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With 68% of Gen Z adults surveyed saying they’re likely to make purchases directly on TikTok, according to Insider Intelligence, it’s no surprise that brands and retailers would consider the social platform’s newest launch: TikTok Shop. Created on the heels of the booming successes of in-app commerce and live shopping in China and regions of Southeast Asia, TikTok Shop allows brands and creators to sell products directly to consumers through live streams, short videos, a shopping tab and storefronts on their accounts, even allowing multi-brand checkouts in a single shopping cart.

Although the concept of TikTok Shop sounds good in theory, brands and retailers should first familiarize themselves with the commerce solution and weigh the pros and cons before jumping in. Here are some critical considerations.

How does TikTok Shop work?

Merchants and creators can showcase products to TikTok users in one of three ways, all of which can provide checkout options directly through the app. Customers can make purchases through the following methods:

Live shopping

Shopping directly from a live stream by tapping the pinned products or using the shopping basket icon.

Shoppable videos

Shopping directly from a shoppable in-feed video by tapping the product link and basket icon.

Product showcase

Shopping directly from a brand or creator account and accessing products within the app.

Shop tab

Users can also shop via the Shop tab, which has products, shoppable content, and campaigns all in one place.

Setting up a TikTok Shop

Assuming your company or brand already has a TikTok account, all you’ll need to do is submit the seller application and provide a certificate of incorporation and the company owner’s passport or driver’s license. 

The process takes about 30 minutes, and once your application is received, it will take one to two days to be approved. Then you simply link your brand’s TikTok account to your TikTok Shop and start selling. 

Additionally, sellers can get a shopping tab on their profile, promote live shopping, and use paid ads to promote their TikTok store or for product discovery.

Reasons to consider selling through TikTok Shop

According to TikTok’s statistics, there are some compelling reasons to consider using the platform’s new shopping features to reach buyers. 

Built-in audiences

Is TikTok the right platform for your brand? Just look at these numbers:

  • 92% of TikTok users said they take action after watching a product in TikTok.
  • 90% of U.S. shoppers claim to be satisfied with their experience when TikTok was part of their purchase journey.
  • There have been 47.6 billion views of the hashtag #tiktokmademebuyit.

If your target audience lives on TikTok, the platform has the potential to send qualified traffic to your shop while increasing engagement and providing a better experience for the consumer. 

IZEA’s 2024 Trust in Influencer Marketing report backs this up, finding that 40% of respondents ages 18 to 29 turn to TikTok to research a product or service before purchasing.

Easy and secure shopping

Beyond the convenience of shopping and paying in one app, TikTok Shop uses various security measures to ensure your customers’ personal and banking information is safe. Thanks to encryption and verifications, orders are processed securely, leaving brands to focus on marketing, analytics, and customer service. 

All-in-one dashboard

With analytics that help you track performance, traffic, customer reviews, and transaction data through TikTok Shop’s data dashboard, it’s easy for brands to track performance.

Search features and notifications

When it comes to product discovery, TikTok Shop has done it right, allowing users to search for products using keywords. Users who follow brands can also set up notifications to be alerted when new collections are released.

How to work with influencers to maximize success on TikTok Shop

Maximizing success as a brand on TikTok Shop involves a strategic approach that leverages influencer marketing. Here are some key steps to consider:

  • Understand the platform: TikTok has evolved into a major intent channel and top search engine, with 40% of ages 18-29 using it as a primary search tool. Beauty is the top category for TikTok shop sales, outperforming all other categories combined.
  • Collaborate with influencers: Influencer content is king on TikTok Shop. TikTok encourages brands to produce and run several pieces of shoppable content each day comprising brand and creator content. Offering a percentage of sales to creators can incentivize them to produce more content for your brand.
  • Promote to various age ranges: Contrary to popular belief, it is not just Gen Z embracing on-platform shopping. Focus on broad audiences and let the algorithm do its work.
  • Be patient and persistent: TikTok Shop is still a relatively new platform, and it takes time for creators and consumers to adapt. However, with a holistic approach and the use of best practices, brands can start seeing traction.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach for TikTok Shop. It’s crucial to leverage what your brand does best and maintain a unified approach across all stakeholders.

Challenges and concerns regarding TikTok Shop

Although TikTok Shop was launched in November 2022, it hasn’t gained much traction. Here are some possible explanations. 

Low sales, counterfeit goods, and shipping issues

Part of the concern comes from the UK launch of TikTok Shop, which has been somewhat disappointing, thanks to low sales and consumer complaints about counterfeit goods and shipping problems. 

Potential TikTok ban

Complicating matters more is the potential U.S. ban on TikTok. With brands, content creators, and consumers leery of investing time and money into a platform that could soon disappear altogether, it might make sense for brands to proceed cautiously. 

Despite the challenges and concerns, don’t be too quick to write off TikTok Shop. If you’re looking to experiment with new ways to reach consumers, target a younger audience, and test out new online spaces to creatively market to customers, TikTok Shop might fit the bill. 

As with any new tech launch, be sure not to put all your eggs in one basket as you test out TikTok Shop’s features, benefits and potential.


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