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tiktok shop

TikTok Shop: What is it, is it right for me and how do I set one up?

The recent launch of TikTok Shop is something that all eCommerce businesses should take notice of. The platform has a huge, captive audience and a massive impact on buying habits, and TikTok Shop now makes it even easier for retailers to capitalise on this.

James Khoury is CEO of leading fulfilment provider, Zendbox, and an eCommerce Expert. He has released comments to help eCommerce businesses understand more about TikTok Shop and how to best utilise the new social commerce platform…

What is a TikTok Shop?

“With over one billion monthly users worldwide, TikTok offers an incredible opportunity for businesses to reach a huge and highly engaged audience.”

“The recent launch of TikTok Shop now allows eCommerce stores to list their products within a Shopping tab on their profile, so customers can browse and buy items all whilst staying on the app.”

“Essentially, the new social commerce offering is a way for brands, creators and eCommerce businesses alike to sell their products directly to consumers on the growing platform, cutting out a key step in the customer journey. Products can be showcased via regular and engaging stories, live streams or videos.”

“The launch of TikTok Shop is huge news in the eCommerce space. It provides sellers with another avenue to expand their customer base and sell products, and encourages brands to produce fun and engaging content to entice viewers.”

Should I set up a TikTok Shop?

“With social selling now generating billions of pounds in revenue, setting up a TikTok Shop is a no-brainer for any eCommerce store. Whether you want to capitalise on a preexisting buzz around your products on the app or start to create more noise about your brand and thus sales, TikTok Shop could be the answer.”

“Additionally, if you’re looking to pursue influencer marketing, TikTok Shop is a great avenue to explore. The platform allows you to partner with affiliates who will create content for you, making it even easier to set up and utilise content creators.”

“TikTok does have certain stipulations for sellers; for example, if you’re a creator selling your own goods, you need to have over 1,000 followers, have posted and had over 50 video views in the last 28 days and be over 18 (Source: TikTok).”

How do I set up a TikTok Shop?

“If you haven’t got an account already, you will first need to set up a TikTok profile. Ensure that you optimise your profile with a relevant bio and profile picture in line with your other social media branding.”

“TikTok has four main categories you must fall into to set up a TikTok Shop. These are sellers, creators, partners and affiliates.

  • “Sellers” are typically existing brands or eCommerce businesses.

  • “Creators” are people on TikTok who create content for fun but can be paid by brands to sell for them.

  • “Affiliates” allow brands to partner with influencers who actively sell their products and earn a commission.

  • “Partners” are businesses that work with brands to make selling even easier.”

“Decide which category you fall into before setting up your shop. It’s incredibly easy to set up as a seller. Just fill in TikTok’s online form and provide the right paperwork. TikTok will confirm your account has been opened and then you can link your TikTok account to your shop and start selling.”

How can I optimise my TikTok Shop and increase sales?

“To get your products seen, it’s important to make relevant content to get in front of your target audience. TikTok works by showing content to its users that they have historically shown an interest in. This means that if your videos are reaching people, they’re most likely already engaged in the topic that you’re creating content around. To capitalise on this, analyse which of your videos work well and the topics that are performing best, and keep producing content with the same themes.”

“To further optimise your TikTok shop, you can leverage TikTok’s promotional tools such as flash sales, coupons and free shipping. You’ll find these in the seller centre.”

“Make sure you’re using popular hashtags. For instance, #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has over 18 billion views so far and clearly gets in front of a lot of viewers.”

“You can use the TikTok seller centre to easily keep track of products, adding new ones and checking sales. Linking with creators gives you access to their followers and provides you with new content you don’t have to spend time creating either. Read up on ways to optimise your actual content, including things like trending audio, ideal video lengths and popular filters.”

“You can also use the TikTok Shop partner feature to maximise sales. Using professional companies like 3PL providers to take care of things like packaging, shipping, or warehouse costs gives you more time to create content and chase sales.”

Are there any warnings or considerations I should be aware of when creating a TikTok shop?

“When you first sign up and set up your TikTok Shop, TikTok reduces their commission to 1.8% for the first 90 days. After this, the standard rate of commission is 5%, so be sure to factor this into your accounting.”

“You’ll need to set up a business account to get the most out of your TikTok Shop, which will give you access to metrics, paid ads and user-generated content (UGC). It’s important to note that UGC can cut marketing spend; it is trusted by users and can grow sales, but you will want to make sure any user-generated content aligns with your brand and is positive.”

“TikTok is an incredible platform for growth and is still relatively new so we can definitely expect to see increasing opportunities coming from it. Stay up to date with changes and trends and do your research. Duets, hashtags and giveaways are just some of the things you’ll get familiar with when you set up a TikTok Shop. Be prepared to learn fast and react quickly; if you can do that, the rewards will be well worth it”.