8-Step Guide On How To Sell On TikTok

Aug 25, 2022 11 min read

On TikTok, business is booming right now. Yes, you heard that right, especially for small businesses.

And with more than 1 billion monthly active users that's still growing, TikTok may be the best-known app for short videos & dance crazes, but it has long been seen as a wellspring of shopping. It has become a social commerce platform that has the ability to help you reach millions of potential customers & generate sales for your business.

TikTok makes shopping cool, fun, & instant. With TikTok, it's easy to sell to current customers, find new customers, & inspire product discovery.

How to sell on TikTok with a TikTok shop

Image Source: Search Engine Journal

So strong is the combination of shopping & TikTok that a study conducted by TikTok found that 67% of their community members said TikTok inspired them to shop even when they weren't looking to do so. The same study also found that they are 1.3x more likely to feel euphoric about a purchase they made on TikTok versus other platforms.

For the longest time, TikTok's ability to drive sales was quite limited. When users saw a product they liked on the app, they had to manually go find the website to buy it.

Now, with TikTok Shop, those purchases can be completed from within the app itself. This changes not just your sales funnel but your customer's TikTok shopping experience as well.

This article will walk you through how to sell on TikTok. Also, you wil learn how to set up a TikTok Shop to get started with using TikTok for business. Let's start!

Table Of Contents:

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What Is TikTok Shop?

TikTok Shop is a feature that allows users to browse & purchase products directly from TikTok videos.

Announced in August 2021 & first soft-launched in the UK, the TikTok shop feature is currently in beta & only available to a limited number of users. It is expected to roll out more broadly in the near future.

What is TikTok shop

Image Source: Ecwid

The platform already offers some level of in-app shopping, such as a Hashtag Challenge Plus feature that allows brands to sell a product they feature in a hashtag challenge to be purchased directly through the TikTok app.

But with the TikTok shop feature, you can sell your entire catalog on the platform, whether it's a few items or over a million.

Who Can Use A TikTok Shop?

Anyone can shop on TikTok, but not anyone can open a TikTok Shop. You need to have a TikTok for a business account to sell on TikTok Shop, which requires you to have at least 1000 followers.

TikTok Shop integrates with product catalogs on Shopify, Square, Ecwid, & PrestaShop. According to the TikTok website Wix, SHOPLINE, OpenCart, & BASE will be available soon.

Your eCommerce partner should have an app or plugin that lets you upload your catalog directly to your TikTok shop. It will be difficult to sell on TikTok Shop if you don't have a compatible eCommerce platform.

Where Can You Find A TikTok Shop?

You can find your TikTok shop on your profile as a shopping tab marked by a shopping bag. TikTok Shop is also available on both the TikTok app & the TikTok website.

Where can you find a TikTok shop

Image Source: Ecwid

How To Sell On TikTok With A TikTok Shop In 8 Easy Steps

You can start selling on TikTok by following these simple steps.

Step 1: Select Products To Sell

To sell on TikTok, you should start with learning about the platform, its users, & which products sell well.

Find If Your Target Market Exists On TikTok

Before you even start selling on TikTok, you need to find out if your target market is using the platform. TikTok is the perfect channel for you to spend time on & explore if your market focuses on millennials and Gen Z-ers. Teens account for a quarter of US TikTok users, and those aged between 20 to 29 are at 22.4% as of March 2021.

Don't cross out TikTok from your list yet if that's not your target market. A significant number of TikTok users are between 30 to 49 years old as well. You can promote brand awareness on TikTok & connect with a potentially huge audience.

Find if your target market exists on TikTok

Image Source: Statista

Decide On The Products To Sell On TikTok

TikTok does not provide a list of allowed sellable products, but it does provide a list of prohibited items. A quick look at top trending videos will give you an idea of what kind of products are an excellent fit for the platform. You can also give a look at TikTok's successful business case studies & even explore the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt hashtag for product ideas.

Decide on the products to sell on TikTok

Image Source: Boldist

Currently, TikTok Shopping is limited to select countries such as the US and UK. Hence, it might not be a good fit if your target market is outside these areas. If you would still like to explore social media networks as sales channels, try selling on Instagram or Facebook.

Step 2: Set Up A TikTok Business Account

Once you have an idea of which product(s) to sell, it's time to start using TikTok. You can start by creating a TikTok account by going to its website or downloading the TikTok app from Google Play or the App Store.

Once you create a TikTok account, your account is automatically tagged as a personal account. You should switch to a business account to access the TikTok shop.

Set up a TikTok business account

Image Source: Adweek

Step 3: Create Your Profile

Once you have created your TikTok account, you need to optimize your profile before you start to sell on TikTok. A TikTok business account also allows you to link your website, email address, & social media accounts. Once you switch to a TikTok business account, you can have additional details in your profile, like a video & external links to your business.

A few things to consider when setting up your TikTok profile:

Describe Your Brand In The Bio

Your TikTok bio should be an introduction of your brand to your audience. Try to keep it short & sweet. Describe your brand & what you do in a few words. You can include your tagline or keywords to improve your search ability in TikTok.

Use Emoticons

Speak your audience's language while crafting your bio. Since most TikTok users are Gen Z, millennials, & people of younger age, using emojis helps increase conversions.

Use Hashtags

Buyers search for the products they are interested in through hashtags. Hence, using the right hashtag prove effective in getting closer to customers.

Leave A Purchase Link On Your TikTok Profile

If a user is interested in your product, they will check your profile. The first thing they see is your bio. An impressive TikTok bio with an engaging CTA will make users want to click on the link you left there.

Leave a purchase link on your TikTok profile

Image Source: HubSpot

You are ready to list your products or connect your eCommerce shop to your account after optimizing your profile. You can connect to a Shopify, BigCommerce, Square Online, or Ecwid store. TikTok will show your online store in another tab next to the content in your profile. You can even sync product catalogs to create a mini-storefront that links directly to your online store for checkout.

Link your shop to your TikTok account

Image Source: PageFly

If you don't own an online store, read our guide on how to sell on Instagram without a website.

Step 5: Optimize Your Online Store

Your TikTok Shop is located in the shopping tab on your profile. You should optimize your product catalog to align with the platform & the content your customers expect since that's where you will be directing shoppers. Here's how you can optimize your TikTok shop:

Use Eye-catching Product Images

Your product images should resemble the way you market your brand on TikTok & across all other channels.

Use eye-catching product images

Image Source: DASH HUDSON

Keep All Product Titles Within The 34-Character Limit

TikTok provides a 34-character limit for product titles. It can be tricky to fall under this limit when uploading from sites such as Shopify, where longer character counts in product titles are permitted.

Double-check that the titles are at or below the character limit when reviewing your product listing online, or they will get cut off. You can use the product description to include as many details as possible; just keep in mind you can't include links.

Step 6: Create Content To Attract Shoppers

It's time to get creative & promote your products now that you have connected your online store to your TikTok account. You can do so by creating engaging content that encourages your target audience to follow you and promotes brand awareness.

It may seem overwhelming at first, but looking at the Discover tab in your TikTok app or scrolling through the For You page can help you to get inspiration. You can go through the current trends, look at what kind of content goes viral on TikTok and search for keywords related to your product or business.

Create content to attract shoppers

Image Source: MobUpps

Here are some TikTok content ideas to get you started:

  • Create your own brand's hashtag challenge & encourage users to participate in it. Make the hashtag easy & memorable.
  • Use trending music/sounds to create TikTok videos.
  • Share an educational or tutorial video. Ensure to do it in an easy-to-digest format.
  • Run a contest.
  • Organize some giveaways.

One of the goals of creating content on TikTok is to drive lots of user-generated content (UGC). UGC promotes brand awareness that leads to trust, & finally, sales.

Know more about how to get more views on TikTok

Step 7: Collaborate With TikTok Influencers

The engagement rate for micro-influencers on TikTok stands at 18% as compared to platforms such as Instagram (3.86%) and YouTube (1.63%).

As TikTok is a creator-focused platform, partnering with TikTok influencers provides exposure for your brand & serves as social proof. TikTok Creator Marketplace can help you find influencers that fit your brand. The platform houses hundreds of TikTok creator profiles, & you can filter them to find ones that align with your brand.

Collaborate with TikTok influencers

Image Source: Marketing Charts

The TikTok Creator Marketplace provides insights on the influencer's audience, including audience breakdown, content performance (view, comments, & shares), trending graphs (followers & engagement), & sample work.

On TikTok, influencers are one of the best advertising options for many brands, including the top ones. Here are a few ways to get started:

  • Create an affiliate program, offering a commission to influencers & creators in exchange for content.
  • Make engaging content & sell products in a way that has the ability to go viral on TikTok & TikTok users will do your work for you.
  • Reach out to your target influencers & explore ways to collaborate.

Step 8: Take Advantage Of TikTok Ads

Like any offline store, you must let people know about your store when it opens up. For the same purpose, TikTok offers different ad types that you can take advantage of to get your online store in front of your target audience.

Some of these ads are even exclusive to "managed brands," those who work with a TikTok ad sales representative. Collections ads, lead gen ads, & dynamic showcase ads are available to all TikTok business accounts & let you add product links.

Take advantage Of TikTok ads

Image Source: Digital Business Lab

TikTok Ad Formats To Sell On TikTok

You can run ads in the following formats on TikTok:

In-Feed Video

In-feed native videos are shown before a user-uploaded video starts. TikTok gives the user the option to skip the ad. You can include a link to a website or an app download with this type of TikTok ad.

In-feed video TikTok ads

Image Source: Brain Labs Digital

Branded Lenses

Similar to Snapchat filters, branded lenses are reality filters that users can use in their TikTok videos.

Brand Takeovers

Brand takeovers ads are shown to users as soon as they open the app. They take up the entire screen & are usually animations. There can only be one brand takeover per category & country per day; hence they guarantee exclusivity.

Top View Ads

Top view ads appear at the top of users' For You Page when they first open the TikTok app. This type of ad allows your video ad to be up to a minute long.

Top view TikTok ads

Image Source: Brain Labs Digital

Collection Ads

These ads allow you to place product cards in your In-feed ads so that when TikTok users tap on an item featured in a card, they are sent to a gallery or product page where they can make a purchase.

Collection Ads can be used to:

  • Drive traffic to your eCommerce store
  • Feature deals
  • Share limited-time offers
  • Showcase top items
  • Promote launches
Dynamic Showcase Ads

These ads allow brands to automatically advertise thousands of products & personalized video ads. These types of ads are a type of social promotion that allows brands with large product portfolios to advertise on TikTok.

Branded Hashtag Challenge

These types of hashtag sponsorships last between three to six days & appear in the Discovery tab. You can invite the TikTok community to make videos about the topic when you run a hashtag challenge & mark them with the hashtag.

Branded hashtag challenge

Image Source: Brain Labs Digital

For instance, NYX's #ButterGlossPop hashtag challenge generated more than 2 million UGC videos & experienced a 42% increase in brand awareness as well.

Lead Generation Ads

Lead generation TikTok ads allow brands to offer easy & secure forms in your In-feed ads for customers to share contact information. You can use it to promote launches & buzz up about new products.

Lead generation TikTok ads

Image Source: Equimedia

TikTok Shopping: The Future of Online Stores

Shopping is changing fast. It's quite hard to believe that just 20 years ago, the primary medium through which people could buy products was to visit the store physically. And just 10 years ago, the Amazon craze began to sweep this trend.

And today, it's all about creating a seamless shopping experience directly from social media apps such as TikTok. TikTok has known this for a while & they are about to level things up with the Tiktok shopping feature. Will you be ready?

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Rushali Das

Rushali is a content writer at Statusbrew. She is fond of writing content that compels people to slow down and look more closely to discover the unknown stories.

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