Social media platforms have become more than just spaces for networking and entertainment; they are becoming increasingly influential in new product discovery.

Among these platforms, TikTok has emerged as a significant force in reshaping how brands connect with consumers and drive purchase behavior. While Amazon remains the 800 pound gorilla in the room, TikTok’s vast reach should not be underestimated. Brands who capitalize on TikTok early have everything to gain, positioning themselves for substantial growth and increased visibility.

Why TikTok is a Threat to Amazon

TikTok’s global user base is both vast and highly engaged, presenting an unparalleled opportunity for brands to reach potential customers. The platform’s algorithm is designed to maximize user engagement, ensuring that content has the potential to reach a wide audience quickly.

Furthermore, TikTok has been at the forefront of integrating shopping features directly into its platform, such as shoppable ads, live stream shopping, and product showcases within videos. This blurs the line between entertainment and shopping, creating a seamless path from product discovery to purchase.

TikTok also significantly impacts trends and purchasing decisions, particularly among younger demographics. Many of our clients have seen spikes in branded search volume on marketplaces after a TikTok Creator has showcased their products. Brands that understand and leverage this influence can effectively drive demand and sales.

Finally, the platform thrives on User-Generated Content (UGC), offering brands a way to engage with customers authentically. This is crucial for building trust and fostering a loyal customer base in 2024.

Challenges in Social Media eCommerce & Strategies for Brands

Historically, social media platforms have faced challenges breaking into the eCommerce space. The transition from discovery to purchase on social media has often been disjointed, requiring users to navigate away from the platform to complete a purchase, which can lead to lost sales. Additionally, consumers have expressed concerns about the security of their personal and payment information when shopping directly through social media platforms.

With the saturation of brands on social media, it can also be difficult for individual brands to stand out and capture the attention of their target audience. Moreover, trust has long been a challenge in Social Commerce, as 54% of users are concerned that the sellers are not legitimate. To overcome this, brands should invest in creating authentic listings and branded experiences just as they do their dotcom.

Strategies for Successfully Navigating TikTok Commerce

  1. Take advantage of TikTok’s shopping features such as shoppable ads, live stream shopping events, and product showcases within videos. These features provide a direct pathway for users to purchase products, making it easier to convert viewers into customers.
  2. Collaborate with TikTok creators to significantly amplify reach and credibility. Influencers with a strong following in a brand’s niche can create authentic content that appeals to your target audience.
  3. Develop content or offers exclusive to social media to encourage users to engage more deeply with your brand. This can enhance the shopping experience and foster loyalty.
  4. Create exclusive TikTok promotions, flash sales, and special deals to incentivize users to make a purchase. These offers can be a powerful tool to drive traffic to a brand’s TikTok Shop and increase conversion rates.
  5. Encourage satisfied customers to share their experiences with the brand’s products. UGC builds trust and authenticity, serving as social proof and influencing others’ purchasing decisions.

By investing in ads, brands can increase visibility of their TikTok Shop and individual products, as well as drive consistent, long-term traffic and sales. Based on customer demand and sales trends over time, brands should consider running a margin analysis on how TikTok compares to their existing social campaigns that drive to their dotcom.

While social media platforms still have a long way to go before matching eCommerce giants like Amazon, TikTok presents the strongest threat to that assumption.


Bridget Menne, Client Success Supervisor, Direct Agents

Nicholas Galante, VP of eCommerce, Direct Agents