Why Amazon Sellers should be considering TikTok Shop

6 March, 2024
4 minute read
ecommerce nurse blog why amazon sellers should be considering tiktok

We speak with many brands that are getting interested in TikTok Shop; they hear it is the place to be but don’t know enough to decide whether it is the right horse to back.

Let’s first share some facts to highlight the potential TikTok brings to sellers:

  • $20 billion revenue in 2023, expected to reach $2.9 trillion globally by 2026.
  • Over 400 million TikTok users made purchases on TikTok Shop in 2023 (expect 700 million by 2026).
  • TikTok Shop became the UK’s most shopped social channel in 2023, overtaking Instagram and Facebook.
  • TikTok has over 2 billion active monthly users, of which nearly a third use the app daily.

Now have we got your attention?

So now we can check the box that highlights the scale of opportunity on TikTok, we can delve more into those common questions brands are asking us when we discuss the opportunity with them.

Isn’t TikTok just for kids?

That for sure was the question I first asked our Business Development Manager when he proposed the idea for us to expand into the TikTok space as an agency. Whilst TikTok was once used almost exclusively by the younger generation, it has undergone a notable demographic shift, attracting an increasingly expansive global user base. Today, nearly 40% of TikTok users are over 30 years old. This change has been gaining traction throughout 2023 and looks set to continue in 2024 and beyond.

Is my target customer on TikTok?

Yes - assuming you are clear on your demographics, (I say that as I speak with so many brands that can’t answer that or have got their demographics completely wrong when it comes to who they believe is their customer versus who is actually purchasing their products). By 2023, over 14 million users were aged between 25-34, with millennials having a significant presence on the platform. You’ll be surprised to hear that even the boomer generation is embracing TikTok, with users aged 50+ contributing to the platform's global user base, highlighting the platform’s wide appeal.

What do I have to gain?

Whilst I could say dancing tips given the amount of content that comes up where people are showing their moves, the truth is everything and everyone. Despite the demographic leaning towards a younger audience, they’re getting older and will discover your brand if it’s established on TikTok. As an Amazon dinosaur from my days working there in 2004, I saw those demographics shift on Amazon and we’ve also seen the change in Facebook and Instagram. The initial users that jump on the new apps and websites are often a younger, more tech savvy audience, but over time that naturally progresses to an older generation with a higher disposable income and we are now seeing this shift on TikTok. With 2 billion monthly users worldwide, it is one of the most widely embraced social media platforms across diverse age groups and geographical locations.

How will TikTok Shop benefit my brand differently to other social media platforms?

One of the key features setting TikTok Shop apart from other platforms is its lack of reliance on external tracking and pixels. Where once Facebook Ads relied on pixel tracking to build lookalike audiences and report on user behaviour, the newly introduced privacy features on iOS14 prevented advertisers from tracking cookies on the internet. This was a major spanner in the works for brands using Facebook to direct customers to their landing page - data was far less accurate and effective. The way TikTok Shop has revolutionised opportunities for brands to reach a wider customer base is in one clever way: all the data required to target customers is already in the app.

Without ever needing to leave the app, brands can advertise, list products, collaborate with creators, share shoppable content, receive payments and - arguably most importantly of all - store all of this valuable data under one roof for optimised customer targeting.

It all sounds exciting but be aware of what selling on TikTok actually means!

We have identified demand and we now know TikTok covers more demographics than we had imagined. This is all exciting but the part where many brands then get stuck is they don’t know how to get started. This is completely understandable; whilst TikTok is a marketplace platform like Amazon, how it functions and how you drive a sale is completely different. If you think you can apply your Amazon knowledge and fly on TikTok Shop, be prepared to fall.

Amazon is a search based platform. What I mean by that is customers are already on Amazon browsing to make a purchase, so typically they will already have some vague idea of what they want by typing the item into the search bar. TikTok is a demand based platform, customers are not initially on TikTok to go shopping - they are drawn in by the video content that then engages them to make a purchase (#tiktokmademebuyit). Not to mention, Amazon is driven by static image based content and TikTok is video content. You may have created a couple of videos for your Amazon Ads but the level of content and engagement needed for TikTok to work is non comparable. Just think, there is new content being posted at least daily on TikTok - do you have the resources to fully invest in creating and building constant content for your products? Plus a team to manage the content, engage with your audience, and manage influencers and user generated content?

Whilst the opportunity sounds exciting, it is important you go into this with your eyes wide open and you fully understand the requirements of what is needed to be successful as a seller on TikTok Shop. The worst that can happen is you go into this blindly, lose money and then walk away, disheartened, thinking you were miss sold the dream.The opportunity is there but you will only see the rewards if you approach and manage it correctly, which, in short, is completely different to Amazon.

I want to make this happen, but need help.

If you want to know more about how to get started on TikTok Shop and how to make the platform a success for your business, reach out to the team at eCommerce Nurse. We support brands on their TikTok journey, from building a brand strategy and creating content, to managing their engagement and TikTok Shop. 

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Carina McLeod

Carina McLeod

Carina spent over seven years working in Vendor Management at Amazon UK and now is the CEO and Founder of eCommerce Nurse and Vendor Society. Carina loves sharing her Amazon knowledge and helping vendors and sellers grow their business on Amazon.

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