TikTok Shopping Feature

Three months following the release of TikTok’s Shopping Feature, TikTok Shop, consumers remain divided on the platform. While the extreme viewership and efficiency are nothing to be sneezed at… 

It leaves users and sellers fighting for dominance. Here’s the rundown.

What is TikTok’s New Shopping Feature?

TikTok’s latest venture launched on September 12 and its user feedback, though divided, has been astronomical

The move was inspired by other social media apps adopting similar shop features. The feature, when paired with the immense popularity of influencer marketing, is already set up for success. 

The #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has over 75 billion views ALONE.

During the pandemic, e-commerce on social platforms exploded. Now, 87% of Gen Z shoppers are saying that social media influences their buying decisions.

Seeing the popularity of TikTok Shop comes as no surprise considering the conditions of online shopping. However, this doesn’t account for the split opinions of its users. 

But between the scrolling and buying, many users are celebrating the new feature as a new way to shop effortlessly.

New Way of Shopping

TikTok has always mastered efficiency as a creative content platform. To see them use the same concept when promoting different shops and goods just makes sense. 

Due to TikTok’s hyperspecific algorithms, recommendations from the shop are similarly niche. It delivers advertisements while marketing to individual users instead of a general audience. 


Beyond its marketing, TikTok Shop provides small businesses with a new landscape for sales. The functions of the shop allow businesses to build brand awareness and find new customers based on their preferences

With the popularization of the feature leading up to the holiday season, it becomes a prime target for both businesses and shoppers

Even with the season of giving in mind, some users feel that the shop is leaving a sour taste in their mouths. Beyond the specific recommendations and efficiency, TikTok, as per usual, is not as nice as it might look. 

Issues in Regulating TikTok Shopping Feature

Small businesses have to do a lot to compete in the digital landscape, and good marketing on social media can make or break them

While the accessibility of TikTok Shop is something that any business owner can get on, not all sellers are treated equally.

With millions of TikTok users on the shopping feature, all eyes are on what brands are getting views. 


The businesses most often promoted through the algorithms are already giants. 

Small businesses struggle against larger companies during the holiday season, especially Black Friday…

So having another space where they remain drowned out doesn’t help incentivize these companies to use the feature.

Fast fashion retailers are dominating the shop, with the most viral products being $3 purses and $4 leggings. Many users are concerned that the app makes overconsumption too accessible. 

The scales are tilted against small businesses that are always looking for more real estate on e-commerce sites. 

Alongside disproportionate shop advertisements, there is an issue regulating TikTok’s affiliates…

The issue is that many of their affiliates are teenagers.

To become a seller on TikTok Shop, users are required to provide a government-issued document to verify their age. To become an affiliate, however, you just need to self-verify your age.

And to no one’s surprise, many teens will lie about their age. 

While TikTok does have a policy to protect minors on the shop feature, it doesn’t offer any help regarding this loophole… 


Between the overshadowing of small businesses and minors making their cash from the boom of fast fashion

It comes as no surprise to anyone that TikTok might be bad at regulating the content and usage of their app. 

The Future of Social Media Commerce

Despite the division, TikTok Shop has already made a name for itself among the app’s 1.1 billion active users. 

However, the TikTok shopping feature must remedy the issues it faces if it hopes to have longevity. The clock is definitely ticking for consumers and business owners to fully embrace it…

After all, time is money. 

Be Great,

GCTV Staff

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