14 min read

How to Sell on TikTok: Working Strategies for Ecommerce in 2024

Written by Natalia Guivan
14 min read
Table of Contents

    TikTok is a highly influential social media application that has surpassed Facebook and Instagram in terms of app store popularity. Naturally, this encouraged businesses and entrepreneurs to find ways of using it for profit. What started as an entertaining app with funny cat videos, now is employed by professional marketers as an integral part of omnichannel marketing strategy and sales operations for many ecommerce firms

    YouTube video

    Success on this platform, however, demands a very different approach than on any other social media network. In this article, we’ll explore the best recommendations of how to sell on TikTok. Read ahead to obtain working practices that will assist you in getting started with TikTok sales.

    How to Start Selling on TikTok

    Taking a first step is always difficult. Even if you have a clear idea about your product and are used to the platform’s functionality from the point of a user, it might be unclear how to become a seller on this app. Here’s a simple guide that will help you start selling on TikTok.

    1. Create an Account

    Logically, the first thing you have to do is to create a TikTok account. Depending on your objectives and type of product you plan to sell, the account has to fully represent your brand or online persona. If it’s an account for your business, choose a memorable logo as your profile picture, and a catchy username to use that includes the company’s name. If you’re an influencer or a creator who wants to sell content, knowledge, services, and whatnot under your own brand, experts recommend using your name or a nickname with the real you on the profile picture. Both ways, it’ll make your profiles more recognizable to the audience and trustworthy in the eyes of potential clients. Add a brief biography that describes your company’s line of work, offers, or type of content you create. Remember that nobody will buy things from “user0000000000000” with no profile picture or info.

     2. Switch to a Business Account

    Even though some sellers manage to sell things on TikTok from regular accounts by simply attaching links, we don’t recommend doing so. It is completely unreliable for both sellers and buyers, gives you as a business owner close to no insights into your performance and client base, and, of course, decreases opportunities for promotion. 

    Professional sellers, as well as those less experienced but eager to generate sales on TikTok, typically switch to a Business account right away. It’s pretty simple to do.

    1. Click “…” in the upper right corner of the Profile screen in the app, navigate to Settings & Privacy, click Manage account, and choose Switch to Business Account.
    2. Select the category that best describes your company to receive events, material, and solutions that are tailored to your needs. 

    Easy as it is to set up, a Business account actually brings numerous benefits for organizations and individuals in terms of functionality, marketing, and analytics. Naturally, with the help of all the advanced features, you can up your rates of selling on TikTok. Here’s a list of advantages that you’ll have compared to users with regular, default accounts. 

    • Tools for Analytics: The Analytics tab is quite helpful for monitoring the effectiveness of your ads and the performance of your content.
    • Featured links: To increase conversions, you can provide a direct link to your company’s website on your brand’s TikTok page.
    • Connected email: You can designate an email address as your company’s primary method of communication.
    • Scheduler for posts: This function, which is not accessible to the public, assists social media managers and professional marketers in organizing their content calendar in advance.
    • Business Creative Hub: Brands may monitor what other brand content is trending based on the amount of likes or interaction. Brands can also get simple-to-follow guidelines for making interactive posts. 
    • Commercial Music Library: Using trending sounds is a must for any TikTok promotion. With a Business account, you’ll have access to music and tunes without worrying about copyright issues. 

    Also, what’s great about having a TikTok Business account is that it’s completely free. You don’t have to pay any monthly fee to become a TikTok seller.

    3. Set Up TikTok Shop

    With the TikTok Shop, users can search for and purchase products directly from the app. It offers businesses and marketers an opportunity to showcase their products to the sizable user base while enabling users to shop effortlessly without ever leaving the app. Creators that incorporate TikTok Shop into their content can make money by promoting products through brand agreements or affiliate marketing. That’s why it’s important for sellers to set up this feature, which is also fairly easy to do. Here’s a brief instruction.

    1. First, go to the TikTok Shop official portal and sign up for an account in the Seller Center. Then choose your region and log in either under your phone number or and existing TikTok account (which you’ve already created following the previous steps of our guide). 
    2. Fill in the required information about your business and provide all the required documents related to your products.
    3. After completing the first two steps, you’ll need to wait for your account to get approved. From user reviews, we know that it might take up to 24 hours. When your Shop gets approver, you’ll have access to an intuitive dashboard with all the functionality.
    4. After adding tax information and shipping details, you can add your product to the Shop. The app allows you to either add items directly into the Shop or sync with another platform, like Shopify, or BigCommerce, Etsy, or others. 
    5. The next step is to connect your brand’s TikTok account with your newly set up shop. To do it, you need to choose the “Connect your shop to a TikTok account” section from the dashboard, click “Link official account” button to open a window with a QR code. Then go back to the app, click on the three lines at the top corner, and choose QR code scanner. Scan the code and authorize the account.
    6. Now you’re fully set up to start selling on TikTok. When you log in to your account in the app, you’ll see a little shopping bag tab in your profile that contains all uploaded products with description and purchase features. 
    7. You can now tag these products in your videos. Use the TikTok app to create a video, and at the end of the caption, click on “Add link” and choose “Products”. Select the desired product, save, and the tagging is complete.

    4. Create Content

    Developing engaging and original content is a great way to boost traffic and revenue. In this department, you’ll have two main options—hire a professional content creator (in-house or freelance) or create posts yourself. Regardless, we have advice for both cases.

    If you choose the first variant, you need to hire someone who knows how to produce videos centered around your product. One of the best things about selling products on TikTok is that you can find a list of all the people who have joined up for the Creator program by going to a part of your TikTok seller account in the Affiliate Center side and clicking on “Find Creators.” These are the people who are ready to create videos to promote your goods and aid in your sales. This option also is fantastic because you have a common motivation. Since these creators only get paid on commissions; if they don’t bring in any sales for you, they won’t get compensated. 

    Another option is more suited for small TikTok ecommerce businesses that don’t have enough resources and influencers who aspire to make a name for themselves and use it as a personal brand to sell on TikTok. What you have to remember, opting for this variant, is that your main strategy in the beginning has to include trends—from fashion to memes to music—while also incorporating your own unique style. Whether it’s through dancing, lip-syncing, or product demonstrations, use hit songs to create captivating content. 

    5. Promote Content

    TikTok provides marketers with an array of ad formats and targeting choices so they can reach the proper audience with their product or service. The most popular instrument that businesses use on the platform is ads. You can set them up on your Business account and start creating campaigns with the TikTok Ad Manager as soon as you submit. You can also choose a target that aligns with the objectives you have for your company, such as increasing revenue, brand recognition, website traffic, or reach. Age, gender, location, and even interests can be used as filters.  

    The platform offers two main categories of ads, which are self-service ads and Ad Manager ads.

    • Self-Service Video advertising in-feed are one of the ad types. When a person scrolls through their For You Page, these kinds of adverts will show up. They don’t look like typical advertisements; instead, they blend in with your feed of TikTok videos.
    • Branded hashtag challenges, TopView advertisements, and branded effects are among the ads set up with an Ad Manager.

    The process of setting up your promotional ad campaigns is also simple. Only in 8 steps, your advertisement will be ready to appear on users screens, promoting your content and helping you sell products on TikTok.

    1. Go to the Ads Manager registration page.
    2. Click ‘Send code’ after creating an account.
    3. Type the verification code that was sent to your phone or email.
    4. Select “Sign up.”
    5. Enter your company information and the appropriate time zone (it cannot be altered afterward).
    6. Select “Register.”
    7. Create your initial campaign
    8. Send in your first advertisement and payment.

    Best Practices How to Sell Products on TikTok

    To add to our guide on how to sell things on TikTok, we’ll share some best methods and practices proven to be effective for the platform’s algorithms. These tactics are aimed to assist ecommerce businesses in promoting their content and brand, increasing engagement, and boosting sales.

    Know your target audience

    We’ve already established that due to TikToks popularity, the app has an enormous user base that includes your potential clients. Of course, not all of them. Wise business owners know exactly what audience segment they target. To help you with the target, here are some statistical insights.

    • A recent study by Datareportal that looked at TikTok users by age found that most of them are in the 18 to 34 age range which is also the main pool of buying clients for many brands. 
    • More precisely, over two out of every three adult users on TikTok (i.e., 69.3% of all users) are in the age range of 18 and above. 
    • When we dig a little deeper, we find that 36.7% of adult TikTok users are between the ages of 18 and 24, as opposed to 32.6% who are between the ages of 25 and 34. This means that to sell on TikTok successfully, you need to attract the attention of these age categories first and foremost. 
    • In the classification by gender, 51.9% of TikTok’s user base is male, which is a minor bias in the platform’s user demographic.

    Depending on the specifics of your products, you can choose what segment of this large audience to target and customize your strategy accordingly. It’s beneficial to be specific on social network, so familiarize yourself with the app and its many communities.

    Practice Example — Lumoclip

    In this example, the brand markets a reading light. The main group on TikTok that can bring buying clients is #BookTok, which is a large community dedicated to a hobby of book reading and sharing. To reach this audience, Limoclip not only offers a product that can be on-demand among active readers, they also speak the same language with their customers. One of the implemented strategies is the use of hashtags like #readers, #booklover, #readertok, etc. from #BookTok. Gaining proficiency in the language of the audience will enable you to join in the community more naturally. 

    Focus on entertainment, not sales

    Many businesses have to learn how to sell stuff on TikTok without shoving it right in clients’ faces. Typical advertisements can be made on some other channel like email marketing, while TikTok should be first and foremost for entertainment. Your post will draw more attention the more genuine and funny it is. Because it is far more informal than Instagram, more and more individuals find it intriguing. To get viral on TikTok, all you need to do is offer value, be it amusement, education, or awareness. Keep it unobtrusive when promoting things on TikTok by putting more emphasis on creating engaging content than outright advertising and skillfully incorporating products into stories or tutorials that highlight your subject-matter expertise.

    Practice Example — Habit Skin

    This is a great example of how to introduce products without making it boring. Skin care company Habit uses popular TikTok sounds and masks to make meme posts with its products as the main characters. 

    Be consistent in engaging with the audience

    TikTok algorithms value interactions and engagement. So, if you want to get on people’s FYP you need to make sure your content is engaging. There are many ways, but the most effective and correct to use is producing quality content. Some creators can go viral using baiting techniques, and while it can bring engagement and views, it definitely won’t help ecommerce businesses reach their goal—sales. We recommend being methodical and utilizing tactics that the platform approves of.

    • Enable and make stitches Duets and stitches are examples of collaborative features that provide more opportunities for creativity and user interaction.
    • Reply to comments Consistently browse comment sections under your posts. Your quick reaction, reasonable responses, answers to client questions can help you create a trustworthy reputation, and encourage viewers to interact more and buy something.
    • Stream live You must have at least 1,000 followers on TikTok in order to go live. When you’re qualified, click “create,” add a title and image to your livestream, and you’re all prepared to interact with viewers in real time. During lives, viewers can help creators by trading in Virtual Coins for Gifts, which grow into Diamonds that can be monetized into actual cash. Many brands also know how to sell products on TikTok Live by using LIVE Shopping ads and leverage it to their advantage.

    Practice Example — Vessi

    https://www.tiktok.com/@vessi/video/7344152388774792454

    This Canadian company expertly uses the Duets feature to showcase their shoes while engaging with posts of other users. The company’s duet giveaway promotion has been one of its more effective ones. This is yet another straightforward tactic that works amazingly well. Your clients can win free merchandise by participating in a duet that features your items. It benefits both parties. 

    Encourage and use UGC

    User-generated content (UGC) is the type of content created and posted by other TikTok users on their accounts featuring your products. It can be reviews, evaluations, lifehacks, and whatnot. What brands really appreciate is that, unlike collaborations with influencers, this UGC is free. It also provides the audience with a genuine review from an impartial customer, which grows the trust to your goods. Even though you cannot fully control what clients post about your brand, your task is to turn this type of content to your advantage. Our recommendations:

    • Monitor your brand’s hashtag to see what they post, help them resolve issues if they have any, encourage positive reviews, comment, stitch, etc. 
    • Make a hashtag or challenge of your own to entice people to post videos of themselves utilizing your goods. 
    • Engage with UGC creators to show to the audience that you cherish client’s opinions.

    Practice Example — Pair Eyewear

    Pair Eyewear knows for sure how to boost sales on TikTok using UGC. The brand shows active support to creators who showcase and review their glasses and frames. You can see the company’s words of appreciations in the comment section. Aside from commenting on posts, they also repost some of the videos by their clients after the approval of an original creator.

    Involve Influencers

    You can also leverage paid content created by influencers and bloggers who already have a considerable following. 

    By launching an affiliate program, you can collaborate with influencers on the app to market your goods and encourage traffic to your TikTok Shop. With TikTok’s Selling Center, you can choose to work with influencers in your specialized market to create a working promotion strategy. After that, the creator publishes material containing affiliate links to your online store or marketplace. 

    Practice Example — La Roche Posay & InaeCakes 

    This example shows how a skincare brand collaborated with a cake artist that goes viral from time to time thanks to a unique content format. The creator makes realistic cakes that look exactly like objects from our daily life and then suggest users to guess “Is it cake?”. In this video, viewers have to guess which one is a real product from La Roche Posay and which is its cake copy. This collaboration is a great example of how to sell products on TikTok using unobtrusive ads from influencers.

    FAQ

    Why Sell on TikTok?

    What makes selling on TikTok worthwhile? Let’s look at the common reasons why you should invest. 

    • Popularity. The platform’s monthly global user base has increased by 800% since 2018 and is expected to reach 1.2 billion users. Compared to other social media platforms, it is simpler to reach a larger audience, which enables producers to expand exponentially faster. 
    • Innovations. In response to customer requests, the company introduced a number of features that facilitate sales on TikTok. With its vast user base and array of tools, including tailored exploration, the platform presents your company to over one billion people. 
    • Custom product suggestions. TikTok is a popular platform where consumers go to find product recommendations from reliable content creators. The audience is more prepared to shop after engaging in this kind of investigation, which also helps them make purchases.
    • Accessibility. The app facilitates easy purchasing for consumers, making shopping convenient. It uses the visually appealing and captivating information offered by the platform to boost sales and brand engagement.

    What to sell on TikTok?

    Technically, you can promote and sell stuff on TikTok regardless of its type. However, since the platform specifies on visual representations, some products are just easier to showcase and market to clients via vide format. In the first month after TikTok Shop U.S. made its big debut, 85% of transactions were made in the beauty care category. On the TikTok e-commerce platform, it is the most popular category. Accessories, jewelry, body care, and cosmetics all pair well with the influencer sales model on social media, which is why beauty is such a hot topic in social commerce. 

    How to promote products on TikTok?

    To give you a clear answer to the question “How to promote a product on TikTok?”, let’s summarize the main points of working strategies that we’ve explored. Here’s a brief instruction:

    • Create engaging content;
    • Realistically showcase products and give detailed description of its characteristics;
    • Leverage hashtags and trends;
    • Use UGC content to your advantage;
    • Work with influencers;
    • Use TikTok Ads of different types.

    Final Thoughts

    We hope this article gave you all the answers to the question “How can I sell on TikTok?”. As you can see, there are no difficulties in utilizing this platform’s capabilities for promotion and sales. With little investment of resources and time, you get a great tool that brings real profit to your ecommerce business. Just follow this guide and don’t hesitate to contact our experts on the matter of leveraging omnichannel marketing. Flowium is always ready to help.

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