TikTok launches TikTok Shopping, an in-app shopping experience. Learn more about the new feature and find out how to set up your TikTok shop for success.
TikTok, the former go-to for dancing teens and lip dub enthusiasts, is currently home to a wide variety of content for all demographics — and a source of shopping inspiration to its 732 million global active users.
Just this week, I tried to buy a lipstick that I saw in a single TikTok from a creator I’d never come across before, only to learn it had sold out across Canada days earlier.
Until recently, TikTok-inspired shopping happened “organically:” creators talked about products in their TikToks, and viewers stormed ecommerce sites and local stores to track down said products.
Finally, in August 2021, TikTok and Shopify announced the launch of TikTok Shopping: a long-awaited social commerce experience that will bring in-app shopping and streamlined product discovery to the platform.
As of September 2021, early access to TikTok Shopping has been granted to merchants in the US and UK. A select group of Canadian merchants will join the rollout in the next few weeks, and new regions will get access to the pilot over the coming months.
Once you get access to TikTok Shopping, follow these steps to set yourself up for success.
1. Optimize your product catalog for TikTok
The shopping tab in your account will be your TikTok storefront, so make sure it’s optimized to attract customers.
When adding images, focus on quality and style. Your product photos should be easily recognizable as yours and consistent with how you present your brand across TikTok (and, ideally, other platforms too).
Product titles should fit within the character limit (34 characters) and include basic information about the product. The description can be longer and should include as many details as possible. Note that links in product descriptions on TikTok are not clickable.
Once you get access to TikTok Shopping, don’t wait for your fans and followers to find the shopping tab on their own. Shout it from the rooftops! Create a couple of dedicated TikToks pointing your audience in the right direction.
3. Promote your products
Regardless of whether conversions are your main goal on TikTok, once you have a TikTok shop, it only makes sense to promote your catalog on your account. So, don’t be shy and mention your products in your TikToks every now and then.
And don’t be afraid to get creative! Your audience won’t get tired of seeing items from your catalog if you add a touch of humor to product mentions, like Glossier does:
TikTok is more than just another social media platform — it’s been dubbed a cultural phenomenon.
If you’re not well versed in its unique trends, subcultures, and inside jokes, you might be better off handing creative direction over to someone who lives and breathes the platform. Especially when you’re promoting a product and stakes are high (a.k.a. you can either make a lot of money or have your content get lost in the TikTok algorithm).
Partnering with TikTok influencers to promote your products or services is a great way to reach new audiences in an engaging and authentic way. Just make sure to find creators who really feel your brand. When you do, great things can happen, as in this collaboration between Casper and Ben Kielesinski: