Not that long ago, it was all about Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but now everyone is talking about TikTok.
It seems like every top brand is on there, and even smaller businesses like Elf Cosmetics and start-ups like Vessi are taking the platform by storm.
The social media site is so wildly popular that TikTok total user spending on Google Play and the App Store exceeded $824 million in Q4 2021. With eager buyers already lined up, It shouldn’t be a surprise that TikTok has got on board the social commerce train.
Recently, the social media site announced a new feature called TikTok Shopping; the potential is obvious, given its vast audience of over one billion users.
However, is TikTok Shopping for you, and how does it work? That’s exactly what I’ll talk about here.
What Is TikTok Shopping and How Does It Work?
If you’ve ever been on TikTok and wanted an easy way to buy a product you’ve seen, TikTok Shopping lets you do just that.
In its launch statement, TikTok explained:
“TikTok Shopping is a suite of solutions, features, and advertising tools that give businesses the opportunity to capture the full power of TikTok’s influence on purchase decisions.”
The social media site explains that TikTok Shopping allows merchants to ‘enjoy a full-service commerce solution’ with TikTok managing the retail side, from product upload and purchase to shipping and fulfillment.
Sellers have two options. TikTok’s Shopping Direct Integration creates an e-commerce experience for creators/merchants that want to run their e-commerce stores directly from the TikTok platform. This option provides a full e-commerce experience with everything, including post-payment processes, occurring inside the TikTok app.
Then, there is Partner Integration, where sellers can add product catalogs via a TikTok Business account and buyers can browse and purchase inside the TikTok app. However, post-payment processes like returns occur outside of TikTok on the partner’s app or website.
As a buyer, you find TikTok shops as a tab on a seller’s account. You place your items in the shopping bag, just like regular e-commerce sites. Once you click on it, it takes you to the product catalog.
From there, you browse the store as you normally would and add items to your basket. When you’ve finished shopping, you can check out in the app or go to the company’s website.
To make TikTok shopping possible, the social media site is teaming up with well-known shopping brands, including:
Additionally, TikTok says the likes of Wix, OpenCart, BASE, and ShopLine are coming on board soon.
Who Can Use TikTok Shopping?
Currently, TikTok shopping is open to business account holders in the following countries:
- United Kingdom
If you have a Shopify, Square, Wix, or other TikTok shopping partner account, you should be able to set up a store.
Should Your Business Use TikTok Shopping?
Before you decide if selling on TikTok is for you, it makes sense to look at your overall strategy and your customer base.
First, you must ensure that your target audience is active on the platform. If they’re not, then you’re not going to get much traction selling your products on TikTok.
According to Statista, 24 percent of TikTok’s audience are women aged between 18-24, and men in the same age group account for 18 percent of its audience. Further, women aged between 25-34 make up 17 percent of TikTok’s demographic, while men in the same age bracket account for 14 percent.
Then, it makes sense to look at the most popular categories on TikTok. Fitness and sports, recipes and cooking, fashion, home renovation, and beauty and skincare are among the top categories on the site. You could be a good fit if you have a business in any of those niches.
Next, you need to have an engaging and creative sales strategy. Since TikTok is all about short videos, can you capture the audience’s imagination in minutes while saying what you want to say? You can? Great. Now you just need to ask yourself one more thing.
Is TikTok Shopping worth your while? Or could you be putting your time and energy someplace else? Often, you won’t answer this question until you give it a try. It never hurts to have additional sales channels, and if social media shopping fits with your business strategy, then it might be for you.
How Does Shopping Fit Into Existing TikTok Campaigns?
TikTok Shopping is ideal for use alongside its other advertising solutions. Here’s a look at some of TikTok’s offerings:
In-feed TikTok Shopping Ads for Online Shopping
TikTok provides three in-feed shopping ads, including Collection Ads, Dynamic Showcase Ads, and Lead Generation. Collection ads let brands add custom, swipeable product cards in their in-feed videos to promote products.
Dynamic Showcase Ads lets you advertise thousands of your product SKUs with personalized video ads, and Lead Generation appears inside in-feed video ads, letting your business collect TikTok users’ details with online forms.
TikTok Live Shopping
Engage viewers, build relationships, and increase conversions with TikTok LIVE Shopping. With this advertising solution, brands can integrate their products from TikTik Shopping into a LIVE session.
For you as a brand, that means real-time connections with your audience. TikTok users can then buy products they see during a LIVE Shopping stream.
TikTok LIVE Shopping is on the up, with LIVE Shopping purchases increasing 76 percent between March 2020 to July 2021, and it’s available to business sellers.
How To Set Yourself Up on TikTok Shopping
Before you can start selling on TikTok Shopping, you need to register. Here’s how to do it:
- Either log in or sign up.
- Verify your phone number (only available for the UK) or email address and documents
- Choose a shop name. It must not include special characters, and TikTok says not to use ‘flagship’ or ‘official’ in your shop name.
- Upload your passport or driver’s license.
- If TikTok approves your site, you’ll get an email confirming your registration, or if there’s an issue with any of your documents, TikTok asks you to resubmit them.
- Then the review process begins and takes up to three days.
- Link a bank account and add your bank details.
- You’re registered!
Setting Your TikTok Shop Up for Success
With your TikTok Shopping account set up, it’s time to start getting the news out about your new sales outline. Follow these tips to get started.
Optimize Your Product Pages
Treat your product pages the same way you would any other e-commerce site. Ensure you use high-quality images, use keywords, and keep your branding consistent.
Make sure your descriptions are detailed, tell customers all they need to know, and keep titles within the 34-character limit.
Start Spreading The Word
One of the most important steps of any advertising campaign is getting the news out. That means telling friends and family, sharing the link on your other social media channels, and posting regular videos.
You could also consider teaming up with brand ambassadors and influencers for a wider impact.
Get Tagging Down To A Fine Art
Want to stand out? Then add tags. TikTok Shopping allows businesses to tag products in their videos, making it easy for viewers to learn more about and purchase the products they see. One way to find suitable tags is to see what’s trending. You can do this by going to the ‘Discovery’ tab to view the tags users regularly add.
Who doesn’t love a discount? Encourage people to come to your store by offering exclusive discounts or deals. Make discounts time-limited to create a sense of urgency and come up with unique deals shoppers can’t get anywhere else. For instance, if you’re selling cosmetics, create a bundle of branded products.
TikTok shopping is an e-commerce platform that lets business sellers create a product catalog. It’s currently running a pilot scheme in several countries, including the United Kingdom.
It’s difficult to say at this early stage. It depends on which category you’re selling in and whether your target audience is on the platform. However, it does provide a fresh outlet to sell from and a new way to reach consumers.
Business sellers can register for an account, and then they have to wait 2-3 days for approval. Once you get an approval email, you can start selling on TikTok Shopping.
TikTok has an audience of more than one billion users, and with the growing popularity of social shopping, it makes absolute sense that it would launch into e-commerce at some point.
Like any other platform, it won’t necessarily be right for your business. However, if your ideal customer is likely to use the platform, so consider having a presence there and see how it goes.
It’s easy to set up a store, and there’s only one real way to find out what TikTok Shopping can do for your business, and that’s to give it a go.
Will you be joining TikTok Shopping?