TikTok for E-Commerce: Everything You Need to Know

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Having a presence on social media—for personal or business use—has become quite common, so common that more than 60% of humans now use the platform.

Simple math will tell us that this would be equivalent to almost 4.48 billion individuals out of the world population of almost eight billion. And this figure is only for 2021, as 2022 has yet to end.

Doing business through social media platforms, therefore, becomes a requisite for entrepreneurs who want to grow their ventures, either by e-commerce or the traditional brick-and-mortar shop. 

TikTok is one of the hottest social media platforms, with a hefty 1.53 billion users glued to the platform every month.  It is then no wonder that brands flock to this platform to attract potential consumers.

Interestingly, an industry report said people spend more time viewing ads on TikTok compared to ads on other platforms, with about 73% of TikTok viewers expressing a deeper connection with brands they interact with on TikTok.

In this piece, let’s look at how TikTok is helping e-commerce entrepreneurs, be they individual sellers, or experienced online companies, take advantage of the platform to thrive.

Setting up your TikTok presence

So how does TikTok help online entrepreneurs? Fortunately, TikTok has TikTok Commerce which according to the company is its “suite of products that let your audience discover and shop your products right from TikTok—helping your business become the next big thing on #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt.”

To start things off, you need to create your TikTok for Business account. If you still don’t have a TikTok account, this is the time for you to have one. The steps are quite easy: Download the app to your personal computer or even your phone; create a personal profile by filling in the usual required information; then switch your TikTok account to a business account.

A quick tip: At this stage, you can start building your brand by writing a brief description of your company and what your business is all about. If you have a product website, do not forget to include a link to your site.

Once you’re done, you’ll then have access to TikTok’s business suite which provides businesses with a multitude of services: from crafting planning ad placements to creating a shopping experience that can potentially convert to actual sales. You can even have analytics where you can manage your posts and engagement and manage any TikTok advertising campaigns.

Collaboration With Other Platforms

TikTok currently has existing partnerships with platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce, to offer you more options. 

For Shopify, there is a TikTok Shopify app that allows your Shopify account to integrate TikTok’s TikTok Shopping and TikTok for Business Ads Manager to help you create video ads, track results, and manage your orders all from within Shopify. 

Aside from online store creation, security, hosting, and others, a key feature of BigCommerce is that it allows businesses to track the results of their advertising campaigns. 

Partnerships with Creators and Influencers

In the world of social media, 53 percent of users say that influencer posts play an important role in their purchasing decisions.

With TikTok Commerce, online sellers can partner with local TikTok creators and influencers to come up with engaging content while bringing attention to a seller’s products.  Fortunately, most TikTok creators are natural storytellers and are most often part of communities. An endorsement from a community of creators is thus a reliable way to market your products.

TikTok also allows e-commerce businesses to tap into the platform’s affiliate program which allows partnerships with creators and influencers to promote products and bring traffic, through the TikTok Creator Marketplace (TTCM).

TTCM connects brands and agencies with over 800,000 qualified creators around the world and in TTCM you can create a promotion plan that uses collaboration tools to find creators that can help you build your TikTok presence. 

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Use Ads

Through TikTok Commerce, sellers can also invest in TikTok Ads. Through TikTok Ads Manager, sellers can access tools for creating and managing all kinds of ads. 

So, what are these ad types? We list down a few: 

1. Dynamic Showcase Ads: Leverage your synced catalog to show relevant products to interested users.  

2 Collection Ads: Combine video ads, product cards, and a full-screen landing page to drive immediate purchases.

3 Spark Ads: A native ad display that allows brands to leverage organic TikTok posts and features in advertising.

4 Lead Gen Ads: Ads that enable you to collect leads using customizable forms to help qualify and convert leads. 

The beauty of TikTok Ads is the wide range of flexibility and options that sellers can have. Sure, you would need to put in money to avail of these ads, but the potential can be huge for your business. TikTok can also help you make an impact with its so-called campaign solutions to boost visibility, engagement, and reach.

TikTok Commerce for you

At the outset, if you’re an aspiring e-commerce company or an individual seller hoping to cash in TikTok’s massive potential, then having a bit of knowledge on how TikTok’s range of business tools (such as TikTok Commerce) should be your priority.

TikTok, as a short-form video platform, offers subtle, yet significant differences from other social commerce platforms.

For instance, an industry report says shoppers now turn to online shopping for simple and immediate satisfaction, with 41 percent of shoppers buying online for speed and 30 percent buying online for convenience.  When engaged in TikTok, users are 51 percent more likely to discover products from an ad, and 76 percent more likely to look at posts with a trending hashtag/brand while considering a purchase.  About 61 percent of Tiktok users at the same time say they have engaged in e-commerce behavior on the platform. 

Users likewise say they are open to buying directly from Tiktok because of its entertaining content, finding a sense of association with the content and products highlighted, and the purchase makes their day better. 

TikTok is also promising that with its TikTok Commerce tools, you can also let TikTok communities “explore, discover, and buy, all in one place with the ability to purchase products right from your profile, your ads, your videos,” etc.

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