The TikTok Shop is an integration of entertainment and commerce, similar to shopping through Instagram. TikTok Shop was initially rolled out in the United Kingdom and selected countries in Southeast Asia, and it has quietly entered the United States, where brands like Kylie Cosmetics have had initial success.

While it’s still uncertain whether the Western market will embrace this feature, TikTok boasts a billion monthly active users. Moreover, a platform study with Kantar revealed that 90% of users take actions (such as liking, sharing, following, and making purchases) after watching TikTok content. Therefore, if TikTok Shop provides a great shopping experience alongside this positive consumer behavior, it could become a revenue source 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 showcase and directly sell their products on the platform. With a product display tab, embedded video clips, and direct files, TikTok for Business eliminates the need to redirect users to external websites.

Promises of TikTok Shop for merchants include:

  • High-quality traffic to your store.
  • A better consumer experience through a quick and friction-free payment process.
  • Seamless collaboration among creators through the Affiliate Marketplace.

What is TikTok Live Shopping? Live shopping on TikTok occurs when brands or creators host live broadcasts to showcase and sell their products while engaging with viewers. Viewers can then add items to their TikTok shopping cart during the broadcast.

Who Can Use TikTok Shop? Sellers, creators, affiliates, and marketing partners can use TikTok Shop. However, as mentioned, the feature is limited to specific regions. Before diving into TikTok for business, here are some useful definitions:

  • TikTok Shop Sellers: Brands or merchants expanding their e-commerce business on the platform. Sellers can connect their Shopify site to their TikTok Shop.
  • TikTok Shop Creators: Content creators on the platform for fun but can earn commissions by promoting products through TikTok Live Shopping or embedded videos within the feed.
  • Affiliate Marketers in TikTok Shop: Creators and sellers collaborating to attract customers and increase sales through affiliate marketing plans.
  • TikTok Shop Partners: Professionals offering TikTok marketing and e-commerce services to creators and sellers on the platform.

Sellers must be present in specified regions in Asia, Europe, and the Americas mentioned in the TikTok Shop merchant center. They need to provide a local number, business certificate, and ID during registration. On the other hand, creators must be at least 18 years old, have over 1,000 followers, and have posted on TikTok with at least 50 views in the last 28 days.

How to Register on TikTok Shop: During the TikTok Shopping launch in the United States, not every brand or merchant can register at the moment. Those attempting to register in the U.S. are asked to provide an “invitation code.” However, it’s unclear which brands received the invitation or how to obtain it.

For those who can register, the instructions on the site are quite clear. If you don’t have a TikTok account yet, create one first. Once you have a personal account, switch it to a business account to access TikTok Shop.

  1. Register using a phone number, email address, or TikTok account.
  2. Complete the application form, upload necessary documents like the business certificate and passport or driver’s license.
  3. Wait for the application result sent to your email within one to two days.
  4. Link your TikTok account to your TikTok Shop account.

To move forward in your TikTok shopping journey, add new products to your store through the seller center. The TikTok Shop Seller Center is where you manage your store, inventory, promotions, orders, affiliate partnerships, and customer support.

If you’re using TikTok for business while running an e-commerce website, you can connect your TikTok Shop to your Shopify, Square Online, BigCommerce, or Lightspeed (Ecwid) store. This allows you to sync product catalogs for quickly populating the product display tab, encouraging more users to explore TikTok for business.

For further assistance in navigating TikTok Shopping, here’s a note on one integrated e-commerce platform in TikTok, Lightspeed (Ecwid):

Platform: How to Use TikTok for Business (TikTok Tips to Attract Customers and Boost Sales) While it’s free to create a store on TikTok and doesn’t require any registration or subscription fees, the platform will take a commission on your sales. In the first 90 days, the sales commission is reduced to 1.8%, returning to 5% afterward.

The TikTok Shopping interface closely resembles Instagram Shopping. So, brands already engaged in the latter will find it easy to transition and reach a new audience. However, remember that TikTok Shop is currently limited to unfamiliar merchants in the United States.

Here’s how to use TikTok for business:

  1. Optimize Your Product Catalog: Ensure that your shopping tab serves as an organized storefront on TikTok. Like any actual store, a disorganized storefront won’t attract anyone, so pay attention to the quality of each product image, overall store layout, and style to effectively attract customers.
  2. Let Your Customer Base Know About Your TikTok Shop: Inform everyone as soon as your TikTok Shop is set up successfully. As a simple TikTok marketing strategy, you can create a TikTok explaining how to use your shopping tab and where to find your products.
  3. Invest in Shopping Ads: Shopping ads are another initiative from TikTok for its growing business solutions, but they’re also available on a limited basis. Under one goal, product sales, which means increasing sales, ads come in three formats:
    • Video Shopping Ads
    • Catalog Shopping Ads
    • Live Shopping Ads

In addition to shopping ads, TikTok also provides more advertising options on the platform, including video ads, image ads, carousel ads, which you can learn more about through TikTok Ads Manager. Major companies such as Fenty Beauty, Guess, and Chipotle advertise on the platform, leveraging its billion active users worldwide.

4. Use Embedded Promotion Tools like Seller Coupons:

Seller coupons come in regular and LIVE Interactive forms. You can use them alongside other promotional tools, such as flash sales, product discounts, seller discounts, and platform subsidies. To protect your profit margin when offering substantial discounts, you can set a minimum spending threshold.

5. Partner with Social Media Marketing Experts:

While TikTok is user-friendly, monitoring trends and measuring your interactions may take a long time. Getting external help in your TikTok marketing strategy won’t just alleviate task lists but will also allow your brand to benefit from years of expertise.

Best Practices for TikTok Sellers and Creators (General TikTok Tips):

While waiting for the TikTok for Business feature to become fully available to U.S. merchants, plan your TikTok marketing strategy and build your online presence on the platform. Here are some TikTok best practices to help you get started:

1. Post Content Regularly:

Share original content that evokes emotions, whether it’s funny or inspiring. Try to share content that shows the other side of your brand or yourself.

2. Ride TikTok Trends:

Many content creators thrive on TikTok trends, and for valid reasons, as TikTok trends gain a lot of traction facilitated by the platform’s algorithm. So, take advantage of them, whether it’s a song, dance, or soundbite.

3. Collaborate with Influencers:

The global influencer marketing market reached $16.4 billion, more than doubling since 2019. This figure speaks to 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 horizontal videos, TikTok is programmed for vertical videos. Since viewers don’t have to turn their phones sideways for a fullscreen view, continuous scrolling continues.