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Social Commerce: How TikTok Shop is Redefining Retail

  • 1st March 2023

Written by Andréa Williams, Head of Marketing

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Social commerce has revolutionised the way retailers interact with their customers. Creating direct connections, building relationships, increasing engagement, and ultimately facilitating sales, social media is the place that many consumers are choosing to place their transactions. This week, we’re looking at why TikTok Shop is a crucial move for retailers.

Why should retailers embrace TikTok Shop?

TikTok is setting the pace for social players. Not only is everyone experimenting with viral trends and hashtags, but it has become the biggest platform for word-of-mouth marketing with #tiktokmademebuyit. The frenzy created around products (Little Moons anyone?) combined with introduction of TikTok Shop has transformed the social selling space. Here’s why.

Social commerce allows you to sell products directly to your consumers within the app. Businesses who leverage social platforms typically see $20 ROI for every $1 spent, according to Deloitte.

TikTok Shop has very quickly become the UK’s most shopped channel, with consumers making an average 10 purchases each year, with Gen Z averaging 19. In case you were wondering how many brands actually choose to use the shopping platform, TikTok’s sales increased 477% in 2022 with £828bn in turnover, advertising sales only making up £4.92bn.

The platform also enables you to reach entirely new consumers, with businesses who use social commerce in general seeing a 79% increase in customer acquisition. TikTok users in particularly use the platform to find new places to shop, with 67% using the app for brand discovery.

How does TikTok help retailers to boost sales?

We heard from Patrick Nommensen, TikTok’s Senior Director of eCommerce Operations at this week’s Smart Retail Tech Expo. He discussed the role of TikTok in helping retailers to grow and reach engaged audiences and how retailers are thriving in the next era of online commerce.

Here are some of his headline stats:

  • 92% of TikTok users take action after viewing content on the platform.
  • Today’s word-of-mouth happens on TikTok, with TikTok videos coming second to family and friend recommendations.
  • The hashtag, #tiktokmademebuyit has 42bn views.
  • The average TikTok user watches over a film’s worth of content every day.
  • 4/5 people are likely to buy via social if they’ve watched a live video or participated in conversational commerce.
  • 50% of TikTok users have purchased something they saw on a TikTok LIVE.


Patrick also discussed some components for success in social commerce:

  • Mobile is the channel of choice for digital-savvy consumers.
  • Creators talk directly to audiences with authenticity and trust.
  • Short-form and live videos offer personalised engagement and accelerated conversions.
  • Communities are far more engaged by ‘conversational commerce’.


Social commerce is expected to grow 30% every year between now and 2027. If you haven’t already, now is the time to get your TikTok shop set up and live stream shopping events, for unlimited access to a hyper-engaged audience.

  • 1st March 2023

Written by Andréa Williams, Head of Marketing

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