TikTok Shop Emerges as a ‘Game-Changer’ for Local SMEs

Through TikTok’s e-commerce feature, TikTok Shop, millions of SMEs are empowered to sell online and harness the popularity of the social media platform.

TikTok, the popular short-video sharing platform, marks a milestone with significant implications: 2 million businesses on TikTok Shop. The success of the social media platform’s e-commerce feature heralds a future for TikTok as a site that has grown to be about much more than dancing videos–it has grown into a valuable tool for both big brands and small businesses. Of the 2 million local businesses using TikTok, the majority are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). And through TikTok Shop, entrepreneurs are empowered to generate more income by tapping the vast audience on TikTok’s platform.

TikTok Shop was launched in November 2022. It allows content creators to upload short videos or post live videos to sell their products online, regardless of how many followers the creator has. TikTok announced its milestone of 2 million business using TikTok Shop at the Pilipinas Summit 2024 event. The event’s theme was “One-Stop Shop Empowering Sustainable Business Growth.”

For TikTok’s SMEs, the site is their platform to showcase their products to a highly-engaged community. Jonah Ople, TikTok Shop’s Category Lead for Fashion, highlights how the platform simplifies reaching a broad audience for SMEs.

According to Ople, “Over 2 million local businesses, the majority of whom are SMEs, are on TikTok Shop. Because TikTok Shop is able to connect businesses of all sizes with consumers and the wider TikTok community, we significantly enable these SMEs to create a holistic and seamless e-commerce experience and make real connections with new audiences, allowing them to reach a broader market.”

tiktok shop

The Power of TikTok Shop: Josefina’s Homemade Food

As TikTok Shop crosses the 2 million business threshold, it is putting the spotlight on one business that embodies what TikTok Shop does for its users.

Josefina’s Homemade Food began as a carinderia in Bicol, but thanks to TikTok Shop, it has become a nationwide sensation. Today, its bottled ginataan products, such as laing, ginataang santol, and Bicol Express, are delivered to customers all over the country.

The business, which is owned by Josefina Barcela and Abbie Ricohermoso, joined TikTok in 2023. Since then, Josefina’s Homemade Food experienced a surge in sales that fundamentally impacted the business. 

Ricohermoso shares, “TikTok Shop has been a game-changer for us. What started as a small local business has now reached customers nationwide, all thanks to TikTok.”

@josefinaslaing

Our story… This is a story of our dream, our hope and our little success. This is our family’s humble business. Thank you Pixelens for capturing this authentic video. Thank you Tiktok Shop for choosing to feature our story. #josefinashomemadefood #josefinaslaing #smallbusiness #bicollaing #laing #readytoeat

♬ original sound – Josefina’s Homemade Food – Josefina’s Homemade Food

What began as a small business that had 10 employees then grew to provide more jobs in their local community. 

A key element to the success of Josefina’s Homemade Food was live selling. “Through live streaming and content creation,” Ricohermoso says, “we’ve been able to connect with our customers in a way that feels authentic. TikTok allows us to share our story and our process, which really resonates with people.”

What’s next for Josefina’s Homemade Food? Its founders plan to go international. The company is currently setting up a larger facility and obtaining regulatory approvals for global shipping.

While major brands have flocked to TikTok, collaborating with its content creators, the platform remains dedicated to SMEs like Josefina’s Homemade Food to help them connect with their audience and achieve growth.