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25 Sep 2023

Exploring the Impact of TikTok on eCommerce with Shahriyar Hassan

Exploring the Impact of TikTok on eCommerce with Shahriyar Hassan

Shahriyar's career journey

Tell us about your career so far and the essential turning points that got you where you are today.

My career journey has been an absolute rollercoaster through the worlds of law, business, and innovation. My path actually began with a legal qualification, but I substituted statutes for the fast-paced world of business development and growth. I was fortunate to be mentored by brilliant minds at the world's largest FMCG company, which helped me understand how to grow a household business and a name. We created partnerships with major UK supermarkets, content creators, and launched new sustainable products. During my studies, I worked at TM Lewin, Reiss, Zara, and others, so it was inevitable that I would eventually gravitate towards a career working with brands that are reshaping the landscape of customer acquisition and eCommerce. Today, I have the privilege to work with TikTok experts, where we are truly spearheading the revolution in social commerce, and I help brands build their eCommerce strategy to increase product discovery through organic methods.

How would you describe your journey with TikTok so far?

Initially, with TikTok, I focused on helping brands navigate the platform and addressing their early challenges. Now, we're focused on elevating their growth. We're exploring the frameworks, foundations, and essential basics needed for a brand to succeed on TikTok Shop. Additionally, we're optimising content strategies, ensuring brands can deliver high-performing TikTok Lives and elevate their content from the ordinary.


Leveraging TikTok Shop in eCommerce 

Why is TikTok so effective when it comes to eCommerce?

Everything I talk about with brands centres around organic content and methods to boost viewership and product discoverability. TikTok's uniqueness lies in the diversity of its users' For You pages. Brands, regardless of size, can create relevant, product-focused content using the right creators and go viral almost overnight. This virality jumpstarts their TikTok journey and expands their audience significantly. The power of organic content is undeniable, and TikTok provides a perfect platform for it.

Is TikTok fit for every type of eCommerce and retail business?

At its core, TikTok is an entertainment platform, so you need to infuse fun, creativity, and authenticity into your content. We anticipate more eCommerce-oriented brands embracing this style. Regardless of the field, TikTok boasts a user base that spans all categories. In the eCommerce realm, verticals like fashion, beauty, and FMCG are currently thriving on TikTok Shop. However, even niche audiences, such as the Pet-Care, can be tapped into by showcasing unique products and innovations. TikTok's unique ability to reach a wide audience across various categories sets it apart.

In conclusion, TikTok is proving to be a dynamic and effective platform for eCommerce, transcending industry boundaries and offering opportunities for brands of all sizes to connect with their target audiences organically. As eCommerce continues to evolve, TikTok's role in reshaping the landscape of product discovery and customer engagement remains undeniable.

What do you see in the future of eCommerce?

1. Live Shopping Revolution:

Live shopping is redefining how we connect with brands. Imagine a scenario where you can browse the latest menu, prices, reviews, make payments, and track deliveries in real-time, similar to ordering takeaway. This experience is now mirrored in the world of social media and live shopping. Platforms like TikTok introduce users to new brands and products tailored to their interests. Users can engage with the product in real-time, ask questions instantly, and make purchases within seconds. Live shopping stands out as the number one lesson in eCommerce.

2. Creator-Oriented Brands:

Brands are shifting from being solely identified by their names to becoming creator-oriented. Consumers are connecting more deeply with the people behind the brands, focusing on environmental and ethical considerations, and demanding transparency in supply chain practices. As a result, creator-oriented brands are gaining trust through content on platforms like TikTok.

3. Personalised Shopping Experience:

eCommerce is moving away from one-size-fits-all to highly personalised experiences. Products are becoming more tailored, allowing consumers to add their personal touch, whether through colour, initials, or core design. This personalisation extends to the shopping experience itself. TikTok and TikTok Shop are delivering highly customised product suggestions. Real-time engagement with brands leads to a genuinely personalised shopping journey, increasing customer loyalty and conversion rates.

These trends suggest that eCommerce is entering an era of dynamic change, with the customer experience at its core.

What is one of your favourite "eCommerce success stories" that you’ve seen and/or managed on TikTok?

It’s actually a business we will bring to eCommerce Expo. Without giving away too much, it’s a brand that has a really standout kind of success, Pretty Perfect Products, a stationary brand, will be participating in the Expo with a live Q&A in person. So stationary is something we traditionally go into a store to buy what we need, but what they've done is they've brought it to life and created content around a product category that is traditionally challenging to engage with. They have built a large and dedicated following, and it's truly a community of over 400,000 followers who are genuinely interested in the brand. They want to know how the product is used in daily life, and Pretty Perfect Products uses content effectively to bring their products to life. I believe they are a shining example of how to use content to lift a brand, infuse it with personality, excitement, and fun, and connect with a broader audience. So, when it comes to bringing products to life, Pretty Perfect Products is at the top of my list.

Register to TikTok Shop


Shahriyar’s conference at eCommerce Expo 2023

Tell us more about your eCommerce Expo 2023 speaking session

“The Power of TikTok Shop: shaping the future of social commerce”

You can expect three things from our live session at eCommerce Expo, on the 28th of September. The first is you'll be joined by the amazing Amanda Uduku, my colleague in our team, who is a true TikTok wizard. We'll both be there providing an introduction to the platform. Whether you're a brand thinking of starting on TikTok or you're already on TikTok and want to make your products shoppable through the platform, we've got you covered. That's a session we'll be delivering in person on the power of TikTok shop.

Secondly, I will be joined by a true British brand sensation, Pretty Perfect Products. They've grown to over 400,000 followers and 4.6 million likes. It's a brand driven and built by women based in Essex. They've created a selection of products where the act of planning becomes a journey of joy. We'll have a super exclusive conversation with them on stage where they will share more insights on their success with TikTok shop. So, I'm really looking forward to that session.

And finally, I think just in general, come and connect, ask us questions on TikTok commerce and content, on strategy, on growth, or even just say hi. We should have a link below or above to get started with TikTok shop. During our talk, feel free to ask specific questions about starting your TikTok shop journey.

See Shahriyar live at eCommerce Expo on Thursday the 28th of September 2023, at ExCeL London in the Digital Customer Theatre (12:40 - 13:05)



Quick-fire questions

What is your favourite social media platform?

It has to be TikTok!

What tool do use the most on your laptop?

I use an application called Lark, an instant messaging system to connect with brands and merchants.

Who are some of your favourite creators on TikTok?

Two come to mind. Levitex, a brand that sells mattresses and pillows, and Pass the Meerkat, a hilarious podcast that has an interesting twist with animation.

What is something you're still looking forward to achieving in your career?

I'm really looking forward to helping SMBs develop a growth plan and strategy to compete with larger brands. Supporting organic uplift and giving SMBs power and knowledge is where I find the most joy in my work.


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