Tik Tok Shops in Southeast Asia: Do It With Dropshipping

by Stanley

tik tok shops in southeast asia

Despite recent disputes with the U.S. government, TikTok’s development since officially acquiring its name in 2017 has been undeniably remarkable, and its achievements are admirable. Monthly, over 150 million people in the United States use TikTok, which is nearly half of the country’s population. On average, Americans aged 18 and older spend about 55.8 minutes daily on the app (cited from data on February, 2024). 

In addition to its social media attributes, Tik Tok shops, which have gained momentum in recent years, have also become a focus of study for cross-border e-commerce and business professionals.

The main strategies for TikTok shops in cross-border e-commerce include: 

1. TikTok + independent e-commerce for international expansion; 

2. TikTok + various e-commerce platforms for international expansion. 

Some may be aware that opening a TikTok shop in the United States is very challenging. Today, we shift our focus to the seemingly easier-to-register Southeast Asian market and explore the potential synergies between Tik Tok shops and dropshipping.

tiktok shops open southeast asia markets

The Southeast Asia Market

Currently, TikTok Shop has been established in five Southeast Asian countries: Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore. 

Previously Tik Tok shops were allowed in Indonesia. It is the region’s biggest economy. According to data from August 2023, the region contributed 125 million daily active users. TikTok was compelled to shut down its relatively new e-commerce service, TikTok Shop, in Indonesia. This action came after Indonesia banned online shopping on social media platforms in 2023, citing the necessity to safeguard smaller merchants and users’ data.

There are two types of Tik Tok shops: local shops and cross-border shops. Local shops require individuals or businesses to have local licenses, which can be challenging, but they have advantages in other aspects compared to cross-border shops. Since few of us have Southeast Asian identities, we won’t discuss this aspect today.

Now, some of you might think, ‘I want to make a profit this way, but I don’t even have a shop yet.’ No worries, let’s explore this together.

In the digital age, indexing information is one of the simplest tasks. However, it’s crucial to recognize multiple channels and determine what suits your needs best.

options on dropshipping

Options for Dropshipping

Before diving into actual operations, there are two ways to source products. One is to commission a professional team to assist you in sourcing. There’s no doubt that a reliable dropshipping partner can be immensely beneficial. This service offers advantages such as responsiveness and professional support. On many dropshipping platforms, suppliers may struggle with timely responses and communication issues regarding inventory.

Our service creates Skype or Facebook Messenger groups for each customer, with an assigned Customer Success Manager providing support from product sourcing to order fulfillment. Additionally, private labeling or white labeling options are available. Your path to profitability begins here. Request a sourcing quote from us at NicheDropshipping.

Of course, there’s another option. If you have plenty of energy and time, you can choose to explore dropshipping on various platforms.

How to Choose a Proper Dropshipping Platform? 

Choosing the right dropshipping platform involves considering several factors such as product selection, shipping options, fees, customer support, and integrations with other tools. 

factors on picking goods

Important Factors to Consider

Here are some steps to help you choose a proper dropshipping platform:

  1. Product Selection:

Look for platforms that offer a wide range of products relevant to your niche or target market. Having diverse product options allows you to cater to different customer preferences.

  1. Supplier Network: 

Evaluate the platform’s supplier network to ensure reliable and reputable suppliers. Check for reviews and ratings from other dropshippers to gauge supplier performance.

  1. Shipping Options: 

Consider platforms that offer fast and reliable shipping options. Timely delivery is crucial for customer satisfaction and repeat business.

  1. Fees and Pricing: 

Compare the platform’s fees, including subscription costs, transaction fees, and any additional charges. Ensure that the pricing structure aligns with your budget and profitability goals.

  1. Integration and Automation: 

Look for platforms that integrate seamlessly with your e-commerce store and other tools such as inventory management software and marketing platforms. Automation features can streamline order processing and fulfillment.

Famous International Dropshipping Platforms for Tik Tok Shops



AliExpress boasts a user-friendly platform, accessible both through its website and app. The app, with a stellar 4.5 rating and over 500 million downloads, offers convenience and ease of use to its users.

Known globally as an online marketplace, AliExpress stands out for its extensive product range and competitive pricing. Catering to diverse needs across various categories, it ensures a satisfying shopping experience for customers worldwide. Notably, it emphasizes buyer protection and secure payment options, enhancing trust and confidence in transactions.

Ideal Audience:

AliExpress caters well to individual buyers seeking a wide array of products at affordable prices, as well as to dropshippers sourcing items in bulk.

Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ):

AliExpress typically does not impose minimum order quantities, allowing for flexibility in order sizes.

Key Features:

  • Access to a vast inventory of over 100 million items
  • Serves a global market with shipping to over 200 countries
  • Offers a multilingual site, available in 12 languages
  • Provides secure payment methods and an extended buyer protection policy

The website, while easy to navigate, lacks a visually appealing interface. However, the AliExpress app outshines the website in terms of interface design, even offering a convenient image search feature.



When considering Printful for your dropshipping business, you’re looking at a service that’s especially known for its broad range of customizable products and ease of integration.

With Printful, you have a partner that values quality and provides a reliable service to help you establish your niche.

Product Categories

Clothing: T-shirts, hoodies, and swimwear

Accessories: Hats, bags, and phone cases

Home & Living: Posters, pillows, and mugs

Minimum Order Quantity

No minimums: Order as much or as little as you need, perfect for businesses that are testing the market or scaling operations.

Key Features

Customization: Design your products with ease on their platform.

Integration: Tools to connect with major eCommerce platforms.



DHgate stands out as a prominent Chinese e-commerce platform catering primarily to businesses interested in bulk purchases at wholesale rates. Its primary function is to facilitate connections between international buyers and Chinese wholesalers and manufacturers, offering a vast array of products across diverse categories.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using DHgate:


  1. Extensive Product Range: DHgate boasts an impressive variety of products ranging from electronics to fashion and more.
  2. Competitive Pricing: The platform often provides lower prices compared to other e-commerce platforms, aiding in maintaining profitable margins.
  3. Top Sellers: DHgate showcases best-selling items and offers seller ratings, aiding in identifying trustworthy and high-quality suppliers.
  4. Shipping Flexibility: Users can choose from a range of shipping methods, allowing customization based on speed and cost considerations.


  1. Quality Variability: As with any marketplace, product quality may vary, necessitating careful evaluation of sellers and their offerings.
  2. Delivery Times: Depending on the selected shipping method, delivery times can be lengthy, sometimes extending to weeks or even months.
  3. Support Challenges: Some users have encountered difficulties with DHgate’s customer support, particularly in resolving disputes or addressing order-related issues.
register for tiktok shops

How To Get Started On Tik Tok Shops

A company can apply for up to 5 merchant accounts under its entity. Each merchant account can apply for one store in each country, and each store can be linked to 1 TikTok seller account + 4 channel accounts.


  1. You already have a company and your own store on an e-commerce platform. The platform is not limited and can include Shopify, WooCommerce, Lazada, Shopee, etc.
  2. You have TikTok accounts corresponding to the countries you are operating in, ideally one for each country.

With everything well-equipped, let’s get started!

Due to TikTok Southeast Asia’s targeted invitation system during its initial launch, merchants need a TikTok invitation code to complete their entry. Only one invitation code is required for all Southeast Asian countries. Sellers have three ways to obtain a TikTok invitation.

Method 1: 

Sellers first complete the entry process for TikTok Shops (currently the TikTok UK cross-border shop). Based on the seller’s business performance, such as store opening duration, GMV (Gross Merchandise Volume), violation records, etc., TikTok’s official platform will issue questionnaire QR codes to qualified sellers in batches. Sellers can complete the entry process by themselves using the QR codes provided in the email. The standard for the first two weeks before going live is as follows:

Method 2: 

Sellers who do not have a TikTok Shop cross-border store and are not willing to first enter the UK cross-border shop can contact their account manager to obtain an invitation code. However, this approval process also involves an investigation into the seller’s previous store operations, such as GMV, positive feedback rate, etc.

Find more entry rules at: tiktok principles for registering cross-border businesses


The deposit for TikTok Shop Southeast Asia cross-border e-commerce platform is $90 per store, regardless of category.

Payment path: Seller Dashboard >> Assets >> Deposit, then enter the deposit page http://seller.tiktokglobalshop.com/deposit 

how to pickl goods when you do dropshipping

How to Pick Products When You Have a Tik Tok Shop?

Suit the action to the local conditions


 As a Buddhist country, products like Buddhist beads and bracelets are highly popular. Other categories such as hardware, maternity and baby products, home essentials, sports gear, beauty and health products, and digital gadgets can also be explored.


With a per capita income level comparable to third or fourth-tier cities in mainland China, electronics, beauty and health products, home essentials, and clothing and footwear are recommended.


Mandarin Chinese and English are widely spoken locally. Fast-moving consumer goods, home essentials, digital gadgets, clothing and footwear, among others, can be tested. Local preferences may include certain colors and animals.


Clothing and footwear, digital gadgets, beauty and health products, and home essentials all have good sales. Among Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines is particularly enthusiastic about Christmas and other holidays, making it a good time for seasonal promotions.

Researching trending consumer demand

What’s on Trending

Keep in mind that roughly half of the users on TikTok are aged between 18-to 29-years old.

So you need to optimize your marketing efforts according to things that are currently trending among Millennials and Gen Z.

No matter how many ad campaigns you launch or how much money you invest, if your products don’t resonate with your audience, all your efforts will be fruitless.

Explore Hashtags

A simple way to discover products on TikTok is by using the search bar and exploring hashtags.

You can search for broad hashtags like “#amazonfinds” or specific product names like “posture corrector.”

Check the hashtag lists to gauge the popularity of these products.

You can either dropship the same items or find similar ones that haven’t been heavily targeted by other dropshippers.

Utilize eCommerce Platforms

Similarly, use the search function to look up eCommerce platforms like AliExpress.

You’ll come across numerous videos showcasing various products.

Avoid spending too much time on each video; quickly scan through them to avoid getting lost and wasting hours without making progress.

Find more tips here: How to Find Dropshipping Products that Sell: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

improper products for cross-border tiktok shops

Products You Should Think Twice About When Dropshipping

There are certain types of products that are generally not recommended for dropshipping due to various reasons, including logistical challenges and low-profit margins. Some examples include:

  1. Heavy or Bulky Items: Shipping costs for heavy or bulky products can be prohibitively expensive, eating into profit margins.
  2. Fragile Items: Fragile products are more prone to damage during shipping, leading to customer dissatisfaction and potential returns.
  3. Perishable Goods: Products with a short shelf life, such as fresh food items, may not be suitable for dropshipping due to storage and delivery time constraints.

Want to learn more? You can contact us by making a quote first.

About the Author

stanley nieh ceo


Over 10 years of experience in foreign trade
Helped 2k+ customers improve their dropshipping businesses

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