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TikTok vs Reels for eCommerce 

TikTok vs Reels for eCommerce, which should you choose? That is a difficult question to answer!

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Cover Image: TikTok vs Reels for eCommerce

Short-form video has taken social media by storm! TikTok has exploded in popularity since its launch and has quickly become one of the most used social media platforms for businesses and individuals alike. 

In response to TikTok – Instagram launched ‘Reels’ – their short-form video platform. Given the similarities between the platforms, this might seem pointless, they both do the same thing, right? Not quite. 

Like any social media platform, there are a lot of aspects to consider when choosing which is best for your eCommerce business. Since videos now account for the majority of content on the internet, these powerful tools could be a boost for your business. 

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a social media platform which allows its users to make and share short (anywhere from 5 seconds to 3 minutes) usually to entertain, educate or engage. It was developed in China alongside the Chinese app Douyin.

 It has quickly become one of the most popular platforms around the world with billions of users, this platform is fun and easy to use. 

What are Reels?

Reels are Meta’s answer to TikTok. Particularly it is the answer to their short-form videos, as many of the platforms under the Meta Umbrella already have video-friendly capabilities (stories, Live, IGTV, and Feed posts). 

So which should you choose for e-commerce? TikTok or Reels? Both?

The truth is that it depends on your audience, business, and a variety of other aspects to consider when making this decision. 

TikTok for eCommerce 

TikTok being one of the newer social media platforms out there has grown exponentially from 658million users to well over a billion in 2021. And it is still growing. 

Now ranking in the league of Facebook and Instagram, TikTok also boasts a huge ‘user spend’. In fact, in Q2 of 2021, TikTok reached a whopping $525million – which in turn gives marketers, companies and individuals a huge opportunity. 

Another factor that makes TikTok quite a unique platform for eCommerce is its algorithm. Most social media platforms rely strongly on user profile information and community size in their algorithms. TikTok does not. It is a purely content-driven platform that works off user interaction and engagement.  

TikTok has recognised the opportunities on their platform to promote business, products, services and brands. It has in turn created more opportunities for monetisation, and what they call ‘Community Commerce’ (creator-driven word-of-mouth marketing strategies) to help you succeed. All these strategies are designed to help eCommerce businesses on the app. 

Check out how you can use TikTok for B2B brands:

Reels for eCommerce

Reels was developed as a response to TikTok, it has the 1 billion Instagram users “built in”. The fact that Instagram falls under the ‘Meta Umbrella’ and the Reels concept has now been added to Facebook’s Ads Manager functionality, can be a big bonus. 

Additionally, the Instagram platform has a variety of tools and posting ‘mechanisms’ available to users, not only short-form videos. These include normal Posts, Stories, IGTV and Reels. This gives both business and users variety in what and how they post and consume content.

Initially, however, Reels felt very much like a second-rate replacement to TikTok. It certainly did not pose a threat to the Chinese app. They have reworked and refined the user experience, it has been successful at drawing Meta users back to their platforms. 

Recently, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that their plan to implement easy ways for creators to monetise their content and grow their brands. 

Image showing a Facebook post from Founder Mark Zuckerberg about how they are adding to and changing reels for content creators


Both of these short-form video platforms are extremely powerful for businesses and brands throughout the world. The inclusion of eCommerce and monetisation options on both platforms make them great for eCommerce businesses to grow and sell. 

TikTok has grown so exponentially and has included eCommerce functionality for a while. Reels on the other hand has the benefit of being embedded in the Meta group. This makes it easy to share and use across platforms.

Ultimately it is up to your business to decide if you want to use TikTok or Reels or both. 


If you enjoyed this article or found it helpful, check out more e-commerce marketing content on the inSyte blog or listen to the inSyte Podcast.

This article was brought to you by Syte.

We’re a specialist e-commerce and lead generation digital marketing agency dedicated to driving up your bottom line.

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