How To Use TikTok Shopping

TikTok now has over one billion active global users, according to Business of Apps. Earlier this year, TikTok launched its eCommerce shopping feature and it has taken the market by a storm. The social video giant partnered with Shopify to give us the long-awaited social commerce experience, delivering a streamlined product discovery feature to the platform. 

If you go on the app today, it would be almost impossible not to find your own personal antidote for the success of this integrated feature. For example, a couple of days ago I was on the app browsing my ‘for you’ page and a TikTok creator was talking about this cookbook she’s about to launch next month. The TikToker coincidentally ended up being one of my mom’s favorite food bloggers, so I bought the book and I’m giving it to her for Christmas. 

However, if you’re not on the app or you need some hard evidence, check out the great feta cheese shortage of 2021 started by the viral pasta recipe that started in the app. (Seriously, check it out, it’s amazing!!) 

What is it and how does it work?

TikTik Shopping
Courtesy of Kylie Cosmetics TikTok

The name of the game here is influencer marketing. TikTok shopping works by allowing creators on the app to promote and sell products. Creators can add a shopping tab to their TikTok profiles which will pull products from their Shopify catalogs. Once a TikTok user finds the products they would like to purchase, the app will seamlessly navigate the user to the online store for checkout. Creators with TikTok storefronts can also organically tag products in their content using specific product links. 

However, TikTok shopping is only available to Shopify merchants with a TikTok for Business account. Very similar to how Instagram’s eCommerce feature works. Currently, only merchants in the US, UK, and select regions in Canada have access to the feature. 

4 tips on how to create a successful TikTok storefront

First, you’ll need to request merchant access to TikTok Shopping through Shopify’s TikTok channel. Download the TikTok app for Shopify for a step-by-step overview. Once you get access, these are a few of our best practice recommendations to follow when starting out. 

1. Optimize your product catalog for the platform

The shopping tab is your online storefront, so let’s make sure she’s looking pretty to attract customers. Choose attractive product images that are of the best quality and pick a consistent aesthetic that reflects your brand. 

Product titles should be no longer than 34 characters and should clearly describe the product. The description can be longer but make sure it’s concise. No one has the time or attention span to read an essay of a product description, so try and include as many details as possible without having too many filler words. 

2. Spread the word to our audience 

Get your audience excited about your catalog! You’ll be waiting a lifetime if you wait for your fans and TikTok users to find you on their own, so take some initiative! Repost some of your TikTok content on your other social channels to drive more traffic to your page. 

3. Advertise your products 

Promote your TikTok contentDon’t be afraid to get creative when promoting your products on your page. Adding a touch of humor to your product mentions gets users excited about your products and encourages them to share your content with friends and family. 

When promoting your products, make sure you have a pre-existing audience to promote to before throwing your products in all your videos. Which you should not be doing anyway. Make sure you have a variation of the content you post, as you never want to come off too salesy. 

4. Use influencers! 

Remember when we said that this was the name of the game?! Influencers are the perfect way to reach and engage new audience members in an authentic way. Take my personal antidote for example. By watching some girl make a mouthwatering meal out of her upcoming cookbook, I immediately bought the book and am now giving it as a Christmas gift. 

If you’re someone who isn’t super into the popular social trends, subcultures, and jokes that live within the platform, influencers are your ticket into better handing the creative direction in the space. There is a lot of content that lives within the platform, so it’s easy to have your content get lost in the TikTok algorithm. Using well-versed influencers gives you the greatest chances for successfully promoting your products.

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