Everything You Need to Know About TikTok Shopping

Having one of the most meteoric rises to success, it almost seemed as if TikTok’s fame happened overnight. TikTok faced a drastic boom, with a 180% increase in people between the ages of 15-25, according to Statista. With the non-stop growth and being downloaded 3 billion times, TikTok needed to add new elements to keep users captivated for a longer time.

Concurrently, social e-commerce was increasing at a lightning pace. E-commerce experts are predicting that just solely in the United States, social commerce sales will reach roughly $70 billion in 2023. In comparison to last year, when it was $53 billion. This means that the industry is growing at roughly 29%. Moreover, the sales are forecasted to reach $107.17 billion by 2025

The US isn’t the only place where social commerce sales are booming, as of this year it is predicted that China will reach $623 billion. The simultaneous rise of social e-commerce and TikTok, almost made it seem like a perfect marriage waiting to happen.

Screenshot of a graph from a McKinsey report

What is TikTok Shopping?

Shortly after, TikTok made a brand-new state-of-the-art, in-app shopping feature. This made brands, businesses, and E-merchants all able to showcase their products and promote the products directly on TikTok. But, how do we sell them directly on TikTok? You can do this through in-feed videos with CTA's that will take you directly to check out, and the same is done with live shopping. The opportunities are limitless now, as the chances of reaching a bigger audience are more achievable. 

TikTok strategically released its new cutting-edge shopping feature with specific Shopify merchants in the US, UK, and then Canada on a trial before releasing it everywhere else in the world. This was more of a precautionary tactic to get vital data and feedback to see if they needed to make any further improvements to the feature.

Once the release was completed, E-merchants were a bit hesitant to be the first to get on the shopping feature, as there was no data on these products being successful. One of the first stores that registered on TikTok's shopping feature was Kylie Cosmetics. This seemed a bit intriguing at first, but in hindsight, it made perfect sense. Looking back at it, Kylie Jenner has an enormous following of 3.5 million on TikTok. If you have a look at Kylie Cosmetics on TikTok, you can see all their products displayed with options to purchase them directly from the app. This paved the way for other businesses to start using this shopping feature as Kylie Cosmetics is flourishing in TikTok shopping.

TikTok's users are vastly diverse and have curated the perfect opportunity for businesses to come in and set up, so let's see who all can use this feature.

Who can use TikTok Shopping?

One of the biggest questions related to TikTok shopping is, who can use it? Let's dive into the details and see if you can set up your very own TikTok store. When this was released initially, it was only accessible to Shopify-based retailers in America, the UK, and shortly after, Canada. Currently, this feature is accessible in most countries. TikTok has now created apps for retailers on many platforms PrestaShop, Base, Square, and BigCommerce are among the current and potential integration partners mentioned by the company. Any brand can host live shopping or CTA's to product pages through its videos. TikTok, being such a large platform, has given its shopping feature to any and everyone.

  1. Businesses: The first one is businesses, which do not necessarily have to be large ones. Small and medium-sized businesses are thriving on TikTok Shopping, experiencing success and effectiveness by reaching a wide audience and leveraging the platform's features. Moreover, even if you're just a sole proprietor, you can use TikTok shopping. It can be utilised by any business, you just need to ensure you can stand out from your competition.
  2. E-commerce channels: Shopify stores are now able to become integrated with TikTok's new shopping feature. This allows merchants and sellers to connect goods and services, which enables them to sell directly within the app.
  3. Users: The last one is users, if you're just like me and want to browse on TikTok or potentially shop, you fit right into this category. You can discover and purchase items from any brand that you come across, yet the best part is, it's all done in the app. Shopping is made easier with the elimination of the process to go to external websites for checking out. 
A shopper interacting with a shoppable TikTok video

How do I create TikTok Shoppable videos?

When it comes to creating TikTok shoppable videos, it is no different from the concept of creating any other shoppable videos. However, TikTok has designed an efficient way for your business to make it in just a couple of steps. So, follow these steps below to get yourself started with creating highly engaging shoppable videos.

  1. The first thing that you will need to do is to go on the “create” task. Here, you will upload a video or a repurposed video from your website. Before you produce your very own shoppable video, check this link out to eliminate any misconceptions you may have.
  2. After you feel that you have learned everything you need to about shoppable videos, it's time to record your video in-house. Once you have recorded and produced your video, click on the “upload” button.
  3. Currently, you just have a regular video, but now that we are in the post-production phase we will convert it into a shoppable one. We can get started on this by clicking on the “effects” option. The effects icon should be located on the bottom left of the screen, where you will be able to access TikTok's in-house editing features.
Effect option in the TikTok video editor on mobile
  1. The next thing to do to set up your TikTok shoppable video is to choose the sticker icon. This will lead you to the sticker library where you will be looking for the shopping sticker. It resembles a shopping bag, one that would instigate a purchase. Once you click the sticker, it will appear in the centre of your video, but feel free to reposition it to where you feel it would fit best. TikTok allows you to set up this sticker icon in great detail, to the point where you can give this product a name, complete descriptions, and even a link to a product page.
Tagging a product to your TikTok video
  1. In the last stage of editing, or what I like to call polishing, you can add music or filters to enhance your users’ experience. Overall, the videos will just be more fun to view and will give a much more professional feel. This way the average view rate on your videos will be higher, this will also lead to higher conversions as well.
  2. The last and final step is to write an interesting caption that will intrigue TikTok users and make them stay on your video. Once you are satisfied with everything, go ahead and post it on your TikTok account. Sooner or later you will see the difference in the amount of products you sell.

Why Should I Sell on TikTok Shop

To this date, TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms. The amount of reach it can generate is huge. Last year, 27.3% of TikTok users bought something on the platform, marking a significant increase from the 5.7% in 2020. As TikTok usage grows, that figure will rise to 39.9% by 2026. Let's have a look at specific benefits that will make you consider selling on the TikTok Shop.

Create Social Proof For Your Brand

Social proof is one of the greatest benefits that TikTok provides for your brands. As we have seen, there are multiple famous TikTok trends all over the social media platform. By this, I mean a famous dance or a challenge that everyone starts to do on TikTok. Hence, being an outstanding form to build reach and have a social proof for your brand. 

Think of it in terms of free marketing done for your brand. We have seen multiple famous trends all the way from the start of TikTok till today, it keeps happening. The way that you can get users to join your trend is by first having a product that will intrigue the masses. One of the biggest factors is that you really need to be engaged with your audience, which will help encourage more users to take part in the trend. When the trend takes off, you will notice that your brand is being tagged in a lot of videos focused on your product. You can re-upload these with the consent of the users and just give them a tag back.

While the trend is underway, repurpose these videos onto your website. When you do this, add a link so that they can turn into shoppable videos as well. This way, these videos will serve you two purposes. The first one is having shoppable videos that will help customers convert, and the other is having social proof for your brand, which will make your customers trust your products.

Keep Traffic on your Website Intrigued

It is no secret why TikTok is so successful, once you're on it, you tend to consume multiple videos at a time. TikTok is a superior social media app when it comes to keeping your audience captivated. The amount of times I have spent hours on TikTok whilst thinking I've only been on the app for a couple of minutes happens quite often. So you're probably wondering how is this related to your website. If you leverage these shoppable videos onto your website, you can keep your visitors on your site for longer. With the use of these shoppable videos, your audience will be more engaged and interested in your website for a longer time. When you add a CTA to your videos for your customers to make purchases directly, it will boost your conversion rates by enhancing customer engagement and simultaneously decreasing the bounce rate.

A Seamless Shopping Experience

TikTok shopping has revolutionised the way consumers shop for products on social media. Highly captivating videos being the new and effective way of shopping has proven to be the perfect partnership opportunity. With TikTok shopping, customers can easily purchase products via the tags on shoppable videos. This means that the hassle of checking out on a website is eliminated, as you are no longer required to be redirected to a website to make a purchase. 

With the rapid increase in short and engaging content, customers' attention spans have been proven to decrease as well. Therefore, this results in the preference of a quick and effortless purchase process, one that TikTok shopping provides for its consumers. As a result, this makes TikTok the leading/superior social media platform in this new market.  

What Products sell best on TikTok

The founders of TikTok curated such a diverse and user-friendly app where we have seen a load of different products being on sale. The most famous products that we see sold are products in the cosmetic industry. Products in the cosmetic industry tend to sell well, you will see uploaded videos of users demonstrating how to use the products. Alongside this, these videos have been converted to shoppable videos so that users can make direct purchases from them. Moreover, one of the most famous examples is Kylie Cosmetics taking TikTok by storm and releasing all of her beauty products on the platform.

Another product that we see on sale a lot on TikTok is LED strips. Yes, this may be surprising, but TikTok is the perfect platform for brands to show the before and after use of the lights. Creating videos that demonstrate how LED lights can transform the aesthetic and vibe of your space, can pose for very intriguing content. 

As for a product that may not be too surprising, we have seen a noticeable amount of jewellery being put up. Jewellery is being sold quite frequently on TikTok, where we are able to view it from multiple different angles and in different lighting. It is so crucial for a customer to see everything when it comes to them deciding whether to purchase or not. With the use of shoppable videos and the right marketing, customers can almost visualise what the product will look like on them.

Image from Freepik

How to sell on TikTok, step by step

1. Create your account

If you are a business, the first thing you need to do is to download TikTok. If you are a Shopify business, you can just download TikTok from the Shopify app. Once you have done this step, all you need to do is to set up your account by filling in your credentials. This account will provide you with access to TikTok's advertising and shopping features.

2. Engage with your audience and stay consistent

Once your account is set up, and you have started to post videos with tags and links, you are at the point where you have to engage with your audience. This can mean responding to your user's comments or even reposting videos about your products created by viewers. Consequently, it will incentivise more TikTok users to start to do the same. Furthermore, make sure you use the necessary tags and hashtags, as it helps to increase your brand’s visibility. Lastly, when you repost someone's content, make sure you tag them. This will create social proof and will make other people create similar videos so that your brand can repost their content as well.

3. Boost user-generated content

Implementing the right use of UGC, and having influencers collaborate with your brand, could lead to a tremendous amount of visibility. This should be carried out with the correct use of tags and hashtags so that if and when this becomes a new TikTok trend, anyone using your hashtags might lead traffic your way. With the help of UGC, your brand will gain a lot of trust from your audience.

Image by Freepik

4. Promote your TikTok Content

Lastly, TikTok is such a competitive space and to stand out from your competition is no easy task. Therefore, it is incredibly important to ensure you promote your posts. You should do this so that when a user is scrolling on TikTok, your brand will pop up on their For You page. This only expands your reach and increases the traffic that lands on your TikTok shoppable account. Also, another good tactic is to promote shoppable content that's engaging despite being a short video, this can help you improve your conversions as well. TikTok shopping is a massive opportunity for your business to sell products only if you carry out the necessary steps.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

i. Can you embed links on TikTok?

Yes, now TikTok allows you to add links to your products in the videos. All you have to do is to make sure you fit the criteria to be able to set up TikTok shopping. If you fit the criteria, then you will be able to do so!

ii. How do I link a product to a TikTok video?

You can add a tag or a link to the product now. Make sure your TikTok Business account and your shop is set up with one of TikTok’s approved e-commerce partners. After this, do the following to add a link:

  1. Open TikTok and go to your profile.
  2. Click on the “Edit Profile” button.
  3. Scroll down to the “Website” field and enter the URL of your shop or e-commerce site.
  4. Remember to save the necessary changes!

iii. How do you make a clickable link on a TikTok video?

To Access TikTok’s editing features, click on the effects icon. After this, make your way to the sticker icon, where you will find an icon that resembles a shopping bag. Once you place this onto your video, it will then turn into a clickable link.

iv. Why can't I link a product on TikTok?

You may not be able to do so as TikTok shopping is not allowed for individuals. If that is not the case, then check if you have switched to your business account. You are only allowed to add links to your products via your business account.

v. How do I do Shoppable Videos?

It is really simple, just follow the few steps below:

  1. Connect the TikTok account with your Shopify store.
  2. Enhance your product catalogue.
  3. Add links and tags to your videos.
  4. This is optional but try to partner up with influencers
  5. Use original hashtags that can guide traffic toward your page.


Some images from Freepik have been used in this post.