Why Amazon Sellers Should Embrace TikTok Shop

In the ever-evolving landscape of e-commerce, adaptation and innovation are key drivers of success. Amazon, the behemoth of online retail, has long been a cornerstone for sellers seeking to reach a vast audience. However, with increasing competition and tightening profit margins, diversifying sales channels has become imperative for sustained growth. 

Enter TikTok Shop for ecommerce, offering brands a new avenue to unlock untapped sales potential.

In this blog, we will look closer at the emergence of TikTok within the realm of e-commerce, delve into the intricacies of challenges confronting brands on Amazon, and explore how TikTok can effectively surmount these hurdles. Uncover the nuances differentiating these platforms, and weigh the risks, challenges, and rewards associated with adopting a dual strategy encompassing both TikTok Shop and Amazon.

Introduction to TikTok Shop: The Rising Star of E-commerce

TikTok has emerged as a cultural phenomenon. Initially a platform for short-form video content and entertainment, TikTok has swiftly transitioned into a robust e-commerce player, blurring the lines between content consumption and shopping. Its unique algorithm-driven platform favours creative and engaging content, providing sellers with opportunities to showcase products in innovative ways and potentially go viral.

With an eye watering 55 billion views under the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt hashtag, it’s evident that the platform holds immense potential for e-commerce brands looking to tap into a highly engaged audience. 

According to recent statistics, 47% of TikTok users claim to have purchased something they discovered on the platform, showcasing the significant influence it wields over consumer behaviour.

What sets TikTok apart is its unique ability to seamlessly integrate entertainment with shopping. Nearly 39.1% of TikTok users actively seek out products while scrolling through their feeds or exploring various brand stores. 

This suggests a fertile ground for brands to showcase their offerings in creative and engaging ways that resonate with the platform’s dynamic user base. 

Moreover, a substantial 48% of users utilise TikTok as a source of information when making purchasing decisions, indicating a growing reliance on the platform for product research and recommendations. TikTok boasts over a billion active users globally, with a significant portion under the age of 30. This demographic skew towards younger users presents Amazon sellers with access to a fresh audience segment ripe for exploration. Unlike Amazon, which primarily caters to a more mature demographic, TikTok offers sellers a chance to tap into the preferences and shopping habits of the younger generation.

How to Optimise to Create Product Awareness

One of TikTok’s standout features is its algorithm, which curates a personalised feed of content based on user preferences and interactions. This algorithmic approach to content delivery ensures that users are constantly exposed to a diverse range of content, including product recommendations and shopping-related content. Additionally, TikTok’s emphasis on user-generated content creates opportunities for organic reach and heightened brand visibility.

Its focus on short-form video content provides sellers with a unique opportunity to showcase their products in innovative ways. By condensing product demonstrations into bite-sized clips, sellers can create content that is easily digestible and highly shareable.

The algorithmic approach of TikTok ensures that content likely to resonate with users is surfaced prominently on their feeds. This means that even sellers without a large following or advertising budget can reach a massive audience by creating engaging content that captures the essence of their products.

Leveraging features like interactive filters, effects, challenges, and duets, sellers can further enhance their product promotions, fostering interaction and engagement with their audience.

In essence, TikTok empowers sellers to connect with potential customers in ways that are both entertaining and effective. By embracing the platform’s emphasis on creativity and engagement, sellers can craft compelling content that not only drives sales, but also strengthens brand awareness and loyalty within TikTok’s vibrant community.

Increased Amazon Competition Calls for Diversification

Amazon’s vast user base and established reputation as a leading e-commerce platform make it an attractive destination for sellers worldwide. With millions of daily visitors and a robust infrastructure for product discovery and transactions, Amazon offers unparalleled opportunities for sellers to reach a global audience and drive sales.

Despite its undeniable appeal, Amazon comes with its own set of challenges for sellers.

Product discovery amidst fierce competition is a constant struggle, with sellers vying for visibility in a crowded marketplace. Moreover, escalating advertising costs and squeezed profit margins make it increasingly difficult for sellers to achieve profitability solely through Amazon.

Leveraging TikTok to Address Amazon’s Limitations

TikTok’s expansive user base presents Amazon sellers with an untapped market reach, offering access to a younger and more diverse audience segment. By expanding their presence to TikTok, sellers can diversify their sales channels and reduce dependency on any single platform.

Utilising a blend of keywords, trending sounds, user engagement metrics such as likes and followership, TikTok’s algorithm orchestrates the viral spread of videos, within an e-commerce context that means unique ways to create unparalleled product discovery. This intricate system ensures that products stand a significant chance of reaching a targeted audience deeply invested in their niche interests. This is facilitated through the curation of each user’s ‘for you page,’ which takes into account various factors:

  • Accounts followed
  • Comments posted
  • Creators or sounds hidden
  • Liked or shared videos
  • Favourited videos
  • Videos marked as “Not Interested”
  • Reported content
  • Video completion rate, indicating engagement
  • Personal content creation
  • Interests expressed through interactions with both organic content and advertisements.

By meticulously tailoring a feed of content unique to each user, TikTok ensures a highly personalised experience. Consequently, no two users will encounter the same content stream. Moreover, when a user engages fully with a product-related video, the algorithm takes notice. Subsequently, the likelihood of encountering similar product-focused content increases. This repetition, coupled with diverse perspectives from content creators, significantly influences purchasing decisions. Thus, TikTok’s algorithm not only drives virality but also serves as a potent tool for product promotion and consumer persuasion.

Unlike Amazon, where product visibility is primarily driven by search-based algorithms, TikTok’s emphasis on user-generated content and organic reach creates opportunities for sellers to amplify their brand visibility and drive engagement.

TikTok has a place in influencing purchase decisions (58% claimed they used TikTok as a source of shopping inspiration), even if the purchases don’t take place on TikTok, but instead take place on Amazon.

The Importance of Native TikTok Shop Creative

When it comes to crafting creative content for Amazon listings versus TikTok, one of the most critical distinctions lies in the concept of ‘going native’ – tailoring your content to suit the specific nuances and dynamics of each platform. While the structural layout of product pages hold some similarities between TikTok and Amazon, the key differentiator surfaces in the type of content generated, particularly by brands or affiliates.

On TikTok, authenticity reigns supreme. Unlike the brand-curated content often associated with Amazon listings, TikTok thrives on authenticity. Brands are encouraged to embrace imperfections and showcase genuine moments that resonate with users. This means that content doesn’t need to be manicured and perfect; in fact, the more authentic it is, the better its chances of connecting with the TikTok audience.

Moreover, the pace of content creation and responsiveness to trends diverges markedly between the two platforms. On Amazon, any optimisations to content necessitate careful monitoring and review over an extended period to gauge their effectiveness. Changes in keyword targeting strategies, for instance, require time to impact organic rankings, often requiring additional paid support to drive visibility.

In contrast, TikTok demands a far more agile and responsive approach. Trends emerge and dissipate quickly, sometimes within a matter of days making it important for brands to stay attuned to trending sounds, hashtags, and cultural phenomena, integrating them seamlessly into their content to capitalise on virality and reach.

Promote and Amplify Through Influencer Marketing

To navigate this ever-evolving landscape effectively, brands can enlist the expertise of creators who possess an intimate understanding of the platform’s intricacies.

Collaborating with creators allows brands to tap into their insights and instincts, ensuring that content remains relevant and responsive to emerging trends. By empowering creators to spearhead content development, brands can leverage their expertise in identifying and catalysing new trends, fostering a symbiotic relationship that maximises engagement and impact on TikTok.

For those brands used to selling on Amazon, this means the addition of content creation abilities. Volume and responsiveness are key in this dynamic landscape.

Leveraging affiliates can significantly amplify visibility and sales while adopting a brand-owned content approach will require a shift in mindset and skill sets within your team or agency to make the most out of this new e-commerce landscape.

Early Adopters Stay Ahead of Competitors

Embracing TikTok early allows sellers to gain a competitive edge by adapting to evolving consumer trends and exploring emerging marketing channels. As TikTok Shop continues to evolve and grow, early adopters can position themselves as industry innovators and capture market share before competitors catch up.

Navigating Amazon presents a formidable challenge, with myriad brands vying for prime retail real estate. Securing top organic placements for high-traffic keywords, especially for emerging brands, proves difficult due to saturated competition. Consequently, new entrants often find themselves needing to invest heavily in paid advertising to gain any significant visibility amongst a wide array of competitor products.

In contrast, the cost-per-click (CPC) rates on TikTok emerge as a more economical alternative to Amazon’s advertising ecosystem. Here, the cornerstone of success lies in crafting captivating and entertaining content. Collaborating with adept affiliates skilled in curating such content can serve as a potent strategy to leverage their follower base, enhancing the discoverability of products and lessening the need for huge advertising budgets.

Moreover, the financial landscape on TikTok presents a more favourable proposition for sellers, with a substantially lower commission fee than Amazon, making it a more cost-effective sales platform.

Furthermore, the logistical dynamics on TikTok diverge from Amazon’s paradigm, offering both opportunities and challenges. While Amazon’s Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) is indispensable for maintaining competitiveness, its escalating fees erode profit margins over time. Conversely, TikTok’s Fulfilled by TikTok (FBT) service, albeit exclusive to the UK presently, boasts more competitive rates.

Unlike Amazon’s weight-based fee structure, FBT entails a nominal picking and packing fee, with shipping costs passed onto consumers. This pricing model proves particularly advantageous for low-cost products burdened by Amazon’s prohibitive FBA fees.

The Halo Effect: Increasing Amazon Sales

The “halo effect” between Amazon and TikTok Shop underscores the symbiotic relationship between these platforms, offering Amazon sellers a powerful opportunity to amplify their reach and drive sales growth.

When sellers use TikTok to drive traffic to their Amazon listings, they tap into TikTok’s vast audience and influence, generating brand awareness and product interest. This influx of external traffic from TikTok can have a profound impact on Amazon’s algorithm, leading to greater organic visibility for the seller’s listings. Essentially, TikTok serves as a catalyst for increased exposure on Amazon, creating a halo effect that elevates the seller’s presence and sales potential on the platform.

The halo effect primarily manifests through brand and product search. As TikTok generates brand awareness through affiliate content or branded campaigns, this newfound recognition often translates into increased searches for the brand or product on Amazon. While some sales may occur directly on TikTok, the reality is that many consumers still prefer to make purchases on Amazon due to factors such as trust and convenience. As a result, there’s a notable “leakage” of traffic from TikTok back to Amazon, particularly among demographics more accustomed to Amazon’s ecosystem.

A prime example of the synergy between TikTok Shop and Amazon emerged with the rise of rosemary oil as a trending product for hair growth, championed by the brand Nature Spell on TikTok. The widespread discussion among creators on TikTok sparked significant interest in this product, reflected in heightened search volumes on Amazon. 

TikTok’s dynamic content landscape requires sellers to adapt quickly and stay attuned to trends. By collaborating with creators and embracing authenticity, sellers can create compelling content that resonates with TikTok’s audience and drives engagement on TikTok and beyond. TikTok has a place in influencing purchase decisions (58% claimed they used TikTok as a source of shopping inspiration), even if the purchases don’t take place on TikTok, but instead take place on Amazon.

Notably, these search trends on TikTok found resonance on Amazon, evidenced by insights gleaned through Helium10. In essence, TikTok’s role in generating awareness and trends directly impacted search behaviours on Amazon, highlighting the interconnectedness and potential synergies between the two platforms.

Crucially, Amazon’s algorithm rewards external traffic, viewing it as an indication of a seller’s ability to attract and retain customers. By bringing in new customers from TikTok, sellers effectively bolster their standing within Amazon’s ecosystem, leading to greater organic visibility and potentially higher sales volumes.

In essence, the halo effect between Amazon and TikTok underscores the interconnectedness of these platforms and the immense value for sellers who strategically leverage both to enhance their brand presence and drive sales growth. By harnessing TikTok’s influence to drive traffic to Amazon listings, sellers can unlock a powerful synergy that propels their success in the competitive e-commerce landscape.

Dual Marketplace Strategy Risks and Challenges

Embracing both Amazon and TikTok e-commerce presents exciting opportunities for sellers, but it also comes with its share of risks and challenges. To ensure success in this dual approach, it’s crucial to proactively address and mitigate potential obstacles. Here are some key considerations:

Market Dilution: With the expansion into TikTok e-commerce, there’s a risk of spreading resources too thin, potentially diluting the brand’s presence in both markets. It’s essential for sellers to carefully balance their efforts and investments across platforms to maintain a strong and cohesive brand identity.

Distraction from Amazon Strategy: Juggling multiple marketplaces can be demanding and may divert attention from nurturing a successful Amazon strategy. To mitigate this risk, sellers must allocate resources wisely and prioritise activities that yield the highest returns. This may involve streamlining processes and focusing on initiatives that align with overarching business objectives.

Team Skill Set Requirement: Effectively leveraging TikTok as a marketing channel requires a deep understanding of the platform’s dynamics and audience preferences. Hiring or training personnel with the requisite skills can be both costly and time-consuming. Sellers must invest in building or acquiring the necessary expertise to drive meaningful engagement and conversions on TikTok, for example:

  • TikTok native video content production
  • Understanding of the TikTok algorithm and trends
  • Live streaming

Inventory Management Challenges: While inventory management may seem straightforward, the distinct sales dynamics of TikTok compared to Amazon necessitate careful consideration. Unlike the consistent, gradual sales growth typical of Amazon, TikTok often generates bursts of sales driven by viral trends. Sellers must anticipate and adapt to these fluctuations, ensuring sufficient inventory levels to meet demand without overcommitting resources.

By addressing these challenges proactively and implementing effective mitigation strategies, sellers can capitalise on the opportunities presented by a dual marketing approach, maximising their reach and revenue potential across Amazon and TikTok e-commerce platforms.

Conclusion: Seizing the TikTok Shop Opportunity

In conclusion, the integration of TikTok Shop into Amazon sellers’ marketing strategies holds immense potential for unlocking untapped sales opportunities, fostering brand growth, and staying ahead of the competition. As e-commerce continues to evolve, embracing emerging platforms like TikTok is not just an option, but a necessity for sellers looking to thrive in the digital age. Whether you’re already established on Amazon and seeking to explore TikTok Shop, venturing into Amazon from TikTok, or launching anew on both platforms, FordeBaker can provide invaluable guidance and support. With expertise in both Amazon and TikTok, we can tailor strategies to maximise your brand’s impact and success across both platforms.

For more information, visit our TikTok Service Page or Amazon Service Page. For insights on creating a holistic Amazon and TikTok strategy to help you become an industry leader, get in touch with our founder tom@fordebaker.com

Related articles

How to Set Up a US TikTok Shop Account

How to Set Up a US TikTok Shop Account
So, you’ve seen the game-changing potential of TikTok Shop and how it can supercharge your e-commerce game, and you’re ready to dive in. That’s great! But, before you start making ...

How to Set Up a UK TikTok Shop Account

How to Set Up a UK TikTok Shop Account
Ready to revolutionise your e-commerce strategy with TikTok Shop? Fantastic! But before you hit record on those game-changing videos, let’s ensure your brand is primed and ready to shine on ...