TikTok Shopping: How Brands Can Use it to Boost Sales

Jose Garcia
Jose Garcia
Business Development Manager at Insense
a girl filming content for tiktok

With people's shopping habits changing, brands are scrambling to take any opportunity that’s coming their way. 

And it looks like big social media platforms, like TikTok, are leading the way in this new era of online shopping. 

Big surprise, right? 

To help you adapt to this new trend, we’ve prepared a guide for brands and merchants looking to sell their products to a new audience through TikTok’s platform.

In this concise guide, you’ll learn:

  • What TikTok shopping is
  • Why TikTok shopping is useful for brands and their audience
  • Best practices for building a successful TikTok shop
  • How to set up a TikTok shop

Let’s get right into it. 

What is TikTok Shopping?

TikTok Commerce (previously known as TikTok Shopping) was launched in 2020 and allowed TikTok users to shop for products directly within the app for the first time. 

The platform’s rapid growth and success can be attributed to its ability to connect brands with potential customers quickly and cost-effectively.

Kylie Cosmetics was one of the first brands that had access to TikTok Shopping features in its trial period.

Image Source: TikTok

Users can scroll through the shopping tab to discover products and also search for items using keywords. 

In fact, 71% of TikTok users shopped when they stumbled across in-feed videos and TikTok stories.

The app also allows users to follow brands and receive notifications when new collections are released. With TikTok Shopping, users are able to shop for all of their favorite products without having to leave the app.

TikTok Shopping is made up of three major components: 

  • The shopping feed, where products are showcased in a visual, scrollable, and engaging manner 
  • The search feature, which allows users to search for products using keywords
  • The brand's page, which allows users to follow their favorite brands and keep track of new products

Plus, TikTok Shopping features an intuitive and user-friendly interface that allows brands to provide shoppers with more engaging content. 

With this feature, brands are creating TikTok videos to showcase their products in entertaining and creative ways. 

Overall, TikTok Shopping is a revolutionary new way to shop online. As the platform continues to gain traction, it’ll be interesting to see what new features and developments will be released soon.

So, the time to discover the advantages of shopping through TikTok for brands and users has come.

Note: TikTok Commerce is a pilot program that’s available for select markets and platforms.

Why is TikTok Shopping Useful for Brands and Users?

It’s no secret—TikTok shopping is booming right now. It’s a new trend we don’t think users will lose interest in anytime soon. 

The fact that TikTok is already popular means potential customers are hanging out there. 

So, it makes perfect sense for small businesses to capitalize on that opportunity. But that point doesn’t mean that customers won’t benefit from TikTok’s increasing popularity. 

In this section of our guide, we want to talk about why TikTok shopping is useful for both:

  • Brands and merchants
  • Users

For brands and merchants

TikTok has become one of the most popular ways for brands to reach and engage consumers.

A key factor driving the exponential growth of TikTok for eCommerce is its widespread appeal. TikTok has created an effective marketplace for merchants to reach more potential customers.

Another impressive feature is the innovative approach of the platform’s advertising campaigns that ensures potential customers see the brand’s message. 

This is available through a variety of creative options, from video ads to creator licensing (previously known as whitelisting).  

In fact, collaborations with influencers and creators are crucial for effective TikTok marketing efforts.

By partnering with influencers, brands can promote their products organically and reach a wide range of audiences in a short amount of time.

Through the platform’s user-generated content (UGC) tools, brands can join conversations that are already taking place on TikTok and create personalized experiences for viewers.

This direct interaction helps build stronger connections and create more loyal customers.

Furthermore, the in-app purchase system helps brands track their return on investment (ROI) easily, allowing them to measure and compare the results of different ads.

Lastly, a brand with an eCommerce site can instantly sync its products from its platform to TikTok For Business. Currently, some supported eCommerce platforms are Shopify, WooCommerce, and Prestashop.

As brands continue to adapt to the changing market and incorporate the latest trends into their social media marketing strategies, TikTok shopping will remain a valuable option for brands to market their products and services.

For users

The platform provides a seamless shopping experience, allowing users to engage with in-app shopping without ever having to leave the app. 

This makes it easier and faster for users to find what they need than in-person shopping. From the comfort of their own home, users can scroll through their recommended products in seconds.

Plus, shopping on TikTok can be quite fun, especially when brands are using creative videos and allowing users to comment and interact with them, thus amplifying the shopping experience.

Additionally, the platform offers users the chance to discover goods and services they may not have been aware of before.

Finally, TikTok Shopping provides an easy and secure shopping experience. The app includes various security measures to ensure users’ banking and personal information is safe. All payments are encrypted and verified so users can be sure their orders are securely processed.

Best Practices to Keep in Mind When Setting Up Your TikTok Shop 

Are you now interested in the best practices for managing your own TikTok shop?

We got you!

While setting up a TikTok shop can be overwhelming, certain practices should be kept in mind to ensure success.

The following tips we’ll share with you apply to your TikTok Shop and your brand’s marketing strategy.

Best practice #1: Collaborate with content creators

Through partnering with creators on TikTok, brands can extend their reach and explore opportunities to organically drive brand awareness and increase engagement with their target audience.

A good place to start is either the TikTok Creator Marketplace or a great TikTok Marketplace alternative, Insense. You can use Insense to find more than 35k creators to work with for top social media campaigns.

If you find a creator that fits your brand, then you should consider creating a marketing strategy that combines sponsored ads and user-generated content (UGC)—a killer combo for promoting your brand on TikTok. 

Sponsored posts often lack the authenticity of posts created by relatable content creators who can provide their honest, unique take on a product or service.

In addition, influencers and creators can reach a larger, more diverse audience than the brands can on their own. 

This combination of organic and sponsored content leads to a more meaningful and immersive experience for viewers, which can result in higher engagement with the brand.

Companies can also create conversations around their products by encouraging creators to interact directly with their followers and ask for feedback on social media.

This type of interaction not only encourages participation but also helps to build a sense of trust and loyalty between the brand and its audience. It’s one of the best ways to create a brand’s TikTok community. 

Best practice #2: Use TikTok trends

With more than 1 billion users per month on ByteDance’s viral video app, TikTok, brands have found an effective way of raising awareness about their products and services as the TikTok algorithm promotes content that users enjoy consuming. 

In fact, the most popular content category on TikTok is entertainment.

Brands are leveraging popular trends on the platform to raise awareness of their products and services, resulting in increased engagement and sales.

Additionally, through hashtag challenges, creative campaigns, or live streams, brands can benefit through viral trends while creating UGC that can be repurposed in future campaigns. 

As more and more brands recognize the value of using TikTok trends to raise awareness for them, it's becoming clear that this is one of the most powerful ways to reach Gen Z and younger audiences, since 47% of TikTok users in the US are aged between 10 and 29.

By creating content that references popular songs or challenges, businesses can take advantage of trends and ride the wave of popularity.

As popular trends move quickly through the platform, brands should stay creative and agile to stand out from other content.

Brands can also use TikTok trends to partner with influencers, who can create content around a trend and direct users to the corresponding products on the company’s website or store.

Best practice #3: Create engaging content

Creating engaging content on TikTok is one of the most important aspects of standing out from the crowd on the platform.

First of all, engaging content helps capture the attention of potential customers. With TikTok’s fast-paced content, viewers can easily scroll through videos without a pause. 

The goal for content creators should be to create stop-scrolling content through creative and well-thought-out content that appeals to their audience.

Engaging content also helps develop and build relationships with viewers. People are more likely to follow brands if they feel that they can connect with them.

Creating short videos that reflect your brand’s values and mission helps to create this connection and increases the chances of potential customers being interested in what you’re offering.

In conclusion, creating engaging content for TikTok shops is essential for the success and growth of brands.

Best practice #4: Use TikTok ads

TikTok has various features that are attractive to social commerce brands, including different types of ads. 

There are several types of TikTok ads, but we aren’t going to analyze them one by one here—we have a full guide on the topic if you wanna know more! For now, we’ll briefly talk about the benefits of TikTok ads and explain Spark ads.

Using the right creatives and partnering with a relevant TikTok creator in your niche is essential for a successful campaign.

TikTok marketing campaigns are affordable, while brands can collaborate with micro-influencers with a diverse and loyal audience.

A survey conducted by TikTok last year found that 72% of respondents feel ordinary content creators are more interesting than celebrities.

And here comes one of our favorite types of ads—TikTok Spark ads.

With Spark Ads, brands can boost their own posts as well as creator content. This is a fantastic opportunity for brands to leverage UGC.

Once you’ve acquired potential customer trust, converting them to paying customers will be easier.

TikTok ads also provide data-based statistics and demographic information that can give you an understanding of what your customers want.

Overall, TikTok ads provide eCommerce brands with a powerful platform to advertise their products or services and engage with their audience.

With the right strategies, brands can use this platform to reach new heights.

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the process!

How to Set Up TikTok Shopping

In this section, you’ll find notes on how to set up TikTok Shopping. Before we jump into this, just a quick disclaimer. 

As we noted, TikTok Commerce is currently only available for selected markets and platforms. If you’re a seller, you must be located in:

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

If you aren’t located in any of these countries, your TikTok account doesn’t qualify for registering as a merchant on the platform. 

Image Source: TikTok

The first step to creating a native shop within the TikTok app is registering on the TikTok Seller Center and creating a business account.

Then you should upload all the necessary documents, add your product catalog and link your bank account. 

And that should be it—you’re now officially a TikTok merchant!

From there, you can add new products to your TikTok shop as well as manage your inventory, orders, advertising, and partnerships.

Image Source: TikTok

If you’re already onboarded to TikTok Seller Center, you can integrate your eCommerce platform to TikTok For Business and TikTok Store Manager.

Let’s bring this piece to a close!

Now Over to You

We’ve come to the end of our guide.

TikTok shopping is here to stay, creating many benefits for brands. 

What you need to do is to create an effective strategy to promote your shop on TikTok. 

Are you ready to tap into this new consumer trend?

If you are, feel free to book a demo with Insense so we can help you find creators to work with.

We can’t wait to see you launch your TikTok shopping campaigns and accelerate your eCommerce growth.

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