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How to sell on TikTok in 5 steps: a 101 guide for ecommerce [2024]

Tik Tok for ecommerce

If you want to stay ahead of competitors in the ecommerce industry, a presence on TikTok is now indispensable for almost any merchant.The platform has ecommerce product features to facilitate sales activity. In this post we will explore the marketing potential of TikTok for e–commerce companies, how businesses can drive sales, and how to keep pace with the growing demand on your fulfilment operations.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a video-based social media network owned by Chinese company ByteDance. Launched in 2016, the company gained popularity in Western countries in 2018, and is expected to reach 1.8 billion users by the end of 2022 [Source: Business of Apps].

TikTok is a unique social media platform that allows users to create, watch and share short, personalised videos about any topic. It has become a space for users to spread knowledge, express themselves or just even have a laugh. Many businesses are starting to take advantage of the enormous potential TikTok ecommerce has for advertisements and sales.

In 2020, the platform launched TikTok For Business, which makes it very easy for merchants to connect their ecommerce stores and then create TikTok Ads, sync their product catalogues, and allow their audience to experience a unique way of shopping. 

What is TikTok for ecommerce?

How to create a TikTok business account in 5 easy steps

1) Create an account

Create a new account after downloading the TikTok app on your phone. You can add a profile picture, a bio, and sync your Instagram and Youtube accounts if you have them.

2) Switch to a Pro account

You can either use a ”Personal” account or choose between a “Creator” or “Business”  account.
Having a Pro account (Business or Creator), allows you to benefit from features like analytics, views monetization, link your shop in the bio, business contact information, performance tracking or promotions.

3) Post your own TikTok content. Keep it real for higher engagement

92% Global users who take action after watching a TikTok video!

There are over 16 billion views across videos on TikTok tagged #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt. However, what all these videos have in common is content that is real, spontaneous, and definitely not too salesy. The key is to start thinking like a creator, not a brand.

In fact, the best-performing content on TikTok is all about “realness.”

What does this mean for brands?

It means you’ll have more success if you create content as if sending a video to a friend rather than trying to craft the perfect scene. Ditch picture-perfect content and film raw videos instead. Marketers and employees should film videos with their phones (not fancy cameras).Tik Tok E–commercePeople want social media content to feel real and organic, and TikTok delivers this in spades. So it’s no wonder that creator’s content gets 5 times the engagement when compared to other platforms. If you have a TikTok ecommerce, you will want to create shareable content and grab users’ attention quickly. You can even take advantage of TikTok’s Sound Library, since using popular sounds in your videos can grow your chances of going viral.

The secret is always to put your unique touch and branding in all the content you create. If you want to find out how other business are promoting their brand, you can search for hashtags like #smallbusiness, #smallbusinesscheck, and #entrepreneur to find inspiration.

4) Engage with audience and users and be consistent

As on any other social media platform, the secret to grow your account on TikTok is being consistent and engaging with other people by liking, commenting and sharing content.

You will reach more users if you post regularly, from 1-4 times a day.

1-4 Times a day you should post on TikTok to engage with your audience and grow your TikTok business account.

Fortunately, it is easier to grow on TikTok compared to YouTube or Instagram. Moreover, videos often go viral on TikTok thanks to engagement created by everyday users who show how and why they were pleased with a certain item. Therefore, as a brand, you should try and encourage your audience to post videos of themselves using your products.

Hashtags are definitely powerful tools for TikTok e-commerce, since they allow to create interest around something specific, encouraging people to share content related to a certain hashtag. Hashtags even end up creating communities of people interested in certain topics, products etc. Branded hashtag challenges have become very popular among TikTok ecommerce.

For example, #ReviveconPhotoSi is a challenge invented by Italian company PhotoSI who specialises in printing photos, snapshots, calendars, and photo albums. They challenged their audience to recreate an old photograph from their childhood and share it on their personal feed. Turns out, over 380.000 users shared their nostalgic memories, making more than a billion views. Hashtag challenges are powerful tools, since they revolutionised interaction between businesses and clients, transforming a passive consumer into an active participant.

5) Partner with influencers

As a brand you can also partner with influencers to gain visibility on TikTok. For example, brand Daniel Wellington partnered with well-known TikTok influencer Addison Rae, who has over 70 million followers on the platform.

Addison posted a video of herself transforming from wearing a basic outfit into something dressy and featured an up close detail of herself wearing one of the brand’s watches.

Tik Tok E–commerce

Most e–commerce brands have the most success when they both create their own content and partner with influencers. Growing your own account gives you free access to your own followers, while paying influencers allows you to rapidly grow brand awareness and reach massive numbers of potential customers.

TikTok has an interesting and useful hub called Creator Marketplace, where you can discover top creators to collaborate with, based on your industry, budget, and goals. 

Why is TikTok a great opportunity for e–commerce companies?

Truthfully, any social media platform growing rapidly with consumers is worth exploring. While the largest generational population on TikTok remains Gen Z (41% of users are between the ages of 16 and 24), there are plenty of Millennials and even Boomers joining monthly. There’s a strong chance that the target audience for your e–commerce brand can be found on TikTok.

TikTok users are loyal. 91% of TikTok users visit the app more than once a day, and the average time spent in the app is 52 minutes. This means that there are plenty of opportunities to be seen by your ideal audience. 

What else makes the app special? It’s an algorithm. Unlike Instagram or Twitter, TikTok content can be shown to users who aren’t following you. Similar to YouTube, viral content is shown to any user that the algorithm deems a good fit. Your brand has the chance to gain visibility beyond your followers and core audience.

TikTok and Shopify: How to sell via social commerce

Spedizioni-shopify

The power of social commerce

TikTok offers social commerce, the ability to sell on social media with an experience that feels native to the social platform.

Social commerce better integrates the social media marketing channel with the online storefront. This is important because brands can better interact with users, benefitting from larger audiences and increase in sales.

TikTok Shop is the specific feature that allows merchants, brands, and creators to show and sell products directly on TikTok: in-feed videos, LIVEs where viewers can tune in putting items directly into their TikTok shopping cart, and the product catalogue tab all allow shopping without ever leaving the app. 

To access TikTok Shop you can sign up on the TikTok Seller Portal, where you upload all required documents, add your products, and link your bank account. If you collaborate with third-party partners, you can connect your ecommerce using Shopify, Square, Ecwid, PrestaShop, BigCommerce, OpenCart and BASE. 

What the TikTok and Shopify partnership means for shoppers and brands

TikTok has entered the world of social commerce with its partnership with Shopify

The collaboration offers the following features:

  • Optimized marketing campaigns – Brands can create native, shareable video ads with detailed targeting criteria.
  • Conversion tracking – Brands can easily track Shopify conversions from TikTok ads with a new, advanced pixel.
  • Shopping button – Video ads can feature a call-to-action button that will take users to the company’s Shopify store. 
  • In-app shopping – Users can purchase from a Shopify store in TikTok (this feature is currently in development).

Brands that advertise and sell on TikTok can take advantage of its improved targeting and benefit from free, organic sharing of their video ads, as well as the ability to tag products in organic TiKTok videos that link either to the merchant's catalogue on TikTok or directly to their online store.

How to manage shipping of TikTok channel orders 

With increased sales come operational challenges.

How can e–commerce companies fulfil orders quickly? The right shipping software allows you to automate order fulfilment while providing the shipping experience consumers want. 

Today’s online shoppers demand…

  • Multiple shipping options such as fast shipping or pick-up
  • Proactive communication at every step of the delivery process
  • Simplified returns with pre-paid, printable labels and returns fees that are either free or flat rate

ShippyPro offers all of these, plus integrations with top e–commerce platforms and shipping carriers. 

Sign up for ShippyPro   →


TikTok statistics worth knowing

Any social media platform growing rapidly with consumers is worth exploring.

TikTok is indeed the most downloaded app worldwide and has over 1 billion monthly active users. The popularity of TikTok relates to the fact that people are starting to prefer an engagement with authentic content, and this has even changed their shopping expectations. They would rather have a creative visual representation of a product than read about it on a standard advertisement. In fact, what makes TikTok stand out is that it can entertain easily and quickly. No surprise that “shoppentertainment” has become a new powerful trend that anyone who wants to sell online cannot ignore

While the largest generational population on TikTok remains Gen Z (60% of users are between the ages of 16 and 24), there are plenty of Millennials and even Boomers joining monthly. There’s a strong chance that the target audience for your e–commerce brand can be found on TikTok.

60% Users between 16 and 24 years of age. There are plenty of Millennials and even Boomers joining monthly

TikTok users are loyal. 91% of TikTok users visit the app more than once a day, and the average time spent in the app is 52 minutes. This means that there are plenty of opportunities to be seen by your ideal audience. 

52 Average time spent everyday on TikTok. 

What else makes the app special? It’s an algorithm. TikTok content can be shown to users who aren’t following you. Like YouTube, viral content is shown to any user that the algorithm deems a good fit. Your brand has the chance to gain visibility beyond your followers and core audience.

Nowadays, 61% of consumers rely on influencer recommendations for their purchases or prefer TikTok over Google to research just about anything, from make-up, clothing, or even restaurants. 71.2 % of users said they bought something after seeing it in their feed and 58% uses TikTok for shopping inspiration. 

58% People who use TikTok fo shopping inspiration. 

Remember, TikTok is such a unique platform that 67% of users say it inspired them to shop even when they weren't looking to do so. What are you waiting for? Create a TikTok ecommerce account now and spread your brand to the world!

Martina Elizabeth Di Carlo

Passionate freelance copywriter, with a niche in ecommerce and logistics. When collaborating with ShippyPro, she loves writing about trends, marketing and communication strategies to help brands gain an edge in an ever-evolving digital landscape.