TikTok has developed over the years in more ways than one. Starting as a social media platform providing users with entertaining content in short-form vertical-type videos, scrolling on TikTok now has a new meaning. From mindlessly laughing at video memes, or listening to quotes by celebrities and leaders, to watching cooking demonstrations, TikTok has another added value today by becoming a budding e-commerce marketplace wherein subscribers can check out, buy, and have delivered the products that they see on their video feed.
What once was a digital and social media marketing tool used by sellers to promote their products has now become a sought-after selling platform providing an interface where you can list and price your products, integrate them with other marketplaces, and have your followers check out their favorite items, and shipped via TikTok Shop shipping or your trusted third-party logistics provider. Whether we admit it or not, TikTok steadily shapes the ways we entertain ourselves and shop online.
When it was first launched, shopping via video content and live streaming seemed out of the ordinary. But as time has proven, TikTok made its mark and other platforms such as YouTube have also developed their own in-app shopping features to cater to the changing shopping behaviors of customers online. It may be too early to tell, but these developments are expected to get better in the near future.
In this piece, we will discuss how beneficial and fulfilling TikTok shopping can be for you. We will also list down some steps you have to fulfill when placing your TikTok Shop orders for the first time. We also let you in on the many exciting ways sellers and buyers can interact with the platform for not only satisfactory but novel ways of shopping online.
Scroll through TikTok
Of course, when you want to buy on TikTok Shop, you need to have a TikTok account. With the TikTok app available on Android and iOS, you can easily sign up for an account if you do not have one. Once you’re in, you can scroll through content and look for your favorite items. You can also use the search bar to look for the most popular TikTok shops that are already offering in-app checkout.
There are a variety of shops available on TikTok. You can buy beauty products, home equipment, electronics, phone cases, e-bikes, and other items of your interest. You must keep scrolling until you find the product of your dreams.
You might also find that some sellers have already integrated their product listings into their TikTok Shop allowing you to see and choose from the full catalog of products that they sell across all their sales channels. Pretty neat if we may add.
Check out the Shop feed tab
For some territories, the TikTok app already has a third tab beside the For You and Following tabs, meaning you get to see your own dedicated TikTok Shop feed wherein you see the collated accounts of the hottest TikTok sellers near you and within your specific territory.
Within the Shopping tab, you can find a search bar that suggests product searches suited to you based on your interests and what you view on TikTok. When you click on the search bar, you can also see a variety of shopping categories, which include, but are not limited to beauty, women’s wear, electronics, accessories, bags, kitchen, footwear, baby, office, bedding, and more. Here, you can also gain access and know which promotions are available at the moment like free shipping on select purchases and stores.
When you explore the Shop tab further, you also can find a cart icon that will reflect all the items that you have added to it and are pending checkout and payment. A menu on the bottom right gives you access to more features to check your Orders, view Messages between you and the sellers, manage and use your Vouchers, put in your Address and other shipping details, and settle your Payments from a variety of options.
Watch out for Live Shopping events
Albeit momentary, and fleeting, Live Shopping events have become increasingly popular. This has been the case, especially during the pandemic lockdowns, where ordering from your favorite online shops just made more sense and was truly much safer given the situation. Moreover, this makes for better marketing efforts because the level of interaction between seller and buyer goes much higher. Customers can ask questions and request more details about the product that is being presented, and the live seller can address those questions at once and in real-time.
How to place your order
Whether through an in-video product listing, the Shop tab or a Live Shopping event, TikTok’s integrated in-app checkout feature is an easy-peasy way to get your favorite #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt haul item. When you see an item featured in the bottom part of a TikTok video content or you’re browsing in a specific seller’s TikTok shop, you just click the “Buy Now” button (Note: this can be in the form of a link embedded in the pre-made video content), which will lead you to the “Order Summary” page.
On this next page, you will be asked to fill in your complete address and choose from variants (can be color or other features), and quantity of order. You will also be given the option to leave a note in case you have additional specific requests on what to do with your product. This can work well if your seller offers customization such as name engraving or a choice of materials for the finished product. Afterward, you can now choose your preferred payment option, which is extensive, by the way. (We’ll talk about them later!)
After settling your payment, just click Checkout. And wait for the seller’s response. Once your order is confirmed, it will now undergo the picking and packing process. Your seller will now proceed with handing it to the third-party logistics (3PL) provider, which can either be enlisted by TikTok, or the one preferred by the seller. Don’t worry though, in every step of the delivery process, TikTok will be providing you with information on which stage the delivery is in.
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TikTok payment options
Here, we list some of the payment options that TikTok Shop offers. Note that these may differ according to your territory, and your local banks and e-wallet providers, but this should work as a summary of the range of options available for you to choose from.
Cash-on-delivery. The cash-on-delivery (COD) option is a good option for those who want to receive their products and make sure they are correct according to the order and in good condition before handing out their payment. Sellers offer this because it also boosts their orders and allows them to cater to those who do not have electronic payment methods available at their dispense. Generally, as soon as you receive your order, you can choose to either pay via cash or via credit/debit card. But that will ultimately depend upon what the 3PL provider allows.
Debit/Credit. Debit/credit options are generally available across all territories. What you must make sure of is that your bank already supports payment for TikTok Shop. But Stripe mostly supports payment from major banks in each territory. If you do not have a debit/credit card linked to your bank account, you might want to look at some financial outfits offering virtual pay cards which work just as fine as when you input your regular debit/credit details in the app.
E-wallet. E-wallets are becoming a popular payment method among shoppers online as they give out less financial information and are easier to link to and unlink from merchant sites. This also works best if you are that uncontrollable human being with shopping spree tendencies as you can better manage your shopping budget by cashing in just the right amount to make you feel satisfied.
How to track your orders
As soon as you place your order in the TikTok shop, it will undergo a process of fulfillment with many different steps. But TikTok provides you with a real-time delivery status report. If your item is in stock, your order will be confirmed by the seller, which will jumpstart the picking and packing process. Once the packages have been handed to the 3PL provider (could be through TikTok Shop or another 3PL provider of the seller’s choice), they will be marked as Shipped.
TikTok also provides you with an order tracking number which you can use as a reference in case you have queries as to the exact location of the delivery. You can view the updates on your order’s delivery status via the Manage Orders panel on your Shop tab. If you have urgent questions or details to clear out regarding your order, you may reach out to the seller via the Messages panel in the Shop tab.
Acknowledge receipt of your order
Once the package goes in transit, and by heavens, we hope that it does not suffer damage, delay, or loss, you will receive your item at your doorstep within the indicated delivery period. You can also view the estimated timeframe of delivery when you order. Make sure to take note of the delivery timeline, because, in the event of a delay, you could report it to the seller and TikTok, and who knows, you might get some voucher freebies in exchange for the anxiety and hassle. TikTok wants to create a swift, safe, and satisfactory shopping experience and sellers want that too. We think they would really go out of their way to make it up to you.
Once everything is settled, and you’re happy with your product, you sign an acknowledgment receipt via the delivery person. Some offer physical paper-based receipts, while some have gone electronic. Just check with the provider. After that’s done, your order will be marked as Delivered, and the seller will be prompted.
Leave some feedback (*wink*)
E-commerce is a two-way street. If you’re happy with your order – with the product itself and the overall shopping experience, including fulfillment, the sellers and TikTok Shop would appreciate a good word or two. You can send your seller some kind, appreciative messages. Or leave a comment on their video content and TikTok Shop. Some satisfied customers even make unboxing videos to demonstrate their new haul in use. And we highly encourage that. Nothing stops you from sharing a pleasant experience shopping online – both process-wise and product-wise. It’s meant to be shared with the world. Don’t keep it to yourself, eh?
Don’t forget to order again
And if you’re feeling that you want to go that extra mile to show your seller your deep-felt appreciation, you can do so by placing a repeat order. Sellers spend a lot of time, money, and effort in building a solid and loyal customer base.
If we feel like they’re doing an excellent job serving us with the best products the market has to offer, we can help them to stay afloat. Online selling is a bit of a precarious venture. One day you’re popular, the next day you’re sunk into oblivion. But responsible and responsive sellers deserve our support. So, help your favorite TikTok shop seller by buying again and recommending them to your friends and family. Although we are in the digital age, word-of-mouth marketing is arguably the most effective and timeless of all. Happy shopping, TikTok-ers! Oh, and don’t forget to say thank you!