How TikTok Shapes Social Commerce Across Industries 2022
13 May , 2022

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TikTok social commerce has been happening organically for a while. Since the debut of TikTok shopping feature, TikTok has made a full foray into the realm of ecommerce. The social commerce market has mushroomed in recent years, reaching $492 billion in 2021 and expected to triple to $1.2 trillion by 2025. It’s no wonder that TikTok would want to set foot in the mix. Together with the viral hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt which boasted over 5.4 billion views on the platform, TikTok’s opportunity in the burgeoning social commerce space was served on a silver platter.

The worlds of entertainment and commerce are getting closely intertwined. With over 1 billion users globally, TikTok is obviously brimming with enormous potential for brands looking to sell their products or services to a vast audience. No matter what industry you’re in, read on for tips that will make your launch successful in the TikTok social commerce market!

  1. What is TikTok social commerce?

  2. TikTok Social Commerce Effect on Travel Industry

  3. TikTok Social Commerce Effect on Fashion Apparel Industry

  4. TikTok Social Commerce Effect on Financial Services Industry

1. What is TikTok social commerce?

With no doubt, we’ve all seen countless product reviews or shopping lists on TikTok. But now, in addition to getting product inspiration, we can actually shop on TikTok. TikTok social commerce, or shortly, TikTok Shopping, allows users to purchase products directly when they browse the social app rather than going to a separate ecommerce platform. According to TikTok, it is the suite of solutions, features, and tools that give businesses the opportunity to tap into the power of social commerce on TikTok.

Thanks to TikTok - Shopify partnership, brands can build a mini-storefront on their profiles with a Shopping tab that links straight to their online store for checkout by syncing their product catalogs. Creators with TikTok storefronts can also tag products in organic TikTok videos using dedicated product links. TikTok Shopping is more than just a product discovery channel. It merges social media and ecommerce to provide audiences with a fully immersive, seamless shopping experience throughout their online shopping journey. Ultimately, fostering consumers’ buying cycle and increasing sales. Last year, TikTok users recorded a whopping 77% increase to $2.3 billion spent on the platform. The launch of TikTok social commerce is powerfully beyond our imagination.

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TikTok Shopping Tab (with a shopping bag logo)

2. TikTok Social Commerce Effect on the Travel Industry

Book a flight, pack your bags, and prepare for your vacation. Everything sounds so smooth. Just before the outbreak of the COVID-19, which has clipped the wings of many travelers. Fortunately, many countries are easing travel restrictions this year. This gives a silver lining to the travel industry. Knowing that 87% of millennials perceive social media to be very influential on destination selection, TikTok lends itself as an inspirational source that empowers users to experience virtual travel on their phones as well as draw up future travel plans.

Taking advantage of its significant video feature, travel content on TikTok has truly been reimagined through vertical, full-screen, and sound-on formats. Hotel tours, destination guides, “day in the life” style videos, nature spots, must-visit restaurants, etc. can all be created by travel brands on TikTok! The travel content is made more immersive, entertaining, and inspiring than ever. The ability to showcase the attractions in these formats adds realism and involvement that grants consumers to capture moments in real-time. Meanwhile, the short but influential videos can direct users to purchase travel products right away. With the borders reopening, consumers are delving into destination planning and travel products on TikTok. In mind the social commerce feature of TikTok and the new norm of travel shopping, brands should fully capitalize on this trend and gain a presence on TikTok.

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The hashtag #tiktoktravel drew over 25 billion views on TikTok.

TikTok Social Commerce Tips for Brands in the Travel Industry

In particular, travel brands are suggested bracing themselves for the industry’s resurgence. Audiences can always sense when the content isn’t authentic. They would take a multi-touch approach to ensure their vacation experience is exactly as claimed on social media. Given this, travel brands are encouraged to engage in user-generated content (UGC) on TikTok. In fact, 82% of people feel UGC has had a significant impact on their travel plans.

A branded hashtag is an effective TikTok social commerce strategy encouraging users to share footage of their journeys. With hundreds to millions of videos filming your marketed destination, your travel brands will be able to showcase the local attractions in all of their grandeur, as well as the amazing experience consumers may have when they visit. It forms a so-called creator-driven word of mouth on TikTok. Early this year, Delta Airlines made waves by asking TikTok users to post about their favorite vacation, using the hashtag #FavoriteTripChallenge. Altogether, the campaign garnered over 19.5 million views in its first 36 hours, credit to TikTok discovery.

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TikTok’s #FavoriteTripChallenge

Travel-related content is truly bombarding the TikTok feed, not to mention the 146% increase in travel-related videos published. It is, therefore, crucial for travel brands to make their TikTok social commerce content compelling for consumers to click into and make reservations instantly. Brands may utilize TikTok video editing tools to deliver high-impact visuals, sound, music, and transitions. The fresh material keeps consumers engaged while seamlessly blending in as organic content on TikTok’s For You page (FYP).

Partnering with TikTok KOLs is also a good alternative! They can position your travel package as a hidden gem, driving interest and awareness around new places or activities for your TikTok social commerce marketing strategy. They can also help in the delivery of travel tips and hacks. Remember that no one understands their communities better than the KOLs do. Thus, picking the right TikTok KOL is important. In AsiaPac, we have our self-developed KOOLER AI, which leverages the 200K+ cross-platform database in Asia to match your brand with the most ideal KOL, guaranteeing your brand to strike a chord among your travel-hungry audience.

During the height of the pandemic, New Zealand’s tourism board launched Play NZ, an online video gameplay walkthrough of the country to give potential travelers a glimpse of New Zealand. The game primarily utilized TikTok social commerce strategy through text overlay, allowing the video to amalgamate with organic content in its TikTok feed. Besides, the brand joined hands with a popular local KOL, William Waiirua (@w_cribb), for the creation of a tongue-in-cheek in-feed ad that mimicked the game’s ‘choose your character’ part. The TikTok campaign effectively drove a larger number of users to their website. Overall, the video fetched 2.7 million impressions, with an engagement rate of 3.73% and a view-through rate of 2.64%. New Zealand’s tourism board is successful in its TikTok social commerce strategy.

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New Zealand tourism board’s Play NZ

If you’re a non-travel brand, we would say, go with the flow. Consumers have long craved new travel experiences and sought ways to feel closer to special travel moments, like prior to the pandemic. So, grab the perfect opportunity to join the conversation by introducing or promoting travel-related products and content, just as Lay’s did. To fulfill the consumer’s desire and tastes for traveling, Lay’s introduced 3 new flavors that represented the famed tastes of American and South Korean food. The brand paired a branded hashtag challenge with a branded effect on TikTok to invite users to “travel” with Lay’s new flavors. Within 6 days, Lay's TikTok social commerce marketing strategy achieved 133.4K videos created in the hashtag challenge and 8K video creations with branded effect. Consumers are proven to enjoy travel-related content. Together with the TikTok social commerce capability, your products will be swiftly presented in front of consumers, and accordingly, increasing sales revenue.

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Lay’s branded hashtag challenge on TikTok

3. TikTok Social Commerce Effect on the Apparel & Accessories Industry

Isn't it aggravating to receive apparel in a color that isn't what we ordered after weeks of waiting? Thanks to TikTok social commerce capability, we no longer have to experience this kind of disappointment. Unlike other platforms’ ultra-polished, often an over-edited depiction of clothes, fashion on TikTok is rooted in unfiltered reality. TikTok users are empowered to creatively express their style and be their true, authentic selves on TikTok videos.

Fashion-focused scrollers are actively searching for and engaging with content that interests them. They no longer go to brick-and-mortar stores to get their cup of tea or inspect the quality of the clothes; instead, they turn to TikTok. With a 144% yearly increase in video views for apparel-related content and 24.9 billion views for #Tiktokfashion, you can be sure that TikTok is the perfect hub for brands aiming to reach consumers who are consuming content for outfit inspiration or wishing to replenish their wardrobe.

When TikTok users see, to be accurate, scroll on their FYP and Discovery Page, they may come across anything from a shopping haul, theme-inspired lookbook, to celebrity outfit recreation. Once they favor an item, they may merely click inside the video to look for the product tag and be brought to the purchase page. With just one click, your product will soon be in their wardrobe. Exploiting fully the TikTok social commerce feature, brands should seize every touchpoint to connect with consumers and raise their brand visibility.

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Apparel & Accessories-related content on TikTok

TikTok Social Commerce Tips for Brands in the Fashion Apparel Industry

Every day, there are numerous fashion runways on TikTok. You get to see varieties of looks ranging from Zara tops, Lululemon leggings, to Fendi bags. Certainly, as a brand, you wish your products to be the next “must-have” item for consumers. By all means, the type of content that TikTok users curate is hard to orchestrate. Brands, on the other hand, are able to understand the cultural trends on TikTok and be inspired by the hottest styles of the moment. Begin by incorporating TikTok’s trending hashtags, music, and transitions into your branded videos in your social commerce content.

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TikTok’s trend discovery

The pink, dotted, puffy-sleeved Strawberry Dress fashioned by a New York designer is a good example in TikTok social commerce strategy. As usual, TikTok lent its viral magic to a £370 party dress, selling it out week after week in the midst of lockdown. The dress unboxing video, coupled with TikTok’s trending music “Strawberry blond” and hashtag #cottagecore made the Strawberry dress become last summer’s hottest fashion item. The strawberry dress flooded the TikTok’s feed, accompanied by the #strawberrydress hashtag that amassed over 194 million views and dress sales increased by 1000%.

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TikTok’s viral Strawberry Dress

You may have heard of China’s “Lipstick King”, Austin Li, who sold an astonishing $1.9 billion worth of items in just 12 hours on Taobao livestream. Given that the live commerce market in the US is expected to skyrocket to $35 billion by 2024, TikTok hopped on the livestream shopping trend too. With a shopping pin pop up each time a product is shown, TikTok live audiences can purchase promptly. The operation and benefits of livestreaming ecommerce should be well-versed by the majority of digital marketers. Still, you must comprehend the types of TikTok livestream content to facilitating your audience connection, far beyond real-time.

Aside from simply describing your clothes or accessories, fashion brands can portray your brands from various angles on TikTok. It allows your audience to learn about your products as well as your brand story, which helps to sustain brand loyalty. It might be a behind-the-scenes of a fashion show or photoshoot, product reviews, manufacturing production, or the brand history. Embrace fresh angles and storytelling strategies to engage with your audience and drive their interests. Often, there are livestream commerce events hosted by TikTok, such as On Trend and TikTok Fashion Month: Virtual Runway, where diverse brands, creators, and products for sale are featured. It also lays the gigantic social commerce market valued by consumers and brands. Fashion apparel brands should definitely grab the opportunity to participate in these grand, yet entertaining and influential commerce events to promote your TikTok social commerce.

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TikTok livestreaming ecommerce

Last but not least, invites the TikTok community to create together, to “live and breathe” with the brand. Tap into hashtag challenges to repurpose UGC for your channel. It’s naggy, but it always works. Take, for example, American Eagle’s #InMyAEJeans Back to School hashtag challenge, a viral craze in which TikTok users produce creative videos while sporting their favorite pair of American Eagle jeans with the catchy brand’s song as background music. To further spark community participation, American Eagle teamed with dancers, artists, and lifestyle TikTok influencers with a niche following to create their own unique spin on #InMyAEJeans, as well as promote the brand’s latest product catalog. As it stands, over 432,000 TikTokers have used the hashtag to create over 800,000 videos, racking up 3.7 billion views and showing the engagement level of TikTok social commerce campaigns.

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TikTok #InMyAEJeans Hashtag challenge

4. TikTok Social Commerce Effect on the Financial Industry

In many corners of the internet, financial sectors have long shed its boring and daunting image. You’ll need to go through an exhausting and time-consuming journey with a financial advisor if you want to make an investment, get insurance, or open a bank account. On TikTok, however, these intimidating topics are made easy and accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds. Let’s not forget that Gen-Z, the prime audience for financial brands, makes up about 60% of TikTok’s demographics. As the older generation of Gen-Z enters the workforce, they pay greater attention to personal finance, banking, and even mortgages. As a result, TikTok is found to be a lucrative medium for financial brands to gain a presence.

This financial TikTok space, dubbed FinTok, regularly goes viral, from money-saving challenges to crypto and investment as their TikTok social commerce strategies. Content tagged with #stocktok has been seen over 1.4 billion times, while the slightly more mundane #PersonalFinance has garnered over 4.4 billion views. Tagged videos cover everything from budgeting to ISAs, from taxes to debt. Specifically, Dogecoin saw its value rise 40% after gaining traction on TikTok. Young generations love Dogecoin’s meme value, yet many are unfamiliar with cryptocurrency. That’s what TikTok social commerce can shed light on, whether it’s through video content of simple explanations, tips and hacks, or alternative investment recommendations (e.g. their own products).

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Financial brands on TikTok

Serving as a home for entrepreneurs and future generations who have shown a strong desire to unlock financial freedom and learn more about money management, TikTok helps users to level up their financial knowledge and skills, as well as initiate new trends. Supported by TikTok social commerce capabilities, audience can be directed to open bank accounts, make appointments with financial planners, or invest in their interested financial portfolio, with just one click. Finance has never felt more accessible and accomplishable, and the new wave of content contributes to the 123% annual growth in financial-related video views.

TikTok Social Commerce Tips for Brands in the Financial Industry

Of course, we’re all familiar with social influencers, but have you heard of the term “fin-fluencer”? Unlike traditional influencers, fin-fluencers focus on improving people’s financial wellness and sharing money management strategies via social media. TikTok, where #fintok numbers own over half a billion views, presents a cornerstone for financial brands to leverage fin-fluencers in molding the next generation’s financial perspective.

Fin-fluencers on TikTok act more like coaches than educators. They pick up on recurring insights and break down complex financial topics into easy-to-understanding explanations. In a bite-sized video, TikTok audiences grasp the big picture of the financial concepts in their own language, no longer grappling with the industry jargon. What’s more, it’s noteworthy that financial brands should let the fin-fluencer remain their own content style, which may include humor, role-play storytelling, real-life experiences, tutorials, and tips. At the end of the day, they are the ones who connect and resonate with the niche, making your TikTok financial content more exciting, entertaining, and pleasurable. Accordingly, the viral content from these fin-fluencers will bring your targeted audiences to their desired financial services page, as known as your brand’s landing page. Nevertheless, don’t get it wrong. Collaboration with fin-fluencers isn’t the only option to take your TikTok social commerce marketing to the next level.

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TikTok’s fin-fluencers

Going back to the very first step, your branded TikTok video should be intriguing enough to grab the audience’s attention. Start by exploring new ways of storytelling on TikTok, which offers a wide range of social commerce features and tools, such as TikTok reply features, duet, stitch, and more. They keep the audience entertained while they learn about financial topics and your financial services, no matter how dull they may be originally. In this way, your brand’s finance content can stay native, fun, and relevant to the audience as one of the best TikTik social commerce strategy.

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TikTok’s video editing tool ‘Stitch’ tools, which allows users to incorporate video snippets from other people into their own.

Furthermore, TikTok provides brands with multiple ad formats, including top view, in-feed, brand takeover, branded hashtag, etc., to achieve their social commerce marketing objectives. Ultimately, a strong TikTok social commerce marketing campaign creative is essential for capturing users’ attention, converting leads, and generating sales. You may be overwhelmed by TikTok’s 10+ creative tools and ad types, and wondering which one best suit you and deliver the best outcome. With over 15 years of socialmedia marketing and ecommerce experience, AsiaPac’s digital experts will assist you in developing effective TikTok social commerce solutions and campaigns, expanding your TikTok presence.

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TikTok’s ad formats

Max, an Israeli credit card firm gives an excellent demonstration for TikTok social commerce marketing strategy. The company resorted to TikTok to market its newly launched mobile payment feature, where a large pile of young generations who are eager with new technologies is present. Max launched a TopView campaign, which featured a 20-second video that demonstrate a new way to make payments to customers. Backed up TikTok’s 100% sound-on experience, Max made the most of native editing and a catchy soundtrack to boost engagement. Moreover, the ad included an “Install Now” call-to-action at the bottom, which directs users to App Store or Google Play to download the app. Altogether, the TikTok social commerce ad had over 4 million impressions on the first day of the campaign, with over 1 million clicks and 30K likes.

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Max’s TikTok campaign

TikTok Social Commerce in 2022 Summary

TikTok’s expansion into commerce comes at a time when social commerce continues to explode. On TikTok, it is always “entertainment comes first, commerce follows”. Remember, TikTok isn’t like other typical social media platforms, and its visual aesthetics are somewhat much more distinct. TikTok’s audience won’t get fascinated by your lengthy and cumbersome product demonstration. If your video is fun and consistent enough, then voila, you hit the jackpot. Everything boils down to content which will further achieve your TikTok social commerce goals. Thus, it’s vital for brands to craft their social commerce strategies on engaging content that gives grounds for an interactive and entertaining shopping experience and maintains customer retention. If you’re looking to get the tricks to success on the TikTok social commerce marketplace, click here to contact us now!

About AsiaPac Net Media

With an extensive digital marketing experience of serving more than 2,500 clients across Asia in sectors such as ecommerce, finance, gaming, travel, retail, beauty, FMCG, education, health products etc., AsiaPac’s expert team is highly recognized for the excellence in providing performance-driven services to businesses across Asia, and global corporates targeting Asia markets. If you’d like to learn more about AsiaPac and the work we’ve done, visit our Cases page. For more information on AsiaPac/ AdTech and our services, please contact us at