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Everything You Need to Know About TikTok Shopping Ads

Jennifer Kovalick
Written By
Jennifer Kovalick
Published On
May 24, 2023
TikTok Shopping graphic

Entertainment and e-commerce are a perfect match on TikTok. The platform’s creators and communities are a driving force that lead consumers to add to cart. 

TikTok’s Shopping Ads are a simple solution for brands to engage with consumers at any stage of the purchasing process to increase sales.

In this blog post, we will discuss the two types of TikTok Shopping Ads and how TikTok is transforming the customer journey and accelerating purchases. 

TikTok Shopping Ad Types

TikTok provides features that businesses can use to create entertaining shopping experiences. TikTok has two ad formats: Video Shopping Ads and LIVE Shopping Ads for one purchase objective. 

1. Video Shopping Ads

Example of a Shopping Ad of a woman rollerblading and the product card displaying the roller blades the woman is wearing

Video Shopping Ads allow advertisers to share shoppable video creative alongside product cards.

Video Shopping Ads are shown on the For You Page to audiences who are most likely to make a purchase based on their past interests on the platform. 

When a user taps on a Shopping Ad, TikTok will lead users to an in-app landing page to allow users to browse products.  

Shopping Ads allow advertisers to drive sales with product-specific cards or drive consideration with broader product cards. 

2. LIVE Shopping Ads

Example of a LIVE Shopping Ad of a woman applying pink liquid eyeliner to her eye and the product card displaying pink liquid eyeliner

Traditionally, live shopping has happened through TV shopping channels such as the Home Shopping Network, QVC, and The Shopping Channel. Today, live shopping is happening on TikTok.   

In the past, we’ve seen in-store product labels that say “As Seen on TV, but this has now evolved into “As Seen on TikTok”. For example, Barnes and Noble and Indigo have a #BookTok section, which features popular books and literature from this TikTok community

LIVE Shopping Ads are similar to Video Shopping Ads, the only difference is that LIVE Shopping Ads are recorded in real-time. 

LIVE Shopping Ads are an e-commerce experience that allow advertisers and users to engage with each other and enables products to be purchased within the TikTok app. 

TikTok’s Purchase Path

TikTok is transforming the top-to-bottom marketing funnel (awareness, consideration, purchase). Traditionally, consumers are led down a narrowing, one-time purchase journey that does not create a lasting relationship between the brand and the consumer. 

With TikTok, brands have the ability to make engaging consumer experiences with educational, entertaining, or exciting content. Through this type of content, businesses are able to connect with audiences and communities on TikTok to drive sales at scale.   

The purchase journey on TikTok begins with discovering new brands and the products they have to offer. Discovery typically happens on the For You Page, which tailors relevant products to the consumer’s interests. 

The Infinite Loop: Shopping Experience on TikTok

Diagram of the Infinite Loop (Discovery, Consideration, Purchase, Review, Participation)

Consumers on TikTok enter, exit, and then re-enter the purchase path in an infinite loop rather than in a linear, top to bottom purchase path. 

The purchase path is expedited by the TikTok community’s eagerness to make purchases as soon as they discover a product. According to a study, TikTokers are 1.5x more likely to immediately go out and buy something they discovered on the platform compared to other platforms’ users. 

The shift in the retail journey is having a tangible effect. When customers encounter brands on TikTok in an authentic manner, they become more confident and loyal towards the brand. As a result, the study demonstrated that TikTok’s involvement in the retail journey leads to increased spending by customers.

How TikTok Shopping Ads Fill A Social E-Commerce Gap

The e-commerce landscape is constantly changing to keep up with consumer shopping behaviours. Studies have shown that 41% of shoppers buy online for speed and that 30% of shoppers buy online for convenience. 

Social media platforms such as TikTok’s e-commerce functionality is still emerging and evolving. Studies have shown that 28% of shoppers listed entertainment as their top reason for being open to buying directly from social. TikTok has been considered 40% more likely to be considered entertaining than traditional social platforms, which is why TikTok has the ability to dominate e-commerce on social media. 

Shoppable entertainment or as TikTok calls it “shoppertainment” is what sets the social platform apart from the crowd. Other platforms struggle to entertain consumers, whereas TikTok entertains through users creating, engaging, and interacting. On TikTok, brands have the ability to create Shopping Ads and use entertainment to create a seamless path to purchase. 

3 Benefits of TikTok Shopping Ads

1. Simplified Shopping

70% of TikTok users say it seems easy to purchase through the TikTok shopping-related ad they saw.

2. Brand Awareness & Discovery

56% of TikTok users say that ads on TikTok lead them to discover new products or brands.

3. Accelerated Purchase Path

48% of TikTok users are interested in making a purchase on or from TikTok in the next three months.

Are You Ready to Try TikTok Shopping Ads?

We hope this blog was helpful in understanding TikTok Shopping Ads! If you’re interested in learning more about advertising on TikTok, check out our blog on the 5 Types of TikTok Ads.

Thinking about trying TikTok Shopping Ads for your business? The Influence Agency can help you get started!

Contact our Paid Media team today to learn more about our TikTok Marketing services!



  • Jennifer Kovalick

    Jennifer Kovalick is a Paid Media Coordinator at The Influence Agency and specializes in digital advertising strategies to scale businesses. Outside of the office, she is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur who brings her dog, Truffle, almost everywhere she goes!

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  • Jennifer Kovalick

    Jennifer Kovalick is a Paid Media Coordinator at The Influence Agency and specializes in digital advertising strategies to scale businesses. Outside of the office, she is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur who brings her dog, Truffle, almost everywhere she goes!

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