TikTok eCommerce: How Brands Can Boost Their Sales

Jose Garcia
Jose Garcia
Business Development Manager at Insense
a girl promoting eyeshadows

TikTok is the trendiest social media platform of recent years. It’s actively changing the way we buy things online. 

Your competitors already know this and have started to capitalize on the opportunity. How about you?

If you want in but don’t know where to start, we’ve got your back.

In this guide, we’ll give you practical tips to increase your sales through the platform. In more detail, we’ll cover:

  • Reasons for businesses to be on TikTok
  • Why TikTok is good for ecommerce
  • Best practices for TikTok ecommerce
  • Examples of successful ecommerce brands on TikTok

Let's dive into the fantastic world of TikTok eCommerce.

4 Reasons Your Business Should Be on TikTok

New platforms are constantly entering the market while others are losing users’ interest and slowly leaving the scene. But TikTok has achieved something unique. 

Within a few years, it has become one of the most popular social media platforms, and its audience seems to keep growing. After launching in 2016, TikTok managed to accumulate 3 billion downloads by July 2021.

The reason TikTok became so successful is that it discovered what users care about today: short, fun content that will relieve them of the stress of everyday life.

This is a really useful insight for brands since their audience is found on TikTok and uses the platform daily. 

In this section, we’ll look in detail at the benefits brands can gain through exposure on TikTok.

Reason #1: Offers access to a wide audience

With more than 1 billion monthly active users, TikTok is a leading social media platform. 

TikTok helps brands easily connect with large-scale audiences and reach new customers. It creates trends faster than any other social media and makes sure to distribute the content that users like much more effectively. 

Thanks to the constant flow in its feed, it’s much easier for a brand's content to reach the eyes of the public.

At the same time, approximately 62% of TikTok's audience in the US is Gen Z, which means it’s an ideal platform for brands targeting younger audiences

Moreover, TikTok users use the platform more than any other social tool. It seems to have an addictive effect on them since, in a survey, it was discovered that 20% of users spend more than 5 hours daily on TikTok. 

Fascinating, right?

Something equally interesting is that young people tend to use TikTok as a search engine to find creators or brands that interest them.

This is a very good opportunity to expose your brand to a diverse audience and gain greater recognition, which brings us to the next point.

Reason #2: Strengthens brand identity

TikTok has enabled brands to take advantage of the creativity and engagement of its user community to create and share content that reflects a brand’s values and personality.

Through its short videos, brands have been able to quickly tell their story and build an emotional connection with their audience. 

This form of content has been hugely successful in getting users to interact and engage with brands and their messages, boosting interaction rates and brand recognition. 

Obviously, it’s natural that with recognition comes the consolidation of a brand.

It seems that younger audiences are more interested in seeing the social impact of the brands they choose and the social activities they promote.

Specifically, Gen Z is more aware of the environment, social issues, and diversity. In fact, 55% of Gen Zs are extremely interested in environmental issues.

So if your brand is consistent with these values, ​​it would be beneficial to project them through TikTok.

Through its combination of creative expression, audience targeting, and multi-channel sharing, brands have been able to create content that resonates with their audience, and that helps to reinforce their identity.

This is essential for building a loyal fan base and for ensuring that the brand is visible and memorable to its audience.

Reason #3: It’s budget-friendly

In addition to offering great advertising features, TikTok is also a great tool for organic growth.

This means that businesses with little-to-no budget can create content that will gain a great deal of exposure organically.

TikTok’s algorithm tends to promote more viral content that users enjoy watching than other social platforms, like Meta. 

So, small businesses can gain value by collaborating with micro-influencers (with 10K to 50K followers) who are more affordable and tend to foster a close-knit community within a specific niche.

Another positive aspect of working with creators on TikTok is having access to audiences without necessarily having to increase spending on ads.

Also, TikTok videos are short, and brands don’t have to invest heavily in professionals for the editing process.

Reason #4: Supports paid advertising

TikTok ads are yet another way brands and businesses are promoting their products or services on the platform. 

They’re becoming increasingly popular, as they have the potential to reach an ever-growing user base and capture its attention in innovative and creative ways.

TikTok ads work by targeting a specific audience based on users’ interests and demographic information like location, gender, age, and language. 

This ensures that ads are served to those most likely to find them relevant. Through the app’s interactive shopping features, the brands can create unique ad experiences tailored to their audience’s needs.

TikTok ads come in a variety of different formats, including branded hashtag challenges, in-feed videos, branded lenses, native ads, and more. These formats are designed to capture users’ attention and engage them with creative content.

This type of ad both encourages participation and gives users an added incentive to share that content with their followers.

This allows brands to take advantage of the app’s popularity and be exposed to a wide range of users.

No matter which type of ad they choose, brands on TikTok have the chance to reach the platform’s audience with creative, engaging content.

If you have an eCommerce brand, the following section applies to you.

Why is TikTok Good for eCommerce?

TikTok has become increasingly popular for eCommerce for a few key reasons.

First and foremost, it’s a great way for eCommerce businesses to get their message across to a wide audience quickly and effectively. 

In addition, eCommerce brands on platforms like Amazon or Shopify can use TikTok marketing and its advertising features to increase sales.

With the platform’s advanced algorithm, brands can target specific customers based on their interests, demographics, and other measures and reach potential customers more effectively than on other social media sites. 

TikTok also provides businesses with the opportunity to interact with customers by allowing them to leave comments, likes, and shares on posts.

This allows businesses to forge relationships with customers and build an engaged, loyal customer base. 

Another fact that proves the value of TikTok in ecommerce is the famous hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt.

Research has shown that 41% of users purchase a product after discovering it on TikTok.

The platform is also beneficial for businesses looking to expand into influencer marketing.

Through influencer marketing, businesses can increase their brand exposure to a much larger and varied audience.

Furthermore, many stores are leveraging the platform to create unique, entertaining, and informative content that can be used to promote sales, discounts, and promotions. 

Additionally, companies can use “shoppable” posts, which allows users to purchase products without having to leave the app. 

Image Source: TikTok

This seamlessly connects the customer to their shopping experience, giving brands an advantage like never before.

As the platform continues to expand, businesses will become increasingly aware of the benefits of leveraging TikTok for ecommerce and the importance of creating content tailored to their target market.

Since we learned about the benefits of TikTok ecommerce, it's time to look at the most effective practices to get you started.

3 TikTok eCommerce Best Practices to Follow

In social commerce, there are certain guidelines brands need to follow to increase sales and benefit from online shopping. 

Let’s have a look at the three most relevant best practices that work effectively on this ecommerce platform. 

Best Practice #1: Use Shopping Ads

In today’s online world, shopping ads on TikTok have become a go-to tactic for businesses looking to increase their reach and revenue. 

Not only do they allow stores to capture the attention of users but they also drive conversions and sales.

Shopping ads on TikTok can be a powerful marketing channel, and to get the most out of your ads, it’s important to understand the basics of how they work and how to properly include them in your online store’s marketing plans.

Although not fully released yet, TikTok offers a specific type of ad for ecommerce, that converts more easily.

Video Shopping Ads

This feature allows you to create shoppable videos for the For You page (FYP). 

Video shopping ads are available to select advertisers, but we have to say that’s a great opportunity for brands to take advantage of since they don’t need to set up a TikTok shop. 

This is also important because TikTok ecommerce is available only in selected markets, like Southeast Asia, the UK, and the US.

The whole process of setting up video shopping ads takes place in the TikTok Business Center.

Catalog Listing Ads

An ecommerce brand needs to have a product catalog to take advantage of advertising its products.

TikTok has featured catalog listing ads that let ecommerce businesses and marketers present their catalogs at scale.

Catalog listing ads pop up between videos when users are watching content. Also, you don’t have to upload videos for your product catalog. 

Image Source: TikTok

You can just upload images of the products since the surfacing products are interlaced into a pop-up window between videos.

So, it’s much easier for brands to upload their product catalog and promote it through the TikTok app.

Live Shopping Ads

Live shopping ads are the next level for ecommerce. Businesses can promote their products on TikTok live videos, where users can purchase their products throughout the streams.

Live streaming and shopping combined in one. Just imagine the possibilities for brands, from interacting with their customer base in real time to answering potential customers’ questions and giving them feedback. 

In this way, you can bring more traffic to your shop and products on TikTok. On the technical spectrum, the live shopping ads are only available to TikTok shops, so you have to set up your TikTok store in the Seller Center to use this feature.

If you don’t know how, you don’t have to worry at all. We got you!

In the following section, we’ll dive into the reasons why you should create your TikTok shop and some advice for setting it up.

Best Practice #2: Create a TikTok Shop

There are numerous reasons for ecommerce brands to set up their own TikTok shop.

Marketers can use advanced targeting options to home in on particular audiences.

Furthermore, brands can take advantage of TikTok advertising options that are only available for TikTok merchants, such as live-stream shopping ads.

Image Source: TikTok

TikTok commerce is available only for selected markets, including:

  • Asia (Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore)
  • United Kingdom
  • United States (North America)

Brands can set up their own stores on TikTok using its TikTok Seller Center.

Aside from listing items, brands can also configure payment settings and shipping options, as well as track their sales performance. 

Once you’ve completed this process, you’re officially a TikTok seller!

Also, ecommerce platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce have their own native apps to integrate with TikTok and promote their products directly within the platform. 

This way, brands can build their own ecommerce experience within the platform and leverage their social media presence to boost sales.

Overall, the potential of TikTok for ecommerce brands is immense. By combining creative content, influencer collaborations, and the platform’s advertising features, brands can use TikTok to build trust with customers and drive sales.

Best Practice #3: Work with content creators

For ecommerce brands to take full advantage of the TikTok platform’s potential, they should strategically employ the help of local creators.

As ecommerce brands work to create content that’s on trend, influencers are a great way to provide a unique, authentic voice to reach their target audience. 

As these influencers have established a strong personal connection with their followers, it can help increase brand recognition and loyalty. 

Such a collab is a win-win situation. 

The influencer accesses a larger platform and opportunities, while the ecommerce brand gains exposure, potential buyers, and a unique approach to advertising.

Also, creators can help a brand’s potential customers familiarize themselves with its products or services by creating compelling user-generated content (UGC)

Using UGC is an incredibly effective way to foster an emotional connection between your brand and consumers.

Since finding the right creators might be challenging, you don’t have to worry about it, because we’re here for you.

Insense is a collaboration platform for brands and creators. In our base, there are over 35,000 creators who can execute your advertising campaigns.

We left the fun part for the end!

Get ready to find inspiration and ideas for your TikTok ecommerce strategy.

3 Examples of eCommerce Brands Crushing It on TikTok

While TikTok ecommerce is relatively new, there are already brands that have incorporated it into their strategy.

They’ve reformulated their content to the requirements of the platform and creatively promoted their products or services.

Here, we want to feature some noticeable examples of ecommerce brands on TikTok, and you’ll learn more about:

  • Successful examples of ecommerce brands
  • The strategy each brand followed on TikTok

Let’s get into it!

Example #1: Kylie Cosmetics

Kylie Cosmetics is an American cosmetics company founded by Kylie Jenner. They sell clean vegan makeup and skincare products and the brand has many followers on social media.

Image Source: TikTok

Kylie Cosmetics got more than 3.5 million followers by partnering with influencers and creating content.

They have strategically used video challenges such as lip-syncing to showcase makeup looks and discount codes, along with engaging ad campaigns featuring their products, which have helped them to stand out from other beauty industry leaders.

Additionally, by creating hashtags for different product launches, they’ve made it easy for their audience to show off their looks using the brand's products. 

Kylie Cosmetics encourages users of the platform to get creative with their products and purchase them for themselves through its TikTok Shop.

All of this has created an impressive return on investment (ROI) for the brand as it continues to rapidly expand its foothold.

Example #2: Eyebrow Queen

Eyebrow Queen is a brand that sells eyebrow products and treatments. 

The brand collaborates with makeup artists and beauty influencers, who create UGC videos and tutorials on how to use the products.

Image Source: TikTok

They give educational and funny-to-watch content that inspires their audience to recreate the looks at home.

In their TikTok videos, they use trendy original sounds to take advantage of the platform’s algorithm that promotes viral content. 

At the same time, they promote discounts and special offers on TikTok to increase their reach and attract more potential customers.

Example #3: ASOS

ASOS is a British online fashion and cosmetic retailer that has a significant following on social media platforms.

ASOS became a billion-dollar business by using effective ecommerce marketing strategies and implementing them on their channels.

Their TikTok account has reached 1.6 million followers, and they’re growing daily.

Image Source: TikTok

If you watch ASOS on TikTok, you’ll see that they use multiple video formats to showcase their products.

They’ve collaborated with influencers who share their outfits and get ready with me (GRWM) videos. 

In their TikTok profile, they upload how-to guides for users, unboxing videos with ASMR sounds, and behind-the-scenes videos.

As you can see, they use all these different styles of videos to give creative content to their audience and approach them in a genuine way. 

ASOS hasn’t got a TikTok Storefront. They prefer to use TikTok to engage with more people around the world, build awareness at a whole new level, and strengthen their brand values.

Let’s wrap this up!

Now Over to You

That was it! 

Now you have all the necessary knowledge to formulate a marketing strategy that will benefit your ecommerce brand on TikTok. 

It’s a new trend that’s growing rapidly, and your brand shouldn’t be left out. 

How to start? 

Book a free demo with Insense so we can guide you step-by-step.

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