These Social Shopping Channels Have The Best Value For Businesses – From TikTok To Pinterest Shop

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New study analyses which social network’s shopping platforms have the most value for businesses and customers. 

In this new study on shopping on social media, Sortlist analysed data from Eurostat, InfluencerMarketingHub, Shopify SearchEngineJournal and social networking services to find out which social media platforms are the best when it comes to shopping.

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Instagram vs TikTok vs Pinterest Shop: Which Is Best For Businesses?

  Instagram shop Tik Tok shop Pinterest shop
Algorithm User relationship, user interest and relevancy Relevance, quality and bid price. Domain quality, pin quality, pinner quality and topic relevance.
Length of video ads 2 minutes 1 minute 15 minutes
In-app purchase Limited Limited Limited
Bidding strategy for ad space Conversions, vale and landing page views. In-feed ads. Custom or automatic.
Landing page in-app No Yes Yes

Instagram posts are shown to users based on the user’s following list, post relevancy and user likes. For businesses, that means users who follow or interact with similar brands are more likely to see your available items.

Videos on Instagram can be as long as two minutes and can take the form of a story, reel or post. Instagram shop allows eligible US-based businesses to integrate in-app purchases, however, this function is not available for worldwide accounts.

Instagram shop does not yet support shop profiles, which could make it harder for brands to showcase all their products in one place.

On TikTok, posts are promoted to users based on relevance and quality. TikTok ads often favour high-paying brands, showing in-feed ads based on the bid price. TikTok shop supports in-app purchases for most accounts, although sellers can choose to redirect customers to their external domain.

Improving the user experience, in-app shopping means users can build a shopping cart of items from different brands which makes for a more seamless checkout experience. TikTok users can view all available products from an account, by navigating to the shop tab on the account profile.

Pinterest takes into account the ‘quality’ of the pinner, which is based on how often you pin content and how much interaction your pins usually get. Pinterest brands have more freedom to showcase products by taking advantage of the maximum video ad limit of 15 minutes.

Shoppable pins on Pinterest support in-app checkout for a limited number of Shopify accounts, boosting the user experience and reducing the need for your business to have a website.

Pinterest shop supports businesses having an in-app shop profile page, so users can get to know your brand identity by viewing all of your available products in one place.

Instagram vs TikTok vs Pinterest Shop: Which Is Best For The Consumer?

  Instagram shop Tik Tok shop Pinterest shop
Algorithm User relationship, user interest and relevancy Relevance and quality. Domain quality, pin quality, pinner quality and topic relevance.
Video ads Yes Yes Yes
In-app purchase Limited Limited Limited
Ability to browse/ shop the look Yes No Yes
Try on items in-app Yes Yes No

Instagram uses your likes and follows to determine what content users are interested in and is more likely to show you posts from the brands they engage with. Instagram supports video ads, introducing the product the potential customers without them having to navigate to the brand’s website.

One can even try on items in-app, like hair dye and makeup, using brand filters. Instagram shop is also perfect for browsing, with a dedicated tab making it effortless to search product posts and brand catalogues.

The TikTok ads on its ‘for you’ page can be based on the viewer’s interests, but can also be based on the number of watch loops the video has received and the number of video shares.

On TikTok, shoppers can try on items in-app, and brand filters are usually available for longer than the promotional filters used on Instagram. However, finding products on TikTok shop can be more difficult - with no separate search function for shop products.

Pinterest shows users posts by taking into account their interaction with the post topic and the rank of the pinner, meaning most of the posts one sees while scrolling are relevant to their interests.

Given Pinterest’s image search function, it can be easier to find and buy specific products from pictures that users see online, than on Instagram and TikTok. Pinterest’s ‘shop the look’ function makes it easier than ever to recreate outfits you see on pins, meaning you could bring your style inspiration board right into your wardrobe.