Revolutionizing the B2C Digital Experience: The Impact of TikTok

Tianyu WANG
4 min readAug 8, 2023


It has been five years since I last visited China, a gap primarily attributed to personal reasons and the Covid-19 confinement policies. Reflecting back on 2018, I recall that the prominent eCommerce platforms were Tmall/Taobao, JD, and Meituan. During that period, businesses had ceased investing in their individual e-commerce websites, and a significant portion of customers had come to rely exclusively on these platforms for their shopping needs.

During my recent two-week vacation in China, I was taken aback by the remarkable progress within the B2C business landscape and the transformative changes in customer experiences. One instance that particularly struck me was observing my parents engrossed in TikTok throughout the day. Given their age of 60+, I was naturally curious about the content of the videos they were consuming. Surprisingly, it was centered around shopping.

Chinese TikTok, in fact, has undergone a complete integration with eCommerce platforms, resulting in a scenario where almost every B2C brand is actively conducting business on the platform. They’ve embraced TikTok as a means to share videos directly related to their products or services, often using it as a preliminary step. Strikingly, some accounts are seamlessly transitioning from mere viewers to customers by effortlessly making purchases right from the product pages inside TikTok. A couple of clicks and the order is placed.

While I will delve into the logistics services in a subsequent discussion, for now, let’s zero in on their remarkably effective conversion strategy.

Uploaded videos pales in efficiency compared to live broadcasts. Numerous companies and individuals engage in daily live videos to showcase and market their products. The screenshots belows exemplify individuals advertising clothing, beverages, vegetables, and more.

These live broadcasts typically extend over several hours, during which the host or presenter elucidates the product’s features and even demonstrates it in front of the camera. Notably, my parents allocate a significant portion of their time to these live shows and make regular purchases as a result.

Even if other Chinese eCommerce platforms attempt to replicate the same video/live broadcast-based model, they still find themselves outperformed by TikTok. Not only my parents, but also my friends advised me to discontinue using Tmall and Taobao, as the TikTok platform is considered more reliable. Upon inquiring why, the primary reason cited was the superior quality of product reviews and the logistics system.

To explain this more comprehensively, it’s essential to highlight two issues with Tmall/Taobao, and other similar retail platforms.

First, Tmall/Taobao and JD are substantial players with numerous stores registered by both companies and individuals. However, a significant concern arises from the authenticity of product reviews. Often, these reviews are fabricated, composed by individuals who receive compensation for writing them. This leads to customers being deceived by glowing five-star reviews and ordering products that turn out to be of inferior quality or different from what was described on the product page. Such a shopping experience has eroded trust in these platforms, as users find it increasingly challenging to place confidence in the products they encounter. Additionally, unlike the successful efforts made by Amazon, these platforms have turned a blind eye to some of the deceptive reviews.

TikTok is actively combatting fraudulent marketing and reviews. Accounts found engaging in deceptive practices are subjected to temporary or even permanent closures as a punitive measure. Moreover, its product review scrutiny is stringent and geared towards authenticity.

Second, another notable concern lies in the logistics services offered by the Taobao/Tmall platform. In reality, each shop on the platform has the autonomy to select its own logistics provider, leading to a significant variance in service quality. While customers might be content with the product itself, delayed deliveries can sour their overall shopping experience and leave them disappointed. The logistics has been a substantial factor impacting customer satisfaction.

TikTok has established a profound collaboration with SF Express, currently the largest express delivery company in China. This partnership has significantly enhanced the shopping and logistics experience on TikTok, particularly in terms of return policies. This improved framework has instilled a sense of confidence among numerous consumers.

In Europe, companies are currently distant from the video and live streaming B2C business model. However, if this approach becomes a trend, several challenges will confront existing digital customer experience analytics firms:

  1. As a video platform, shopping experience data might encompass video views, interactions, and purchases. This diversity in data sources would require integrating different types of data.
  2. Analyzing video content is more intricate than traditional web page analysis. Understanding user interactions and purchases may involve combining metrics like video watch duration, click-through rates, comments, and more.
  3. Shopping experiences may need to be tailored based on user interactions and viewing habits. This could entail deeper analysis and personalized treatment.

I hope they will get prepared and catch up quickly.



Tianyu WANG

I am dedicated to empowering my teams, fostering efficiency and collaboration, and yielding more successful stories.