BLOG POST BY: Rowan Byers
December 18, 2023

TikTok Shop’s First Christmas: How Brands are Leveraging Social Commerce Solution for the Holidays

48% of Gen Z will do their holiday shopping on social media this holiday season. Is it a surprise then that major brands are shifting large quantities of their digital spend to TikTok?

Absolutely not. This uptick in spend, and the rise in users using TikTok for their holiday gifts, can be attributed to the rise of social commerce across Europe and the US. So let’s unwrap, and take a look at the rising trend, and how brands are using TikTok Shop this holiday season.


What is TikTok Shop?

TikTok is at the forefront of social commerce boom

Why brands are shifting their spend to TikTok this holiday season

Brands leveraging TikTok Shop to drive holiday sales

What are the advantages of using TikTok Shop for brands

Where is TikTok Shop heading?

What is TikTok Shop?

TikTok Shop is a one-stop e-commerce channel designed to drive sales and brand growth for businesses and creators in TikTok. 

TikTok Shop provides a way for TikTokers to buy products directly within the app without opening a web browser, or requiring a separate e-commerce platform. Its purpose is to create the most seamless shopping experience available. So, when a business opens on TikTok Shop, it will have a dedicated shopping tab built into its profile, represented by a shopping bag icon. From here, customers can browse and select products, and ultimately make purchases either within TikTok or via a brand’s website. 

TikTok Shop was built on the foundations of Doyin’s success in China. The Chinese version of everyone’s favorite bitesize social platform has worked with brands like Louis Vuitton, Estée Lauder, and Mac Cosmetics to launch what we understand as social commerce today. Doyen’s e-commerce businesses generated an annual gross merchandise value of roughly 2 trillion yuan ($274.2 billion) in 2022, thus prompting the West to double down on its social commerce efforts.

TikTok is at the forefront of social commerce boom

With in-app purchases, customers have the ease of buying things quickly. The social commerce landscape has built an interesting ecosystem made up of brands, creators, technology and consumers, each playing a role in bolstering the space.

What we have now, is a platform staking its claim to the throne here in the West. TikTok is spearheading the social commerce boom, providing a complete system of tactics, from paid advertising to short-form video, immerse shopping, and being able to purchase directly within the app. 

Why brands are shifting their spend to TikTok this holiday season

With more consumers turning to social media for their shopping this holiday season, it comes as no surprise that TikTok’s social commerce venture has emerged as the leading contender. 

TikTok Shop was launched in the US in September as a built-in shopping experience. Since then, the conversation around social commerce has boomed, and opened an opportunity for brands and TikTok users alike to sell, buy, browse and recommend products without having to leave the app. 

A recent survey revealed that nearly half of respondents aged 18 to 29 said they plan on buying holiday gifts on social media apps. And, according to an ICSC report, 86% of Gen Z shoppers (16-26 year olds) say social media influences their shopping habits. In addition to the seamless switch between discovery and purchase, TikTok Shop is constantly reeling potential customers in with astronomical discounts. It’s a gold rush. Shoppers are often rewarded with coupons on top of sale prices, which can result in 50% or 60% off a lot of items. So, for many this holiday season, there’s no good reason not to be shopping on TikTok.

Brands leveraging TikTok Shop to drive holiday sales

Give Me Cosmetics

This brand of natural, cruelty-free, beauty products is passionate for all things beauty. Give Me Cosmetics have taken to TikTok to drive hype around their products this Christmas, where users can purchase directly from TikTok Shop. 

The brand leverages partnerships with micro and macro TikTokers to promote its range of beauty products. Their content uses a blend of product reviews, trends like GRWM, and recommendations for the perfect christmas gift. Give Me Cosmetics leveraged the popular #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt community to stay amongst the social commerce conversation on TikTok. With over 82.4B views, the hashtag is a flagpole for all of TikTok’s 200,000+ sellers. 

In addition to influencer endorsements, Give Me Cosmetics also entices its audience with crazy discounts on nearly all of their Christmas-themed products listed in their TikTok Shop tab. It’s safe to say that the brand knows how to play the social commerce game on TikTok.

Made By Mitchell 

Made by Mitchell is a beauty and cosmetics brand that offers a colorful collection of high-quality, versatile makeup essentials and cased for self-expressionists.

With over 706K followers, and 2.2M sales on TikTok, it’s safe to say the brand has enjoyed large success on the platform, making the most of the app’s built-in shopping experience. 

The brand is continuing to innovate on TikTok, and drive hype around its products ahead of the holidays.  What the brand does well is integrate a range of different tactics, making the most of TikTok’s creative suite by dueting with creators who have purchased from the brand, and launching TikTok live streams to sell products in real-time. 

Made By Mitchell also launched a Secret Santa collection via its shopping tab, which included different bundles with secret products inside, available to shoppers for £15-£100. 

Image Showing Give Me Cosmetics Christmas Campaign On Tiktok Shop

What are the advantages of using TikTok Shop for brands

Seamlessness is a core driver of future commerce

The beauty of shopping on TikTok is that it couldn’t be simpler! TikTok Shop streamlines the journey from enjoying engaging videos to snagging items you fancy. Shopperc can effortlessly browse and purchase featured products with just a few taps.

This seamless experience facilitates instant purchases, boosting sales for online stores. Think of a fashion brand showcasing its latest collection through an entertaining video. Incorporating direct product links enables viewers to swiftly click and buy their desired items from the TikTok Shop in a matter of moments. The days of multi-tiered checkouts are dwindling.

Brands can reach their audience in real-time on TikTok Live

TikTok’s LIVE function has surged in popularity, offering direct interactions with followers in real time. The live function has become a potent tool for establishing immediate sales connections with consumers.

This is the Gen Z equivalent of QVC we’re talking about. Sellers engage with viewers, addressing queries about product quality, style, and functionality as they happen, igniting consumer excitement and prompting purchases during the live stream. 

Integrating the shopping feature seamlessly links discussed products, stimulating sales and crafting an engaging shopping journey for your audience.

Creating valuable engagement amongst the audience

TikTok is a goldmine for ecommerce companies seeking to showcase products creatively. Leveraging TikTok’s array of creative tools, from filters and effects to catchy soundtracks, brands can create visually compelling content that strikes a chord with their audience.

For instance, a fashion label can transform a collection into a series of fashion shows, complete with popular music and engaging transitions, drawing viewers into the excitement and encouraging interaction.

TikTok’s viral challenges present opportunities for brand integration. Ecommerce companies can hop onto trending challenges or create their own, aligning with their products or brand ethos.

We see cosmetics brands exploring this through “Glow Up Challenges,” where users flaunt makeup transformations. This initiative not only amplifies brand visibility but also garners authentic endorsements from genuine users. TikTok’s fusion of entertainment and ecommerce fosters a vibrant landscape for brand engagement and user-driven marketing initiatives.

Where is TikTok Shop heading?

The future of TikTok Shop relies heavily on the future of social commerce in the West, which in truth, is only just beginning.

But what should we expect?

Looking ahead, social shopping will likely evolve in several ways. Augmented Reality (AR) integration could revolutionize the shopping experience, allowing virtual product trials and immersive interactions. Live shopping experiences, such as influencer-led events or real-time product launches, will become more prevalent, fostering direct engagement and sales. AI-driven customer service within social platforms could offer instant support, enhancing user satisfaction.

Expect a deeper integration between online and offline retail, allowing for seamless transitions between digital browsing and physical purchases. Insights from successful Asian models like China’s WeChat and Alibaba, known for seamlessly blending social interactions with shopping, may influence what happens here in the West.  

The rise of social commerce promises a more personalized, interactive, and boundary-blurring shopping experience that reshapes consumer habits and redefines the digital retail landscape. 

Expect TikTok Shop to be at the very forefront of this innovation. 

Are you a D2C brand looking to get started on TikTok Shop? Check out some of our TikTok influencer marketing case studies for an idea of how we can help elevate your brand!

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Written by: Rowan Byers

Insights Executive at The Goat Agency