The E-commerce Battle Royale: TikTok Shop vs. Marketplaces

Ever scrolled through TikTok and instantly fallen in love with something you need to have? Well, you’re not alone, and brands are taking notice. The rise of TikTok Shop is blurring the lines between entertainment and shopping. Let’s explore what this means for your brand and if you should jump on board. 

TikTok Shop

Marketplaces: Shopee & Lazada

We all know these household names. These marketplaces offer a vast selection of products across numerous categories, catering to your every need. With established logistics networks and user bases in the millions, they’re a safe bet for brand visibility and reaching a wide net of potential customers.


  • Huge User Base: Reach a massive pool of potential customers already actively shopping.
  • Variety of Features: Leverage tools like flash deals and discount vouchers to drive sales.
  • Established Infrastructure: Benefit from reliable logistics networks and customer support systems.


  • High Competition: Standing out in a sea of sellers can be challenging.
  • Fee Structures: Be mindful of commission fees and advertising costs.
  • Focus on Price: The race for the lowest price can sometimes lead to lower profit margins.


TikTok Shop: The New Kid on the Block

TikTok Shop is still young, but it’s making waves with its unique approach. Here, selling involves more than just product listings – it’s about storytelling and entertainment. Short-form video ads and live streams allow brands to connect with audiences on a more personal level, sparking interest and desire.


  • Highly Engaged Audience: TikTok boasts a highly engaged user base primed for impulse purchases.
  • Visual Storytelling: Showcase products in a dynamic and interactive way through engaging videos.
  • Influencer Marketing Power: Leverage the power of TikTok influencers to reach targeted demographics.


  • Newer Platform: The platform is still evolving, with logistics and payment structures under development in some regions.
  • Limited Product Range: It might not currently be suitable for all product categories for reasons such as content moderation and regulatory compliance.
  • Younger Audience: The user base is generally younger, so consider your target demographic.

TikTok Shop Flashsale

Why is TikTok Shop Trending?

It boils down to engagement. TikTok has mastered the art of grabbing user attention, and they’ve turned shopping into an extension of the entertainment experience. It’s like window shopping on hyperdrive, but way more exciting. The result? People connect with products on a deeper level, leading to more sales and brand fans who keep coming back for more. 


What Does This Mean For Your Brand?

Ultimately, the best platform depends on your brand’s goals and target audience. Consider factors like your product category, budget, and ideal customer profile. Shopee and Lazada are powerhouses for established brands with a wider reach strategy and bigger budgets, while TikTok Shop could be a game-changer for those with a lower budget, targeting younger demographics and looking for innovative ways to connect.

Let’s chat in the comments! What are your thoughts on TikTok Shop? Is it the future of e-commerce?


Want to Learn More?

Primal Digital Agency is a multi-award-winning digital marketing agency in Bangkok. We help brands like yours identify the best platforms to reach their target audience. We use data, not hunches, to create personalised strategies that deliver results. Get in touch with us.