A New Age of Shoppertainment Levels the Playing Field for Small Businesses

Jessica Van Sack-Downey
3 min readSep 24, 2022

The concept of shoppertainment — using entertaining stories and connections to drive sales — isn’t new. Just ask Lori Greiner, “the Queen of QVC,” or any infomercial pitchman from the last five decades. Merging shopping and entertainment has long been a winning combination.

And now, brands have new opportunities to leverage this phenomenon — but in a more accessible way than traditional TV ever provided.

TikTok is the social media platform of authentic connection. It’s preferred by Gen Z, which comprises 60% of TikTok users. Next year, 74 million people in the U.S. will be part of Gen Z, making it the largest generation. The trend #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has nearly 1 billion views globally.

Siders Wood Crafting credits TikTok with saving their small business: https://www.tiktok.com/@siderswoodcrafting/video/6981241083258834181

TikTok is the platform of shoppable entertainment — Shoppertainment. And it doesn’t require an agency, a production company or a professional videographer to get started. In fact, raw and real is what the platform craves.

TikTok drives sales by giving brands the ability to reach a large and engaged audience with their product promotions and brand story.

According to research by the Boston Consulting Group commissioned by TikTok, customers are operating in six key demand spaces across two core groups. Small businesses should keep these pillars in mind:

  1. Convenience (Easy for me)
  2. Improvement (Better for me)
  3. Validation (Confirm for me)
  4. Recommendation (Advise me)
  5. Indulgence (Spoil me)
  6. Inspiration (Inspire me)

TikTok’s same research report states that brands should seek to engage Shoppertainment and market growth through five emotional touchpoints:

  1. Tell stories and educate
  2. Focus on video-first
  3. Don’t force decision-making
  4. Be authentic
  5. Recommend the trends

The big takeaway: shoppers are driven by emotion and connection. BCG’s analysis reveals that two out of every three transactions in Emotional spaces are driven by new-to-brand conversions. Meaning that shoppers are changing brands or behaviors when they make an emotionally driven transaction. Brands need to understand that tapping into these emotions at key times is the holy grail for social selling.

Few brands have the ability to connect on an emotional level more than small businesses. And TikTok makes it easy, surfacing lots of tips and tricks specifically for local shops and makers.

TikTok has changed the way people discover and purchase products. The app’s shoppable videos allow users to quickly take action, while its large audience makes it easy for brands looking sell their goods in front of interested consumers.

These instant, personalized shopping experiences deepen the bond between creators and users, and brands and users. TikTok creators’ program allows brands to find in-house influencers to test and review products, while driving sales and being opinion-makers within the app.

Shoppable Entertainment is what makes TikTok stand out against a crowded landscape, as the platform is 40% more likely to be considered entertaining than traditional social platforms.

Small business owners: take out your phone, hold it vertically and tell your story. Don’t overthink it. Be your imperfect self. And post away.