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TikTok Shop: The Guide

Introduction to TikTok Shop and Its Impact on E-commerce 

 

For some generations it’s hard to imagine a world before TikTok – not only has it transformed social media, it has now revolutionised e-commerce and how people shop, thanks to TikTok Shop. 

This special new feature has played a powerful role in merging social media and online shopping into a seamless user experience for both vendors and consumers alike. TikTok shows no signs of slowing its meteoric rise into the social media stratosphere – with now over one billion users globally, its impact on consumer behaviour is not to be scoffed at.

Leveraging its huge user base, TikTok has created a dynamic, bustling marketplace where brands can engage directly with their audience through content and user-friendly shopping experiences.

 

TikTok Shop has caused a significant shift in the world of e-commerce for multiple reasons. Firstly, it provides a unique space for brands to showcase their products in an engaging, user-friendly way. Secondly, it has played a huge role in democratising e-commerce by enabling small businesses and independent creators to reach a wider audience without the need for large marketing budgets… and finally, TikTok Shop has done wonders in reshaping the landscape of influencer marketing by enabling influencers to directly monetise their content (by promoting products on the platform etc.)

TikTok Shop has prompted a paradigm shift in online shopping – converging entertainment and commerce to redefine the consumer experience. Read on to delve into the weird and wonderful world of TikTok Shop…

 

Understanding How TikTok Shop Works 

 

Before we can clearly assess its impact on the consumer experience, we must first ask (and answer) the question of what TikTok Shop actually is!

To put it frankly, it’s one of the platform’s many innovative features introduced to enhance the user experience – with its specific function allowing users to discover and purchase products directly within the app. 

For users, TikTok Shop offers a seamless shopping experience, using the platform’s clever algorithm to make recommendations based on their browsing history and interests. But the best part is it doesn’t feel forced or thrust upon them, users simply stumble across products (usually within an engaging/entertaining short video as per the format of the app) as they scroll through their feed. If they like the product they can click to discover more and purchase, should they so desire!

For businesses, TikTok Shop offers a unique opportunity to reach large audiences and drive sales through creative and authentic content. Brands can partner with influencers or create their own engaging promotional videos to effectively showcase their products and connect with potential customers in a fun and immersive way.

 

Setting Up Your TikTok Shop: A Step-by-Step Guide 

Setting Up Your TikTok Shop: A Step-by-Step Guide 


Now we’ve learnt about the advantages of TikTok Shop for both brand and consumer alike, how do we get going? Well, in order to set up your TikTok Shop, you have to create TikTok Business Account first. Once done, you can link your shop to your TikTok profile under “Settings” > “Business Suite.”

To get your products into your ‘virtual shop front,’ simply upload through integrations with eCommerce platforms like Shopify or alternatively you can also do via manual entry. 

As with all forms of consumerism, it’s important to make your offering visually appealing – so add an engaging profile picture, bio, and clear product descriptions to optimise your shop’s appearance for the consumer. 

Making use of TikTok’s short-form videos is a fantastic way to get your products ‘out there’ so to speak – engaging with trends and participating in TikTok challenges will up the chances of getting it seen by the right people within the algorithm. Whilst, TikTok’s shopping features (i.e. in-feed shoppable links and product tags) will also enhance the reach of your products. 

Using all of these tactics you can then analyse the performance of these strategies through TikTok’s analytics to inform and refine your future strategy and maximise your sales and reach!

 

Tips for Successful Selling on TikTok Shop 

 

  1. Authenticity wins:  Authentic content will help your brand feel more genuine and relatable, helping to showcase your products, values, and brand identity in the most effective and impactful way.
  2. Captivating content: By creating engaging videos that highlight product features, benefits, and usage, you are most likely to stop scrollers in their tracks and strike the sweet spot of the platform’s algorithm. 
  3. Know your audience: Understanding TikTok demographics is key to tailoring content and messaging effectively for maximum reach and impact. 
  4. Jump on the trend bandwagon: Keep your ear to the ground for trending hashtags and challenges to incorporate into your content strategy.
  5. Clear CTA: Viewers tend to look to the platform for relief and to ‘switch off,’ so it’s important you clearly direct viewers on what their next course of action is i.e. visiting your shop or making a purchase etc.
  6. Stay consistent: it’s important to maintain a cohesive and consistent aesthetic across your profile for immediate brand recognition and trust. 
  7. Engage with your community: Don’t underestimate how powerful the simple tactic of responding to comments and messages can be. Interact with your followers to build trust and loyalty and get your brand personality out there!

 

Case Studies: Success Stories from TikTok Shop 

 

Here are some examples of TikTok Shop success stories for both large and small businesses, as seen in Litcommerce

 

Large businesses 

NYX Professional Makeup  

NYX Professional Makeup  

As far as TikTok case studies go, NYX Professional Makeup is one of the most famous ones that any brand can learn from. The Los Angeles-based cosmetics brand had set the target of elevating its cult-favourite Butter Gloss product line to mainstream recognition. They turned to TikTok’s highly influential beauty community to launch a six-day hashtag challenge, encouraging users to showcase their creativity by applying the Butter Gloss Lip Gloss. The campaign came with an original song, TikTok influencers, and a prize incentive, and went on to generate over 2 million UGC ( user generated content) videos, as well as huge commercial success, including: 

  • 11 billion view count for the #ButterGlossPop Branded Hashtag Challenge;
  • 2 million user videos for the challenges;
  • 42% boost in brand awareness; 
  • 79% increase in ad recall.

 

Netflix

Netflix

Netflix has amassed a hefty 36.2M million TikTok followers through a two-pronged strategy of creating engaging content tailored to the platform’s community that also aligns with trending topics. Their most notable and famous case study is that of the release of Cobra Kai’s third season, where Netflix collaborated with TikTok to develop a custom Cobra Kai Chop filter. Influencers from a host of countries added their own unique touch to the filter, using the hashtag #CobraKaiChop, leading to over 2.8 million views.  The campaign’s hashtag #cobrakaichop boasts an incredible 5.6 billion views to this day (and probably growing) and massively raised awareness of the series on TikTok.

 

Nascar

Nascar

TikTok’s hashtag, duet, and edited clip features has proven very effective for sports as a means of increasing fan connections with teams, athletes, and brands – in turn driving engagement, awareness, and revenues for sports marketers. A prime example of this in action is Nascar, whose partnership with Ryan Vargas was successful in introducing a whole new generation of fans to the racing series on the platform. Embracing TikTok’s potential for creativity and imagination, Vargas’ developed a series of engaging videos including behind-the-scenes access to help raise his profile whilst also boosting NASCAR’s. The partnership can actually be traced back to a fan-made concept on Twitter, illustrating how TikTok partnerships don’t always require large marketing budgets – just a bit of imagination and the right person to stumble across the idea! 

Small businesses – 

Enchanted Scrunch

Enchanted Scrunch, vendor of scrunchie designs, turned to TikTok Shop for promotion and received 10 orders on the first day and 15k views within two months.

TikTok has become the company’s primary marketing tool, contributing to approximately 90% of total sales, with the remaining 10% coming from Instagram and Pinterest. According to its owner, Dasha Derkach, pre-TikTok she had around two orders a week, whereas now they get 100 a week. In one year since being on TikTok, Enchanted Scrunch has evolved into a six-figure company with over 490K followers.

 

Peachy BBs Slime

Peachy BBs are experts in the TikTok slime realm with 6.2 million followers to its main account (plus a side account of over a million). Their strategy has been to regularly share videos on the slime-making process and new productsas well as address follower queries. According to the company, their slime drops often sell out within minutes. One follower even compared getting their hands on Peachy BB’s slimes to “trying to get Jordans.”

Lala Hijabs

Lala Hijabs founders Sana and Will Saleh initially turned to TikTok to promote their (not yet launched) hijab company just for fun. Soon there was interest so the couple decided to promote the business before officially starting it, with one viral video leading to over 50,000 followers and 1 million views overnight. After this initial success they launched the business, using TikTok as their main marketing tool. The account has grown to over 146,000 followers and 4.3 million likes and now generates 60% of all sales from via the app!

 

Future Developments and Trends in TikTok E-commerce 

 


As we’ve already discussed, TikTok Shop has already done wonders in transforming the e-commerce landscape on social media, and it shows no signs of slowing down! As the platform evolves, the intersection between entertainment and shopping is set to become even more acute. But what exactly will this look like? Well, we can’t determine for sure (as these features are either in their infancy or not even yet conceived), but we can use our imagination to predict that there will be a development of even more innovative features that merge content creation (be it brand or influencer) with product promotion. We may even start to see enhanced shoppable content, such as interactive AR try-on experiences and instant purchasing!

We can expect to see even more brand collaboration with influencers to increase brand reach, authenticity and the way they connect with their target audience. Plus, it’s likely that AI will play an even more significant role in influencing personalised product recommendations and algorithms to enhance user experience and build strong brand-consumer relationships. 

As the boundaries between social media and e-commerce continue to blur, we can safely predict that TikTok will continue to be a dominant force in the world of online shopping – helping to further reshape consumer behaviours and revolutionise the way we, as the consumer, engage with brands.

 

Strategies for Brands to Maximise TikTok Shop

 

There are a variety of strategies that brands can use to maximise TikTok Shop. The first and, perhaps most obvious, is sharing engaging, entertaining content that both brings your brand identity and values to life but also resonates with TikTok’s audience. The best way to do this is by hopping on trends, challenges, and user-generated content to create a sense of community around your products – as well as positioning yourself right in the centre of the moment.

Another effective strategy is to collaborate with TikTok influencers whose audience aligns with your target demographic. Not only will their endorsement boost brand visibility and credibility, it will land in the feeds of the right people for you. 

TikTok has a variety of interactive features like shoppable livestreams and in-feed ads that are really helpful for driving direct sales – get involved and make the shopping experience uncomplicated and seamless to encourage users to make impulse purchases.

As we’ve already discussed in this blog, never underestimate engagement. By interacting with your followers through comments, duets, and challenges, you’ll not only build rapport and a sense of authenticity but also loyalty. 

Finally, TikTok’s insights are there for good reason. Analyse metrics to optimise and influence your strategy moving forward. TikTok is an ever-changing platform so it’s important to be able to pivot strategy at any given notice. 

By staying authentic, interactive, and data-driven, brands can effectively use TikTok Shop to drive sales and brand awareness – and get the results they want!

 

 

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