TikTok Shop also arrives in Europe. The new function that will change the approach to online shopping.

Immagine di ragazze giovani che utilizzano Tik Tok

The famous entertainment video app is testing the shopping feature and it’s already a success in America.
That TikTok’s growth, measured in terms of app adoption, is unstoppable, we already knew. What perhaps not everyone knows is that soon it will also be possible to shop on TikTok in Italy, thanks to the new TikTok Shop feature, already in use in America since last September.

In Italy, its official launch is expected in July, but there may be some previews or tests for specific projects… But what can we expect from this new feature? And how does it differ from shopping on Meta?

TikTok Shop: how purchases work

Shopping and social media have been intertwined for quite some time now. Instagram is the platform where influencers, trendsetters capable of influencing the purchases of millions of consumers, have emerged.
But Instagram and Facebook represent only two showcases for brands, and purchases continue to be made on e-commerce and marketplace platforms. In fact, although it is possible to upload the catalog of products on Meta, content with clickable products always redirects to an external product page outside of the social media platform, and in fact Meta does not manage the transaction (except with specific solutions for some countries and for some Profiles/Brands, as of today).

With TikTok Shop, on the other hand, you can complete a purchase in a few clicks without ever leaving the app. TikTok provides seller support and should handle orders, shipments, and money flow internally.
In this way, TikTok Shop would position itself as a kind of integrated marketplace within the social media platform.

TikTok provides 4 native formats for shopping on the platform:

  • Live shopping: You can purchase directly during creators’ live streams by tapping on pinned products or exploring the shopping icon.
  • Shoppable videos: In-feed video content with clickable shop icons.
  • Product showcase: Showcase of products that you can find on brand or creator profiles.
  • Shop tab: Personalized shopping exploration section that groups various brands and different types of content.
Immagine con 3 mockup di smartphone con differenti schermate di Tik Tok Shop

The crucial role of creators in TikTok Shop

If creators were already crucial on Instagram, they become even more so on TikTok. The reason is simple.
In-App purchases allow creators to sell the products they promote directly.
While on Meta, creators or influencers lend their testimony to drive traffic and conversions to the websites of the brands they collaborate with, on TikTok, users purchase directly through the creators’ channels.

This has two fundamental consequences:

  1. Small businesses enter the game by creating content to sell their products directly. In this initial phase, TikTok’s algorithm favors Shop content, offering great visibility to sellers and favorable commissions.
  2. Medium/large brands can rely on creators to sell their products, without the need to internally produce content. This way, the brand does not have to invest resources in managing social media and can leverage the creator’s fanbase.

The role of creators is therefore increasingly crucial in supporting brands in their online sales. The advertising style of creators is engaging and fun, reducing friction in the consumer’s purchase journey, who immediately associates a positive feeling with the product being sold.
One could speak of “advertainment”, a creative and well-executed advertising message, that also provides entertainment to users who choose to watch it.

Collaborations with creators are more transparent thanks to the Tik Tok Affiliation circuit

More and more brands are opting to collaborate with influencers and creators for promoting their products, but the results are not always as expected.

On Instagram, we’re accustomed to hefty paychecks, with no guarantee in return that the influencer’s testimony adds value to the promotion.
The fee is determined by the number of contents produced by the influencer rather than the actual sales generated by their content.
This opaque collaboration mode has led to a sentiment of distrust towards influencer marketing in some cases. Consider the recent Balocco case: Chiara Ferragni received a high fee for promoting the pandori, which was not tied to the quantity of pandori sold, nor was the charity donation amount linked to the promo’s success.

But on TikTok, the Affiliation circuit addresses this issue. The affiliation circuit serves as a platform that connects sellers looking to promote their products through influencers with creators seeking commercial opportunities and products to recommend. Once the partnership between the seller and influencer is established, the creator’s commission is automatically paid by the platform when a user makes a purchase directly from their channel. This way, the seller only pays the influencer based on the sales they generate on their profile.
The affiliation circuit also benefits creators by providing them with a platform to showcase themselves to brands, without the need for intermediary influencer marketing agencies. Additionally, even creators with a limited fanbase will have the opportunity to monetize, as the promo fee will depend solely on their ability to communicate with their audience.

TikTok’s affiliation circuit thus represents a default and transparent mode of operation for influencer marketing, ushering in a new era that is fairer and based on merit.

Immagine con 4 mockup di smartphone che rappresentano le fasi di acquisto su Tik Tok Shop: Product link, product detail page, selection option e checkout

Which product categories are popular on TikTok Shop?

Although the TikTok Shop experience has just begun, we already have the first statistics from the United States telling us which products are most appreciated and purchased by TikTok users.

The Beauty and Personal Care sector is decidedly the most appreciated, representing 22.5% of the entire market share. Women’s Clothing and Intimates is the second most purchased category through TikTok Shop, accounting for 12.5% of purchases, while Men’s Clothing and Intimates ranks third, with a preference rate of 8%.

As is already the case on Instagram, on TikTok, the female target audience appears to be the most responsive to the allure of social shopping.

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Matteo DoveriAccount Executive

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