It has been a whirlwind year-and-a-half for TikTok Shop since the e-commerce platform made its debut in Malaysia in April 2022. The short-form video platform quickly established itself as the go-to e-commerce solutions provider for its more than one billion users worldwide looking to create alternative revenue streams with its unique shoppertainment approach.
TikTok Shop boasts a combination of shoppable content formats such as in-feed short videos (embedded with product links), live streaming, as well as a marketplace through the new Shop Tab. This provides brands and sellers a powerful tool as it creates a seamless ecosystem in which customers can quickly go from discovering relevant content to making their purchase without leaving the app. It also provides its merchants with support such as subsidies, which in turn spell sweeter deals for shoppers.
At the recent TikTok Shop Summit 2023 held at Bangsar South, Kuala Lumpur, TikTok Shop announced that it intends to roll out series of marketing and promotional support, including 100 times more subsidies so that more entrepreneurs and creators will be able to either kickstart their e-commerce journey or further expand their business.
From October to December 2023, merchants will enjoy product subsidies and receive a 0% commission for purchases made by customers through the Shop Tab, where sellers can share their product recommendations via product listings and shoppable content.
As live-commerce booms, TikTok Shop also wants to encourage its sellers to embrace LIVE sessions, an engaging blend of entertainment and commerce that has proven popular among viewers. The platform is providing its merchants and brands with vouchers to be given out to their audiences who tune into their LIVE selling sessions.
Sellers can also look forward to a variety of campaigns that TikTok Shop is planning for the rest of the year, which will include vouchers and product subsidies to propel their respective brands forward. This support is especially timely, considering that the fourth quarter of the year typically witnesses higher consumer spending, powered by holiday shopping.
One of TikTok Shop’s most notable success stories is entrepreneur Khairul Aming, who was awarded the Inspirational Icon Award at the TikTok Shop Summit 2023. The director of Sambal Nyet Berapi calls the platform a game-changer which has significantly boosted his average daily sales from 3,000 bottles of sambal to 7,000 since joining TikTok Shop in January this year.
His winning approach? TikTok LIVE sessions. “The most effective strategy on TikTok Shop has been live streaming. Unlike other platforms where we have to direct customers to our videos, on TikTok Shop, the buying process seamlessly integrates with the app. Additionally, live streaming helps me interact with new customers, making it easier to convert them into repeat buyers.” According to Khairul, 76% of his product sales come from TikTok LIVEs and he plans to continue using it as his primary sales strategy.
Content creator and affiliate marketer Huda Ahmad is also a big believer in TikTok LIVE. “The key strategy I’ve found most effective is creating informative and engaging content during my live broadcasts. My videos primarily focus on household and lifestyle products. By going live three times a week, I educate viewers about product usage, consumer rights, and other informative content,” she says.
Huda’s game plan paid off as she witnessed consistent growth in followers, engagement, and sales. Honoured as the Best Performing Creator in the Affiliate Creator Category at TikTok Shop Summit 2023, she was also previously named the Top Rising Star Creator in the previous 12.12 Campaign and Top Creator in the 8.8 Campaign.
For Yap Minton, chief operating officer and co-founder of Zucca, what works best for the modest fashion retailer is a comprehensive “people, products and venue” market strategy. “This involves attracting a large audience through competitive pricing, then using the platform’s features to engage customers and stimulate purchasing power,” he explains. “TikTok Shop’s ability to gauge consumer trends allows us to regularly introduce new products, which has been particularly useful for us.”
Zucca, which was named Best Performing Brand in the Fashion Category at TikTok Shop’s recent summit, is very happy with how it has performed on the platform. “During the 3.3 campaign this year, we sold over 20,000 clothing items in a single live session, amounting to an impressive RM320,000 in revenue,” he says. “What makes TikTok Shop stand out is its ability to provide entertainment through videos while allowing seamless income generation. The “Yellow Shopping Bag” feature and live interactions with customers are unmatched.”
While these successes are inspiring, tapping into e-commerce may seem complex and intimidating especially for the uninitiated. That’s not the case with TikTok Shop. Cris Low, co-founder of KM Fashion, says his brand is extremely pleased with the support it has received from the platform since joining it in August 2022. “The key support I’d like to highlight is the guidance we received, thanks to the resources available on TikTok Shop Academy and support provided by the platform, to help us increase engagement and sales. From pricing strategy to content strategy, the guidance was very comprehensive, especially for someone new to the e-commerce landscape”.
KM Fashion, which was named the Best Rising Star in the Fashion Category at the recent TikTok Shop Summit, relies on live broadcasts to reach out to customers outside its initial focus market of Perak. Through TikTok Shop, it generates over RM800,000 in monthly sales. This figure is slightly lower than the sales recorded in its 13 physical stores, but as Low explains, the platform significantly reduces operational costs, such as rent and salaries.
Likewise, Charmaine Chow, Farm Fresh’s head of brand & marketing, describes the initial experience of joining TikTok Shop as “incredibly positive”. According to her, the platform offered comprehensive support, including training and expert guidance, while the excellent cooperation with logistics partners contributed to Farm Fresh’s successful venture into e-commerce.
“Even though we’ve been on TikTok Shop for just six months, it has already proven to be a vital channel for us,” she says. “We received the Best Performing Brand in the FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) Category at TikTok Shop Summit 2023, which was a remarkable achievement. Ever since we joined TikTok Shop, we have also been achieving our month-on-month gross merchandise (GMV) goal. We foresee continued growth and opportunities as the platform evolves.”
Wilson Leong, TikTok Shop Malaysia’s FMCG category director, says the platform was encouraged by its seller’s achievements, milestones and success stories, and hopes to continue to give a leg up to vendors, especially up-and-coming micro content creators and small enterprises.
“The TikTok Shop Summit is a culmination of all the hard work that our sellers and creators have put into carving out a living while building a name for themselves on TikTok Shop, especially in this new wave of shopping that brings together commerce, creativity, and content,” he shares. “It is incredibly heartening to hear testimonies from sellers who have grown their business with TikTok Shop and are thus able to also positively impact others through their involvement with our platform. We hope to see more businesses achieve such success on TikTok Shop.”