TikTok Shop and the Future of UK eCommerce | Improving Your Channel Coverage

Selling on TikTok Shop

Monday October 16, 2023 | Posted at 10:04 am | By Harriet Pritchard
October 16, 2023 @ 10:04 am

TikTok Shop had a rocky start in the UK. Having already achieved large-scale success across Asia, in 2021 TikTok sought to expand its shopping experience across Europe and the US. Despite the continued success in Southeast Asia – seeing $4.4 billion total value of goods sold in 2022 – plans to expand in the UK were initially dropped just one year after launching. This was largely due to less traction in the Western market and a reported ‘aggressive working culture’ within the London TikTok team. These early setbacks were less than ideal for the platform’s eCommerce initiative, but the prospective business opportunity was too great to throw in the towel. In May 2023, TikTok invited several sellers to Beta test the TikTok Shop. The platform is now open to all UK sellers as a listing opportunity.

Why list on TikTok?

TikTok app on iPhone

Yes, it’s true that TikTok Shop hasn’t necessarily taken the Western market by storm – however, behavioural forecasts paint a rosier picture of its future eCommerce success. Many predict that live shopping events and videos have the potential to revolutionise the shopping experience, particularly for the next generation of consumers. TikTok’s livestream shopping feature gives sellers the opportunity to play into this trend and expand their channel coverage in an emerging marketplace. Beauty brands in particular are seeing early signs of success, with 6 out of the 8 best-selling products being that of beauty brands. So what are the main benefits of listing on TikTok?

  • Channel diversity
    We often discuss channel coverage as a key lever in eCommerce growth. Being active on multiple relevant sales channels is a strategic way to spread risk and alleviate the pressures associated with a single revenue stream. As TikTok Shop is still in its infancy in the UK, now would be a perfect time to add this channel to your coverage strategy. Competition is relatively low in comparison to what it is likely to become in the future. That said, Tiktok is already the UK’s most shopped social channel, with the average user making 10 purchases per year on the platform.

  • Dynamic and engaging content opportunities
    TikTok Shop gives brands the opportunity to showcase their products in a more aesthetically engaging way. Sellers can sell through live shopping events, short videos, and via their in-app store.

  • A userbase of emerging consumers
    TikTok’s userbase is skewed much younger than comparable social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. The platform is heavily dominated by consumers under the age of 34, with over 70% of users sitting in this demographic (37.8% 18-24 years old, and 32.9% 25-34 years old). When we consider the future of eCommerce it’s vital to recognise that the behaviours adopted by your future customers now, will shape the entire future shopping experience.

  • Frictionless purchase experience
    Maintaining consumer engagement is a growing challenge for eCommerce brands. With attention spans shrinking and convenience culture growing, creating a purchase journey with as little friction as possible is the most effective strategy in promoting sales. Consumers are likely to prioritise brands with the simplest purchase experience available. If this means not having to leave social media to make a purchase, this could very well become the norm.

How to list on TikTok


  • Set up a TikTok business account if you haven’t already.
  • Complete the application process – this will require details to verify you are the business owner. The application will take 1-2 days to be reviewed.
  • Integrate your TikTok account with your relevant sales platforms to start selling.

If you feel TikTok Shop could be a valuable sales channel for your business, get in touch to find out how Volo can help your business manage multiple sales channels.

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