? Everything You Need to Know

Picture three teens sitting around scrolling through TikTok. Of the three, how many will buy something directly from one of the TikTok videos they watch, or from TikTok’s shopping section?

One would be a dream, right? But on average, two out of three TikTok users will likely buy something while on the platform. Welcome to the perks of selling on TikTok Shop.

Launched in the US in September 2023, TikTok Shop opens a lucrative avenue for content creators, ecommerce sellers, and brands to turn viral dance moves and cute pet videos into cold, hard cash.

Let’s explore what sets TikTok Shop apart from other social commerce sites, its audience, benefits, and tips for success on TikTok Shop.

What is TikTok Shop?

TikTok Shop is the social commerce hotspot nestled within the TikTok app. Partnering with Shopify lets brands, merchants, and creators sell directly to millions. In 2023, TikTok amassed 102.3 million users in the US, resulting in a solid 26% market share.

The secret sauce? An adaptive discovery algorithm that tailors content to user preferences.

With this feature, small businesses get the spotlight. TikTok’s algorithm improves your content’s chances of reaching the right audience. On TikTok, each video you post has the potential to be the catalyst your ideal customers need to see to add to their cart and check out.

After all, part of the fun of shopping on TikTok is about stumbling upon unexpected finds. That’s how 44% of TikTok’s users discovered something they weren’t looking for.

And once you decide you must have that very thing right now, 70% of users say buying through a TikTok ad is a cinch. Impulse buys for the win!

TikTok’s addictive nature converts screen time into shopping sprees. The ability to tag products in your TikTok videos transforms every post into a storefront.

But it isn't just about products—it's also about people.

On TikTok Shop, creators, even those with small followings, play a key role in selling products. The more user-generated content (UGC) TikTok shares that includes your product, the more repetitive promotion you get.

That repetition psychologically impacts users and nudges them towards a purchase.

Recommendation and review videos simply fan the flames. Word-of-mouth marketing for the digital age leads viewers to throw money at their discoveries when they click through the tagged product in your TikTok ad.

Another unique feature? Live selling. Think QVC—but cooler.

Similar to how folks call the 1-800 number on the screen from their recliner to buy an Adult Baby Shark Costume for their 38-year-old niece from QVC, now sellers and influencers present products from a TikTok livestream.

When the small info tag pops up in the bottom corner of the screen, viewers tap it to add the product to their cart, and checkout happens right inside the app. And, boom! Your family’s holiday gifts are covered in one TikTok binging session.

How does TikTok Shop differ from other social commerce sites?

Here’s how TikTok Shop stacks up against other social commerce sites so you can choose the one that suits your ecommerce business:

Instagram Shopping

Like TikTok Shop, Instagram Shopping’s features make it easy for users to shop photos and videos across the app. But that's where the similarities end.

Instagram's 14% market share is lower than TikTok's 26%. While Instagram's emphasis on visual consumption is great for showcasing products, its algorithm can be unpredictable. That unpredictability is why gaining visibility for your business takes more effort.

Along with that, Instagram's largest user group skews older than TikTok’s but younger than Facebook’s. As a result, it’s not the best fit for brands targeting Generation X, Boomers, and the Silent Generation.

As far as user-friendliness goes, TikTok Shop has integrated payment, so it’s easy for users to shop without leaving the app. On the other hand, Instagram Shopping requires users to input payment details.

In February 2023, Instagram removed the Shop tab from the app, but users can still shop across their feed. Meanwhile, TikTok gave its shopping features prime placement in the app, offered steep discounts to sellers and buyers, and subsidized sales and shipping.

While both apps have their perks, TikTok Shop has the edge because buying is frictionless, and listing products for sale isn't much harder.

Facebook Shops

Facebook Shops offers a mobile-first shopping solution where businesses can launch an online store for free, and users can discover Shops on a business' Facebook page. Since Facebook and Instagram are both under the Meta umbrella, they share the same checkout system.

Whether selling from your Facebook Shops, Instagram Shopping, or through stories or ads, you get the same experience. Your customers can browse, save products, and place an order from your website or within the app.

How does that compare with TikTok Shop? Well, Facebook's market share in the US sits at 10%, shy of TikTok's 26%. If your ideal customers are Baby Boomers and Generation X, this is where you’re more likely to find them. Facebook has been around the longest, has a diverse range of users, and has many targeting options.

But it's not all rosy. Like Instagram, Facebook’s algorithm can be a tough nut to crack, which makes visibility a challenge for businesses. And small businesses might find its comprehensive advertising platform a strain on their budgets.

In contrast, TikTok Shop has a larger market share, integrated payment, and an easy shopping experience, making it the leader if your customers aren’t Generation X or Baby Boomers.


With over 200 million paid Prime members worldwide, Amazon customers snap up roughly 7,400 products per minute from US sellers.

Despite it being a traditional ecommerce selling marketplace rather than social commerce, its hold on shoppers is undeniable. It’s hard to find an age group that doesn’t use Amazon for shopping.

Yet, TikTok Shop is an emerging competitor because it often requires less effort from the seller and offers customers streamlined shopping through its social app.

TikTok Shop also offers an experience that Amazon doesn’t—livestream shopping. Watching product demos and engaging with sellers in real time feels like entertainment, whilst Amazon feels like a traditional ecommerce shopping experience.

However, Amazon offers sellers perks, especially with Amazon FBA.

Things like 5% back on your first $1,000,000 in branded sales, free inbound shipping, brand protection, A to Z protections when your products are shipped on time, and product reviews.

It’s also a search engine in its own right, often being the first place for customers to search for an item rather than heading to other search engines like Google.

Since both marketplaces offer unique benefits, it's up to sellers to determine which one suits their needs and goals. You could also use both in tandem, offering customers a multichannel experience to strengthen your brand and selling opportunities.

Now that we've compared TikTok Shop with other marketplaces, let's look into who uses TikTok and how that benefits sellers.

Further reading: How to Start Selling Ecommerce Products Overseas: Step-by-Step

Who is on TikTok?

With all of the sales, who’s buying? According to Vogue Business, you’ll find Gen Z swiping from video to video and impulse buying on TikTop Shop.

Teens average 1.5 hours per day on TikTok and are known for their "TikTok made me buy it" reasoning. In 2023, TikTok's global audience was 53% women and 46% men, with women aged 18-24 making up 21% of users.

In the US, a third of TikTok users are pre-teens and teens, followed by the 20-29 age bracket at 29.5%.

How does this benefit TikTok Shop sellers?

If your ideal customers are under 35 and your products cost less than $100, Jeanel Alvarado, Retail Expert and Founder of RetailBoss, says TikTok Shop is worth trying.

One reason is that Gen Z users start their searches on TikTok instead of traditional search engines like Google. It’s where they go to learn about what’s trending, which makes TikTok Shop the ideal place to sell trendy items.

For example, in TikTok Shop’s first month, health and beauty items made up 85% of sales.

Like beauty products, fashion is also a hot seller. That’s why fashion boutiques like Glam Doll Fashion sell on TikTok Shop. Glam Doll gained 185,000 followers by livestreaming one-day-only sales, and customers can instantly buy the promoted product in-app.

According to Statista, 71% of users buy things they stumble upon. It’s that scenario that you didn’t know you wanted something—maybe you didn’t even know it existed—until you saw it and knew you had to have it.

Another 58% of the audience uses the platform for shopping inspiration. As a result, 28% of users say TikTok inspires more impulse buys than any other platform.

Jeanel says this is also an opportunity for subscription-based businesses. If someone buys something from your TikTok shop, you can convert them through email after their initial purchase.

4 tips for successful selling on TikTok

Understanding your customers and the TikTok Shop’s benefits is only the surface. Now, a lot goes into running a thriving TikTok Shop. Consider these four tips while you’re getting started:

Create a strategy

Before you start selling on TikTok Shop, you need a game plan for how you will drive traffic to your TikTok Shop or live streams.

To quickly build a loyal audience, start by announcing your TikTok Shop where you already have followers. Let them know how to engage, when, and what’s in it for them.

Take a page from Foreign Objects (@foreignobjects on TikTok), a shop that uses its profile to announce live drops, giving followers a first look at their pre-loved designer goods before they hit the website.

Build trust

Trust is currency in social ecommerce. Skepticism about product quality and origin is real after a series of fakes when TikTok Shop first opened. But TikTok's unfiltered, personal style can counter that.

What’s more, TikTokkers popularized dupe culture (although whether dupe culture is a positive thing or not, is an entirely different conversation).

To earn trust, share personal stories and experiences that resonate with users. Building trust isn't just nice to have—it's a must-have.

Provide incentives to buy

Sweeten the deal for your buyers by offering incentives like free shipping, sales, and coupons. These perks encourage purchases and build trust.

Also, embed your products in TikTok's subcommunities, like #fashiontok, #booktok, or #pettok. This immersion helps make your brand synonymous with that community, so owning and showing off your product can earn your customers clout.

Another incentive is convenience. “Times are changing, and stats have shown that people on social media apps don’t want to leave the app, let alone ‘click the link in bio,’” Jeanel says. “TikTok Shop is fixing this hurdle for shoppers. And ecommerce stores should set up their TikTok Shop and change their social media strategy to include live shopping, shoppable video reels, product showcase, and profile shop tab.”

Encourage viewers to share

TikTok users are social shoppers. They're 1.5 times more likely to talk up products and brands with their circles than other marketplaces.

Capitalize on this by engaging influencers and creators to showcase your products in their TikToks.

It’s a win-win—they get free or discounted products while you get more exposure.

The verdict: Is TikTok Shop the place to sell in 2024?

TikTok Shop merges shopping with entertainment—especially for Gen Z customers.

It’s the best of QVC and Home Shopping Network but with a twist of user-generated content for organic traffic.

It’s fast becoming an integral part of consumer culture, and 64% of TikTok users are all in for viewing live content from brands.

TikTok Shop also offers the following benefits:

  • Access to an already-large user base that’s growing larger

  • An algorithm that promotes engaging and relevant content

  • Short-form video format ideal for product showcasing

With a straightforward setup, you can list products individually, batch upload multiple items, and integrate TikTok Shop with your existing ecommerce platform.

When you’re ready to fulfill orders, you can use TikTok’s fulfillment services or handle it yourself. If you go the DIY route, be ready to schedule a delivery service and pack your products for shipment.

TikTok Shop also simplifies selling with features like:

  • Shop ads: Post video ads that promote your products to TikTok users.

  • Shop tab: Buyers click it for a one-stop shop for promotions, products, and purchases.

  • Product showcase: Sellers can curate and post products for buyers to browse and buy.

  • In-feed video and live shopping: Buyers can purchase tagged items in TikToks and Lives.

  • Affiliate program: Sellers can pay commissions to content creators who promote products.

According to Jeanel, the platform's biggest selling point is its ability to sell directly to customers without them leaving the app. “This is a growing trend among the younger demographics—Gen Z and Gen Alpha—who are motivated by fear of missing out (FOMO), limited-edition drops, sales, and promotions.”

Final Thoughts on Why Sellers Should Consider TikTok Shop in 2024

While consumer trust is still a hurdle due to questionable product quality and origin in TikTok Shop’s first days, TikTok Shop is still worth considering. Especially since three weeks after seeing an ad on TikTok, 72% of users still think highly of the brand.

If it’s a fit and you’re ready to get started, you can check your eligibility and sign up at the TikTok Shop Seller Center. Then, take a crash course at TikTok Shop Academy to learn the ropes.

How to ship your TikTok shop orders

What do you do when your TikTok Shop business is booming and it’s time to ship all the orders? Here are your options:

  • Shipping by TikTok: For a hands-off approach, TikTok handles your order picking and delivery. This option is ideal if you’re exclusively on TikTok and want an automated process.

  • Shipping by Seller: You get control over packing, labeling, and carrier handover with various local and international options. This option is ideal if you also sell products outside TikTok Shop and want a streamlined, automated process that merges your inventory and orders.

While full TikTok integration isn’t yet available in Veeqo (watch this space!), you can still sign-up to Veeqo for free and use our open API If you want control over your inventory, shipping and customer satisfaction. Alternatively you can use our partner, Patchworks’, TikTok Shop x Veeqo integration.

Ready to take your TikTok Shop to the next level? Sign up for your free Veeqo account today and discover just how seamless managing your inventory and shipping can be.

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