Beyond Entertainment: The Business Value of TikTok and TikTok Shop 

Chances are, you’re familiar with TikTok. You might even have a TikTok user living under your roof. Maybe that TikTok user is you.

That endless stream of short form videos set to catchy music is certainly entertaining. But TikTok also packs some serious business value for brands that do it right.

TikTok plays a key role in the purchase journey of a growing portion of consumers. That means it’s a channel brands can’t afford to ignore.

But many still see TikTok as a social media platform that’s purely for entertainment. That mentality makes it hard to get others at your brand onboard with investing time and resources into this platform.

In this blog, we’ll explore the business value of TikTok – and how you can start managing your interactions on this channel more effectively and efficiently.

What is TikTok?

Chances are, you’re at least somewhat familiar with TikTok. You may even use the platform in your personal or professional life.

Whatever your level of familiarity, let’s take a quick step back to explore what TikTok is – and who uses it.

TikTok is a unique social media platform that allows users to create, share, and watch short-form videos. There’s no need to be a video creation expert; TikTok offers users plenty of features including filters, music, and stickers to make it easy to make fun, engaging videos. 

In the world of social media, TikTok is somewhat of a newcomer. The first version of the platform was launched in fall of 2016. But in its relatively short existence, TikTok has experienced explosive growth. That growth is showing no signs of slowing down. 
This year, eMarketer expects Tiktok to reach 102.4 million users in the US alone. That will make it the third social network (alongside Facebook and Instagram) to surpass 100 million monthly users in the US.

This year, TikTok is expected to reach 102.4 million users in the US alone.

Source: eMarketer

While the US boasts the largest number of TikTok users, the platform is extremely popular across the globe. Here’s a look at the top five countries in terms of TikTok users:

  • United States: 116.5 million 
  • Indonesia: 113.0 million
  • Brazil: 84.1 million
  • Mexico: 62.4 million
  • Russia: 51.2 million 

TikTok has caught on among consumers of all generations. However, it’s particularly popular among younger consumers. According to an article for Insider Intelligence, Gen Z’ers now use TikTok more than Instagram.

Beyond Entertainment: The Business Value of TikTok

Clearly, TikTok is extremely popular among consumers. And its popularity will only continue to grow.

But why does it make sense for brands to invest in the platform? 

Let’s take a closer look.

TikTok is Where Consumers Go to Be Inspired

TikTok has users across all age groups. However, it’s particularly popular among young 

consumers. Today, more Gen Z’ers use TikTok than Instagram.

TikTok is popular across the globe. However, it has the most users in the US, followed by Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico. 

Consumers aren’t just using TikTok for entertainment. They’re also turning to the platform to get inspired and learn about new products.
According to TikTok, nearly half (49%) of TikTok users turn to the platform to discover something new. In fact, many consumers are starting the purchase journey here. Per a recent survey, 21% of respondents indicate that TikTok is a destination for starting the purchase journey when shopping online.

49% of TikTok users use the platform to discover something new.

Source: TikTok

Gen Z’ers are especially likely to launch their purchase journey on TikTok. According to a recent article for AdWeek, 40% of Gen Z’ers prefer TikTok and Instagram for search over the king of search: Google. 

Consumers are actively looking for new products on TikTok. If your brand isn’t on TikTok, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to attract new customers.

Now, Consumers Can Buy Directly Through TikTok

Consumers are going on TikTok to learn about new products. What they find on the platform influences their purchase decisions. 

Case in point? The popular hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt.

TikTok users see a product on the platform – and they just have to have it. In fact, there are plenty of examples of products that “went viral” on TikTok and flew off the digital shelves, including Love & Pebble beauty pops and The Bug Bite Thing. 

Now, TikTok users don’t even have to leave the platform to make their purchase. 

Earlier this month, TikTok launched TikTok Shop. According to the company’s website, it’s a “new way for people to now find and shop for their favorite products.” 

TikTok Shop provides brands with a whole host of tools to sell directly through shoppable content on TikTok. Some of those offerings include:

  • In-Feed Video and LIVE shopping: Allows users to shop tagged products directly from videos and LIVEs.
  • Product Showcase: Consumers can browse products, read reviews, and purchase products directly from your brand’s TikTok profile. 
  • Shop Tab: Brands can display product offerings on a new, searchable product marketplace. 
  • Shop Ads: These ads allow brands to promote their TikTok Shops. 

TikTok also has some pretty powerful integrations that extend the impact of the platform. For example, 1440 has a partnership with TikTok that empowers brands using the platform to deliver even better customer service through the platform (more on that later). 

The introduction of TikTok Shop is huge for consumers; shoppers can more easily score the products they see on TikTok. And it’s a big opportunity for brands, too. It removes friction – and makes it easier for shoppers to convert from browsers to buyers.

Consumers Use TikTok to Engage With Brands Throughout the Purchase Journey 

TikTok has become a key part of the purchase journey for many consumers. But TikTok users don’t want a one-way conversation – where brands and creators are talking at them. They also want to interact with brands throughout the purchase journey.  

According to TikTok, one in five TikTok users have directly messaged a brand via the platform.

These shoppers have high expectations. And they’re only getting higher. According to Salesforce’s most recent State of the Connected Customer report, 81% of consumers expect faster service as technology advances. 

Brands must be equipped to provide outstanding customer care via TikTok – wherever a shopper might be on the purchase journey. By providing prompt, accurate, and engaging responses via TikTok, brands can boost trust – and conversion rates.

1440 Streamlines Customer Engagement on TikTok Shop

Consumers want to engage with brands on TikTok. Of course, it’s important to be where your customers are. But it can take a lot of time and effort to deliver great social customer service via TikTok – on top of all your other service channels. 

Recently, at Dreamforce 2023, 1440 unveiled a solution that enables brands to efficiently manage TikTok conversations – without leaving Salesforce. 

With this integration, brands can more easily deliver outstanding experiences via TikTok. Brands can manage conversations with TikTok users directly within Salesforce. The integration streamlines workflows and boosts productivity with features like Generative AI Reply Recommendations. In addition, agents have easy access to CRM data, cases, and knowledge articles.

And because Messaging Studio from 1440 already works with other key social and service channels, your teams can manage it all from one, single location. No need to toggle between platforms all day.

Our new integration with TikTok makes it easier for brands to deliver timely, accurate responses to TikTok users. This helps ensure those users have enjoyable shopping experiences on TikTok Shop – and are more likely to make a purchase.

Start Driving Value from TikTok

TikTok is wildly popular. And its popularity is only expected to grow.

But TikTok isn’t just a fun platform for entertainment. For many shoppers, it’s also an important stop on the path to purchase. 

Your customers want to engage with you via TikTok. You must have a plan to deliver engaging experiences there.  

With our new TikTok Shop integration, you can deliver winning messaging experiences to TikTok users – without leaving Salesforce. Ready to see this game-changing integration in action? Request a demo today!