When you’re shopping online or looking for product recommendations, where do you go first? While Google is a common starting point, increasingly, consumers are turning to their favorite social media apps. Chief among them: TikTok. As of June 2023, the popular hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has garnered over 59.8 billion views, according to the social media platform.
Not only has TikTok become a search engine, a source of inspiration and discovery, and a powerhouse product recommender—it’s also a destination for businesses to sell directly to users. TikTok shopping has become increasingly popular as brands look to reduce friction for the fan to customer transition, and its own native shopping features and ecommerce integrations enable brands to sell natively on the platform.
Ahead, learn how to add the social commerce channel, sign up for TikTok Shop, and use these tools to reach TikTok users and potential customers.
What is TikTok Shop?
TikTok Shop is the social media app’s built-in commerce solution for sellers, creators, and affiliates. It enables TikTok users with business accounts to sell directly on the platform with options like Live Shopping and shoppable videos.
What are the benefits of TikTok Shop?
TikTok Shop eliminates the extra step to convert your TikTok fans into customers by offering shopping options directly on the platform. With TikTok becoming a go-to for product discovery, especially for Gen Z and Gen Alpha future consumers, brands benefit from showing up in search and offering convenient TikTok shopping options.
TikTok Shop and other shopping integrations allow brands to naturally introduce products into entertaining videos and other content. If you are not eligible for TikTok Shop based on your location, certain integrations such as the TikTok app for Shopify can give you access to shopping features.
Adding TikTok Shop to your available sales channels creates another touchpoint in addition to your online store that supports your potential customers’ online shopping preferences. Other benefits include:
- Broadcasting to a wide demographic of potential shoppers
- Partnering with trusted creators and using influencer marketing to increase authenticity
- Creatively positioning your products in entertaining content
- Creating a personalized shopping experience based on TikTok user behavior
- Benefitting from virality with TikTok trends and hashtag challenges
Who is eligible for TikTok shopping?
TikTok Shop is available in select markets, including the US, UK, and China. Check TikTok’s latest information for eligible countries and regions. TikTok Shop is broken down into four categories, with different requirements for each type of commerce user, which includes:
For a seller account, you simply need to reside in one of the supported countries and provide ID, proof of residency, and a business license. Creator accounts have additional criteria, including minimum follower counts. For the purposes of this article, the information will be geared toward the most common type of TikTok Shop user: sellers.
5 ways users can shop your products in the TikTok app
TikTok shopping options are plentiful for users looking to buy products directly from their favorite businesses on the platform.
1. Live shopping on TikTok
When your brand goes live, it’s a great opportunity to demo products and answer questions in real time, encouraging fans to purchase those products directly from the app. Items can be added to the user’s cart during the livestream and they can check out instantly or at the end of the broadcast.
2. Shoppable videos
Shoppable videos on TikTok are content with shoppable links that allow users to buy products without leaving the content.
3. Product showcase
On your TikTok account, users can tap the shopping tab (or bag icon) to access a mini storefront where they can check out in a few taps. Some accounts may have a product showcase without a TikTok Shop. These are usually affiliate accounts that do not own the brand or products being sold.
4. Shoppable ads (powered by Shopify)
Brands ineligible for TikTok Shop can still take advantage of TikTok shopping with the TikTok App for Shopify. By installing the TikTok Shopify app, you can sync your product catalog, build creative videos using products, and create TikTok ad campaigns. Tag products in your content to offer an easy way for users to shop your products.
Connect with shoppers on TikTok
Shopify comes with powerful tools to help you tell your brand story and create TikTok in-feed ads in minutes. Make sales on TikTok and manage all your orders, returns, and payments from Shopify.
5. Shopping Center tab (limited markets)
In 2023, TikTok announced its marketplace solution, the Shopping Center tab. By tapping the icon, TikTok users are taken to a one-stop shop to browse products from multiple creators across multiple categories. Note: this feature is currently only available in select markets including Philippines and Malaysia.
How to set up TikTok Shop
For those eligible for a TikTok Shop seller account based on location and other parameters, follow these simple steps to get set up and enable online shopping features on your account.
1. Create a business account on TikTok
🎵 Learn more: How To Use TikTok for Business: An 8-Step Guide
2. Register for TikTok Shop
Navigate to the seller registration portal and fill out the application. Upload the required documents, including your ID, proof of residency, and proof of business ownership.
3. Wait for the results
You will receive an email about your application result in one to two days after applying. Once accepted, you will be able to use TIkTok’s shopping features.
4. Link your account and get selling
Link your TikTok account to your TikTok Shop to start selling on TikTok. You’ll now be able to add products and promote your shop in your bio and content.
How to sell on TikTok with Shopify
If your business is ineligible for TikTok Shop based on your location, you may be able to access the benefits of TikTok shopping and making sales through your content and video marketing.
Follow these steps for your Shopify store, if the TikTok integration is available in your region:
- Set up a Shopify store and create your website.
- Create a TikTok business account.
- Install the TikTok for Shopify app from the Shopify App Store.
- Connect TikTok to your Shopify store within the app.
- Start creating ad campaigns using product photos and videos.
Shopify merchants benefit from the TikTok integration for their businesses as they can manage inventory, sales, and advertising across platforms in one place.
TikTok shopping best practices
Once your business is set up with shopping features on TikTok, there are a few tips to make the most of selling on TikTok.
Think like a creator, not a brand
Social platforms all have their own trends and content formats that work best for each audience. It’s a mistake to copy your strategy from other platforms over to TikTok without understanding the content that performs best. On TikTok, authenticity wins.
Aim for creative content that uses trending TikTok sounds, shares a peek under the hood, jumps on current pop culture conversations, or offers real value to fans through education. Content like this that can incorporate products organically will always perform better than a direct sales pitch.
Partner with creators and influencers
Influencer marketing is a huge industry, with brands clamoring to work with the hottest self-made internet personalities and influencers looking to monetize their success. This win-win partnership is a great option for brands of all sizes, even those with smaller budgets. In fact, TikTok’s own research found that 72% of survey respondents feel ordinary content creators are more interesting than celebrities.
Marketing alongside influencers gives your brand and products authenticity, as TikTok users often turn to their favorite creators for trusted recommendations.
🎵 Learn more: TikTok Marketing: Creating a Successful Strategy
Find influencers to drive sales with Shopify Collabs
Shopify Collabs makes it easy to partner with creators, promote your products, reach new customers, grow your sales, and track affiliate campaign performance all from Shopify admin.
Make the most of social commerce with TikTok Shop
Social commerce is exploding, with sales projected to reach $79.6 billion in the US alone by 2025. Don’t sleep on this consumer trend—set up your TikTok account with shoppable features and start attracting buyers today.
TikTok shopping FAQ
What do I need to get started with TikTok Shop?
To get started with TikTok Shop, first determine if shopping features are eligible in your region. Then, sign up for a business account and apply through TikTok to get accepted for shopping features like TikTok shopping links in video content. Alternatively, you can connect your Shopify store to TikTok with the TikTok for Shopify app.
How can I promote my products with TikTok Shop?
After you set up your TikTok store, you’ll need to actively promote your products. Some ideas include:
- Post creative videos that showcase your product and brand.
- Engage with your followers by responding to comments, answering questions, and hosting AMAs.
- Use relevant hashtags to increase visibility.
- Share user-generated content to demonstrate your product in use.
- Feature influencers and popular TikTok creators in your videos.
- Use TikTok ads and run sponsored campaigns.
- Link to your product page in your bio or in the comments of your videos.
What are the best products to sell on TikTok?
The best products to sell are those that users are looking for and those that are a fit for your brand. If you’re a creator looking to sell products, consider making merch for TikTok. Some popular product types on the platform include: