Skip to content

TikTok Ecommerce 101: Why Your Business Should Be on TikTok

TikTok and online shopping are a match made in social commerce heaven. Learn how your business drive sales with TikTok.

Britny Kutuchief October 19, 2022
A punk rocker poses for a selfie.

If you’ve got a product or service to sell, you need to start thinking about your TikTok ecommerce strategy. In case you haven’t noticed, TikTok is no longer just a place to learn trending dances or keep up with Gen Z. It’s also where millions of people go to discover products and, ultimately, spend some cash.

In fact, the addictive video platform has carved out a whole new niche in the social selling market. As more and more users turn to the app with the intent to buy, TikTok leans more into its position as a shopping powerhouse. So much so that the brand is reportedly planning to build its own U.S. fulfillment centers.

Is TikTok the new (social media) Amazon? It’s still too early to tell, but if you’ve got something to sell, we know for sure that this is one place you should be.

Bonus: Learn how to sell more products on social media with our free Social Commerce 101 guide. Delight your customers and improve conversion rates.

What is TikTok ecommerce and why is it important?

TikTok ecommerce is the use of the popular video app to buy or sell a product or service. There are several TikTok commerce tools for sellers that make it easy for users to view and buy products in a matter of seconds.

Depending on their location, some companies and creators can build out their own TikTok storefronts that allow users to browse and purchase directly within the app. Simple integrations for Shopify, Square, and other ecommerce platforms let sellers create web stores quickly.

Regardless of location, all sellers can—and should!—put product links directly into their videos and bios so users can click and buy from an in-app browser. That means people can instantly buy things they’ve just seen on their feed.

Screenshot showing product link in TikTok video and TikTok storefront on profile
Source: Kaja

So why should you be using TikTok for ecommerce, exactly? Well, for one: TikTok is like a free storefront in a really busy shopping mall. In fact, research shows that 35% of TikTok users have bought something off the platform and 44% of users discovered products through ads and content posted by brands.

When you consider that TikTok has over a billion monthly active users, you can see how much untapped selling potential exists on the ForYouPage and beyond. In short, TikTok and online shopping are a match made in social commerce heaven.

3 reasons why your business should be on TikTok

Need more proof? Here are a few key reasons why it’s worth your while to put some time and effort behind ecommerce on TikTok.

1. You’ll increase sales

If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for new ways to get more sales online. We know that TikTok is one of the first places users go to get the scoop and pull the trigger on new products. And there’s a reason for that.

Studies show that people view TikTok as “authentic, genuine, unfiltered, and trendsetting.” This means there’s less picture-perfect, over-filtered content like you’d find when looking at Facebook and Instagram ads.

The realness signals to users that they’re not being sold something they don’t need. That translates to more trust in the message and, ultimately, more sales.

2. You’ll boost your SEO strategy

Earlier this year, Google Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan said 40% of young people turn to TikTok or Instagram to find a place to eat lunch. As a result, the search engine has reportedly begun showing TikTok videos in Google search results.

That means that, so long as you properly optimize your organic videos and paid ads (more on that below), you have a chance of them showing up when people search keywords and phrases about your product or brand.

Screenshot showing TikTok phone review videos on Google search results page

3. You’ll reach a whole new audience

If you’re looking for ways to promote your product or service to a younger audience, selling on TikTok is not a suggestion but a requirement. That’s because 63% of Gen Z use TikTok on a daily basis. Comparatively, 57% use Instagram and 54% use Snapchat each day.

But that doesn’t mean Gen Z is the only group seeking a shopping experience on the app. Millennials and Gen X’ers are increasingly more likely to hang out on the app, with over 30% of users falling into the 25 to 44 age range. Promoting products on TikTok helps you get your message to a younger audience and reach users who aren’t may not be on your core platforms.

Free TikTok case study

See how a local candy company used Hootsuite to gain 16,000 TikTok followers and increase online sales by 750%.

Read now

How to drive higher TikTok conversion rates for your business

A good ecommerce strategy on TikTok should focus on two things: racking up more views on your videos or ads and then getting viewers to take action. Whether that be to click a link, follow you on Instagram, or make a purchase, you need to focus on getting users to convert. Don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds!

Users find your storefront and products through videos, so you need to start by making them attention-grabbing, engaging, and easy to find. Once you have their attention, though, you need to get them to click your link in bio and calls to action, visit your storefront, and make a purchase.

Boom: conversion rates through the roof!

Embrace hashtags and keywords

There’s a reason why The New York Times called TikTok “the new search engine” for Gen Z. A huge chunk of younger internet users skip the search engine altogether and start on TikTok or Instagram to search for things like what books to read, the best places to get brunch, and where to find cute dresses.

Hashtags and keywords tell the algorithm what your post is about and help users find it. They are especially important for helping people discover your content, even if they don’t follow you. Keep a close eye on the top trending hashtags on TikTok and include them in your captions.

And don’t forget to add keywords to captions and text within your videos. To discover what people are searching for on TikTok, open the app and type your main search term into the search box. Before you click “search,” note the suggested keywords in the dropdown list.

These are common terms people are searching for on the app and they can help you figure out which words to use in your videos.

Post TikTok ads (and target them to your user)

Here’s a crazy stat for you: TikTok ads reach nearly 18% of all internet users 18+. That’s over 884 million people. Naturally, not all of those people are going to be interested in your specific product or service. But you can tailor your TikTok ads for ecommerce to the users that likely will.

Here’s how to create a targeted TikTok advertising campaign. When placing an ad, tap on “Custom audience.” Here you can select gender, age, and interests. Select interests that align with your product or service to help find your target user.

Catering to your ideal user base will help conversion rates soar.

Screenshot showing selections for purpose and target audience in TikTok advertising

If your budget doesn’t have room for a splashy ad campaign, try boosting posts with TikTok’s Promote feature. You can increase the reach of your organic videos for as little as $3 per day.

Start ads with a really good hook

The TikTok feed is designed to be infinitely scrollable and addictive. That means that if a video doesn’t instantly capture a user’s attention, they’re likely to keep on scrolling. Make sure the videos you choose for TikTok ads have a snappy, enticing intro.

You’ve only got about three seconds to get a user to pay attention, so make it count. Whether it be with a catchy sound, an eye-catching visual, or a satisfying action, your goal is to get people to stop scrolling. See: the cracked egg in this top-performing TikTok ad by Rocket Money.

TikTok ads business creative center

Blend in and keep an eye on trends

Unlike other social media marketing strategies, with TikTok, you actually want your videos to blend in with the crowd. At least in some ways. That’s because if a user instantly clocks your video as sponsored content or an ad placement, they’re likely to instantly swipe up. In other words: don’t be suspicious, as the trending sound says.

Whether you’re making ads or regular videos for the feed, be sure your content looks and feels like authentic user-generated content on the app.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Partner with creators to make videos about your products
  • Skip the sets, scripts, filters, and fancy lighting
  • Use trending sounds
  • Make videos with the latest trends

A great example of a brand using TikTok trends to promote their products is Chipotle’s recent super-viral collab with Corn Kid that racked up over 8 million likes.


Wait for it #corn

♬ original sound – Chipotle

Add calls to action (CTAs) to your ads

Calls to action are short, linked buttons that appear at the bottom of TikTok ads. These allow people scrolling their feed to go from viewer to potential buyer without having to lose their spot in the feed. In other words, they’re an excellent tool for boosting conversion rates on TikTok.

When posting a promoted video, the app lets you select from a list of predetermined CTAs, such as “Learn More,” “Book Now,” or “Sign Up.” You’ll be able to turn the short phrase into a clickable button that directs users to a landing page on your website or store.

Choose a landing page URL that matches the user’s intention and makes it easy for them to complete the desired action in as few clicks as possible.

Screenshot showing calls to action selections and display on TikTok ads

Add product links to videos and your bio

TikTok now lets some ecommerce brands and creators add links directly into videos. Unfortunately, this TikTok shopping feature is still only available in select markets. If you have it, you should make sure to always link to the products referenced in your videos so users can immediately purchase.

If you don’t have this feature, be sure to add a link to your store in your bio. In the caption of the video, let users know they can purchase the product directly from that link. You can also host TikTok LIVE shopping events and show product links while you demonstrate them.

Screenshot showing TikTok LIVE selling product links and video feed product links

Source: TikTok

Manage your brand’s TikTok presence with Hootsuite

With Hootsuite, you can manage your brand’s TikTok presence alongside all your other social media profiles.

From one intuitive dashboard, you can easily:

  • schedule TikToks
  • review and answer comments
  • measure your success on the platform

Or use Hootsuite to schedule your videos in advance with personalized timing recommendations.

Try Hootsuite free for 30-days

TikTok commerce examples of brands that are doing it right

The Beachwaver

If you’re looking for a TikTok ecommerce store that leverages all the best selling strategies, turn to the feed of The Beachwaver Co. The. maker of the viral rotating curling iron uses an in-app storefront, link in bio, influencer collabs, and attention-grabbing paid ads to convert users.


@xtinequinn learning from the best!! Celeb stylist @sarahpotempahair #beachwaver #hairtok #christinequinn

♬ suono originale – not1metod1e_


Kaja Beauty

Kaja Beauty is a Korean beauty brand that’s leading the way on social media. With nearly 2 million followers and counting, this brand’s robust TikTok ecommerce strategy includes using the app’s native storefront tool, link in bio, paid ads, and satisfying ASMR videos featuring their products.


Have you missed our #ASMR content? 💖 We’re back with our scheduled programming 👂🏼🔊 #kajabeauty #satisfying #oddlysatisfying #kbeauty

♬ original sound – Kaja Beauty

Flex Seal

Though Flex Seal doesn’t have its own TikTok storefront, the rubberized liquid maker has a knack for creating content that goes viral. Its feed is packed with attention-grabbing videos of the product in use, often featuring viral sounds and trends. Flex Seal’s efforts have worked, with several of their organic videos reaching over 10 million views.


Who else can do that? 💪 #flextape #philswift #funny #meme #tiktok

♬ made this audio – decomposed



TikTok ecommerce FAQ

Is Shopify on TikTok?

If you love using Shopify to grow your online sales, you’ll be happy to learn that Shopify is on TikTok. The popular commerce tool has a profile on the app and often posts its own short-form video content. There is also a Shopify integration that helps you manage your TikTok orders from within the tool.

Screenshot showing Shopify's TikTok tool

Source: Shopify

How can I put my shop on TikTok?

Ready to create a native shop within the TikTok app? First, you’ll need to create an account on the TikTok Seller Center. If you meet the requirements to open a TikTok store, you’ll have to upload a few necessary documents, add your products, and then link your bank account. From there, you’ll be able to sell directly from your TikTok profile.

How can I sell on TikTok?

Unfortunately, not everyone is allowed to build a TikTok shop to display and sell products directly from their profile. Currently, this feature is only available to sellers in certain countries who meet certain requirements.

If you don’t qualify for TikTok Seller Center, don’t worry! There are other ways to sell your products on TikTok. You can easily add product links to your ads and videos to direct users to your ecommerce site so they can browse and buy without leaving the app. You can also drive traffic by using a link in bio tool.

Be sure to read our guide on setting up a TikTok shop for more information and guidelines on who can open a store on TikTok.

What is the Tiktok conversion rate?

The TikTok conversion rate is the percentage of viewers who took a specified action on your social commerce post. In other words, if 100 people viewed your video and 10 people clicked on your in-post product link, your conversion rate would be 10%.

So with this in mind, what is a good TikTok conversion rate? It varies greatly depending on what you’re selling, who your target audience is, and how much effort you’re putting into conversion-focused video. All things considered, a good conversion rate could be as low as 3%.

Engage with shoppers on social media and turn customer conversations into sales with Heyday, our dedicated conversational AI chatbot for social commerce retailers. Deliver 5-star customer experiences — at scale.

Try a free 14-day Heyday trial

Turn your Shopify store visitors into customers with Heyday, our easy-to-use AI chatbot app for retailers.

Try it Free

Become a better social marketer.

Get expert social media advice delivered straight to your inbox.

By Britny Kutuchief

Britny Kutuchief is the Senior SEO Copywriter at Hootsuite. She has a master's degree in creative writing. Before joining Hootsuite, she spent a decade working for digital marketing agencies as an SEO content writer. See more of her credentials on LinkedIn.

Based in Akron, Ohio, Britny spends her non-writing hours pursuing local infamy on Instagram and hiking with her Golden Retriever, Darwin.

Read more by Britny Kutuchief

Related Articles