Before August 2021, TikTok shopping happened organically. Creators referred products on their feed, and viewers went and cleaned out eCommerce sites and local stores.
Now, TikTok’s made it official with Shopify with the announcement of TikTok Shopping. The long-awaited social commerce experience brings in-app shopping and streamlined product discovery to the platform. You can shop on TikTok without leaving the app.
What is a TikTok shop?
A TikTok Shop is a shopping feature accessible directly on the TikTok platform. It lets merchants, brands, and creators display and sell products directly on TikTok. Sellers and creators can sell products through in-feed videos, LIVEs, and the product showcase tab.
Who can use TikTok Shopping?
You can use TikTok shopping if you fall into one of these four categories:
If you are a Seller, you must be located in the UK, Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, or Indonesia. You must also be able to prove it with a phone number from that region, a certificate of incorporation for your business, and identification.
If you are a Creator, your account must be in good standing. Plus, you have to:
- Have 1,000+ followers
- Have 50+ video views in the last 28 days
- Be 18 years old
- Have posted a video on TikTok in the past 28 days
If you tick all of those boxes, you can apply through the TikTok Shop Creator Application.
If you are a Partner, you must have a registered business in the following countries:
If you are an Affiliate, you must be registered as a TikTok Shop seller from:
- United Kingdom
- Chinese mainland and the Hong Kong SAR Seller (cross-border only)
- Philippines or
How to set up a TikTok shop
If you’re thinking of setting up your own TikTok Shops, you’re probably a Seller. Sellers can head to the TikTok Seller Center to sign up.
Upload all of your necessary documents, add your products, then link your bank account! Congratulations, you are officially a TikTok merchant.
From here, you can continue to add new products to your TikTok Shop in the Seller Center. You’ll be able to manage your shop, inventory, orders, promotions, creator partnerships, and customer service, all in the Seller Center.
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What is TikTok live shopping?
TikTok live shopping is when merchants or creators broadcast a live stream with the intent of showcasing and selling products. Viewers can tune in, throw items into their TikTok shopping cart, and buy products without leaving the app.
Tips for increasing sales with your TikTok shop
TikTok shopping is a bit like Instagram shopping or shopping on other social platforms. First things first, if you’re unsure, find out how to sell your wares on TikTok like a pro. Then, create a plan to best sell your products with the following tips in mind.
1. Optimize your product catalog for TikTok
Your TikTok storefront is the shopping tab in your account. You’ll want to optimize it to attract customers. Nobody likes a messy store; the same goes for your product catalog.
Focus on quality and style when you add your product images. You’ll want them to look appealing to consumers — you eat with your eyes first, right? Make your product photos easily recognizable as your brand by staying consistent with the rest of your TikTok aesthetic.
Source: Kylie Cosmetics on TikTok
Your product titles should be under 34 characters which is the truncation limit. And, you’ll want to include basic information about the product. Your description can be longer; here, you can have all the details you left out of the title. Note: links in product descriptions on TikTok are not clickable.
2. Tell your audience about your TikTok shop
As soon as you get access to your TikTok Shop, tell everyone. Create a few TikToks showing your audience where your shopping tab is and how to buy your products.
3. Promote your products
Once your shop is set up, and folks know about your products, start promoting them! Mention them in your posts, feature them in your live streams, and add new product shout-outs to your bio.
If you want to make sure people are taking notice of your products, then don’t be afraid to get creative with your promotions. There’s no need for tedious plugs or boring product descriptions — mention what’s available and offer some humor as well! You can take a page out of Glossier’s book and film a painfully funny infomercial:
Someone give our LA Editors an Emmy. This infomercial is pure gold! @Dallas Perry @Alexandra #Glossier
4. Partner with influencers
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).
When you find the perfect influencer for your brand, it can be a game-changer. Partner with TikTok creators who really feel what you’re selling. Giving them creative freedom to express themselves in their own way is how many brands engage new audiences and sell out products.
We’re pretty sure this wouldn’t have been National Geographic’s creative direction. But, Ben Kielesinski’s own spin on the video below just goes to show that creative freedom for influencers works.
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