The TikTok Effect: How the Popular Social Media Platform is Revolutionising Ecommerce

17th May 2023

Move over Instagram, TikTok is taking the ecommerce world by storm! With over 1 billion monthly active users, TikTok has become one of the most popular social media platforms, and it's not just for dancing cats and lip-syncing videos anymore. In fact, TikTok has been changing the ecommerce landscape in some exciting ways and is now considered an important shopping platform.

According to TikTok, the ‘For You’ feed algorithms are based on the preferences and activity history of individual users. This means that no two feeds are going to be exactly the same as these recommendations have been carefully curated for each and every user. Why does this matter for ecommerce brands? Unlike other social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, whose newsfeeds largely consist of people you already know, brands you already follow and your best friends dog, TikTok prioritises videos from video creators, brands and influencers you’ve maybe never seen before.

Over the past 2 years, TikTok has made its platform more shoppable by adding ad formats, rolling out its very own Shop feature, and partnering with TalkShopLive for livestream ecommerce. The platform is also planning to open product fulfilment centres in an attempt to establish itself as an end-to-end commerce platform even further. By expanding its in-app commerce initiatives, TikTok—and retailers—will be better positioned to capitalize on the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt phenomenon, which continues to generate billions of views.

Not having a presence on TikTok in 2023 is becoming a missed opportunity for ecommerce brands. TikTok has transformed into an online shopping portal where content creators can recommend their favourite items, brands can host flash sales, and consumers find new products they love. The platform has developed ecommerce product features, in partnership with Shopify, to support the organic boost of product sales for ecommerce brands.

Other social media apps are even adapting to keep up with the latest TikTok trends. Looking back to 2021 for example when Instagram announced that their app would be taking a more video-focused approach to their platform with reels. It’s extremely clear that short video content is here to stay and brands need to use it to their advantage to engage audiences.

So how is the popular social media of TikTok revolutionising ecommerce? Here's how:

Influencer marketing

TikTok has emerged as a major player in influencer marketing. Influencers on TikTok can promote products through short videos that are engaging, authentic, and shareable. TikTok's algorithm also makes it easy for influencers to go viral and reach millions of people quickly. TikTok provides opportunities for niche influencers to thrive and connect with their specific communities. This allows ecommerce brands to partner with influencers who have a highly targeted and engaged following. Working with micro-influencers who specialize in specific niches can result in more personalized and effective marketing campaigns, as their audiences are often passionate and receptive.

User-generated content

TikTok's focus on user-generated content has made it an ideal platform for ecommerce brands looking to leverage user-generated content for marketing purposes. Brands can encourage customers to share videos of themselves using their products, which can generate buzz and drive sales.

Drive online sales, increase app installs, raise brand awareness or build a community. Whatever your objective, TikTok's got you covered. Flexible spending, easy setup, and efficient ad delivery.

Shoppable content

TikTok has introduced shoppable content, allowing ecommerce brands to tag products in their videos and link to their ecommerce store. This has made it easier for customers to purchase products directly from TikTok, without having to navigate to the ecommerce store separately.


TikTok's focus on authenticity has resonated with Gen Z and millennial audiences, who are looking for brands that are relatable, genuine, and transparent. Ecommerce brands that can create authentic and engaging content on TikTok are likely to see increased engagement and loyalty from these audiences.

TikTok influencers help build a reputation for a brand due to their authenticity and genuine interactions with their followers. Unlike highly polished and scripted content on other platforms, TikTok influencers create relatable and organic content that resonates with their audience. This authenticity builds trust, making their product recommendations and endorsements more influential and effective.


TikTok is a hub for trendspotting, making it easy for ecommerce brands to stay on top of the latest trends and fads. By staying in tune with the latest trends, ecommerce brands can create content and products that resonate with their target audience. In particular TikTok enables influencers and brands to create interactive content through features like duets, challenges, and filters. Ecommerce brands can collaborate with influencers to develop engaging campaigns that involve users in unique ways. Additionally, TikTok has introduced shoppable features, allowing influencers to tag and link products directly in their videos. This seamless integration of shopping within the platform enhances the user experience and simplifies the purchasing process.

"Social commerce sales grew 34.4% in 2022 to $53.10 billion, per our forecast, as more people shop on social media and existing buyers spend more. We expect social commerce sales to grow by over 20% over the next three years to reach $107.17 billion by 2025."

eMarketer - Insider Intelligence 2022

TikTok is changing the ecommerce game by providing a platform for influencer marketing, user-generated content, shoppable content, authenticity, and trendspotting. Ecommerce brands that can leverage TikTok's unique features and engage with their audience in an authentic and meaningful way are likely to see significant growth and success in the coming years. So, hop on the TikTok train and start exploring the possibilities for your ecommerce brand!

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