The debut of TikTok Shop reinforced the fusion of entertainment and commerce, much like Instagram Shopping. Previously made available in the U.K. and select countries in Southeast Asia, TikTok Shop has quietly entered the U.S., with brands like Kylie Cosmetics spearheading the initial trial.
While it’s yet to be known whether the western market will be as receptive to the feature, it is apparent that TikTok boasts one billion monthly active users.
Furthermore, the platform’s study with Kantar revealed 90 percent of users say they take action (like, share, follow and buy) after watching a TikTok. Therefore, if TikTok Shop offers a remarkable shopping experience coupled with such favorable consumer behavior, it would be a wellspring of revenue for brands and content creators using TikTok for business.
Now, let’s explore TikTok Shop in this blog.
What Is TikTok Shop?
TikTok Shop is a new shopping feature that allows creators, brands and merchants to highlight and sell their products right on the platform. With its product showcase tab, in-feed videos and LIVEs, the Tik Tok for Business feature eliminates the need for redirecting users to external websites.
The promises of Tik Tok Shop to merchants include:
• Higher quality traffic to your shop.
• Better consumer experience with a fast yet frictionless checkout.
• Seamless creator collaborations through Affiliate Marketplace.
What Is TikTok Live Shopping?
TikTok live shopping is when brands or creators run a live stream to showcase and sell their products while viewers tune in. Viewers can then add items to their TikTok shopping cart while tuning in.
Who Can Use Tik Tok Shop?
Sellers, creators, partners and affiliates can use Tik Tok Shop. However, as mentioned above, the feature is limited to selected regions. So before you can begin using TikTok for business, here are some helpful definitions:
TikTok Shop Sellers are brands or merchants who can join to scale their eCommerce business on the platform. Sellers can link their Shopify website to their TikTok Shop.
TikTok Shop Creators are content creators on the platform for fun but can earn commission by promoting products through TikTok live shopping or in-feed videos.
TikTok Shop Affiliates are essentially creators and sellers who partner with one another to attract customers and increase sales through affiliate marketing plans.
TikTok Shop Partners are professionals who provide Tik Tok marketing and eCommerce services to creators and sellers on the platform. Those in eCommerce or digital marketing talent agencies can join in this category.
Sellers must be located in the select regions in Asia, Europe and America indicated in the TikTok Shop Seller Center. They must provide a local number, business certificate and identification upon registration. On the other hand, Creators must be 18 years old and above with 1,000 followers. They should have posted on TikTok with at least 50 views in the past 28 days.
How To Register to TikTok Shop
While TikTok shopping is operational in the U.S., not every brand or merchant can register at the moment. Those who try to register in the U.S. are asked to provide an “invitation code.” However, it is unclear which brands received the invitation or how to get one.
So for those who can register, the site’s instructions are quite straightforward. If you still need a personal TikTok account, create one first. Once you have a personal account, switch it to a business account to access TikTok Shop.
1. Signup with a phone number and email address or with a TikTok account.
2. Complete the application form, uploading necessary documents such as a business certificate and your passport or driving license.
3. Wait for the application result that will be sent to your email in one to two days.
4. Link your TikTok account to your TikTok Shop account.
Then to move forward with your TikTok shopping journey, add new products to your shop via the Seller Center. The TikTok Shop Seller Center is where you manage your shop, inventory, promotions, orders, affiliate partnerships and customer support.
If you’re using TikTok for business while operating an eCommerce website, you can link your TikTok shop to a Shopify, Square Online, BigCommerce or Lightspeed (Ecwid) store. Doing so also allows you to sync product catalogs to quickly populate your Product Showcase tab, encouraging many to explore Tik Tok for business.
To further help inform you on the status of TikTok Shopping, here’s a note found on one of TikTok’s integrated eCommerce platforms, Lightspeed (Ecwid):
How To Use TikTok for Business (Tik Tok Tips To Attract Customers and Increase Sales)
Although it is free to set up shop on TikTok, requiring zero listing or subscription fees, the platform would take a commission on your sales. For the first 90 days, the sales commission is reduced to 1.8 percent and will revert to 5 percent after.
The interface of TikTok Shopping is very similar to Instagram Shopping. Therefore, brands that already engage on the latter platform will find it easy to transition and reach a new audience. But, again, remember that TikTok Shop is currently limited to unknown U.S. merchants.
Here’s how to use TikTok for business:
1. Optimize Your Product Catalog
Your shopping tab serves as your storefront on TikTok. As with any actual store, no one is drawn to a disorganized storefront; the same is true for your product catalog. Pay attention to the quality of each product image and your shop’s overall look and feel to attract customers effectively.
2. Let Your Customer Base Know About Your TikTok Shop
Tell everyone as soon as you get access and successfully set up TikTok Shop. As a simple Tik Tok marketing strategy, you can create a TikTok that demonstrates to your audience how to use your shopping tab and where to find your products.
3. Invest in Shopping Ads
Shopping Ads is TikTok’s other initiative for its growing commerce solutions, but it is also limitedly available. Under one objective, Product Sales, which means to increase sales, the ads come in three formats:
• Video shopping ads
• Catalog shopping ads
• LIVE shopping ads
Outside of Shopping Ads, TikTok also provides more options to advertise on the platform, including in-feed video, image and carousel ads, which you can know more about through TikTok Ads Manager. Big-name companies like Fenty Beauty, Guess and Chipotle advertise on the platform, tapping the platform’s billion active users globally.
4. Utilize Built-In Promotion Tools Such as Seller Voucher
Seller vouchers come as regular and LIVE Interactive vouchers. You can use them with other promotional tools, such as flash deals, product discounts, seller discounts and platform subsidies. To protect your profit margin while offering huge discounts, you can set a minimum spend.
5. Partner With Experts From a Social Media Marketing Agency
TikTok can be simple to use, but it can also be time-consuming to watch out for trends and measure your engagements. Getting outside help with your tik tok marketing strategy will not only lighten your to-do lists but also let your brand benefit from years of experience.
After enlisting Thrive’s services, a sneaker boutique secured 1,028 purchases amounting to $137 thousand. Thrive’s experts executed search engine optimization, pay-per-click (PPC) marketing and paid social media advertising. Thus, we set up retargeting and branded search campaigns with optimized spending, leveraging lookalike audiences.
Thrive also conducted an audit and troubleshooting on the client’s Shopify store, which only had 17 website purchases initially.
Tik Tok Best Practices for Sellers and Creators (General Tik Tok Tips)
While you wait for the Tik Tok for Business feature to be fully available to U.S. merchants, plan out your Tik Tok marketing strategy and build your online presence on the platform. Here are some Tik Tok best practices to help you get started:
1. Post Content Regularly
Post authentic content that stirs emotions, whether humorous or inspirational. Try to share content that shows the other side of you as a brand or individual.
2. Ride Tik Tok Trends
Many content creators live off Tik Tok trends, and for good reasons, as Tik Tok trends get a lot of traction facilitated by the platform’s algorithm. So take advantage of them, whether a song, dance or an audio clip.
3. Collaborate With Influencers
The global influencer marketing market reached $16.4 billion, more than doubling since 2019. The figure speaks volumes about the success of influencer marketing and how sellers and creators can benefit from it.
4. Keep Your Videos Vertical
Unlike other apps like Youtube, where you can go for landscape videos, TikTok is programmed for vertical videos. Since viewers don’t have to turn their phones sideways for a full screen, continuous scrolling is sustained.
Even without TikTok Shop, brands and content creators can reap the benefits of such a powerful platform, especially when they partner with experts.
Thrive’s Social Media Marketing Agency: Your TikTok Marketing Partner
Just months ago, TikTok postponed its plans to introduce TikTok Shop to the U.S. and mainland Europe, but now it’s here. And with the holiday shopping rush at full throttle, they have likely weighed their chances of succeeding well. So if you want to drive real business results on the platform where trends are born — partner with Thrive’s marketing experts.
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