After months of testing, TikTok has officially launched TikTok Shop. It allows users to find and buy products that are used in live videos, tagged in content shown on the For You Page, or pinned on brand profiles or marketed in a new “Shop” tab.
How and why did the TikTok Shop emerge?
The short-form video platform came up with an e-commerce solution that is revolutionizing the way people shop, and quite frankly, this is something we have all been waiting for, and we probably didn’t even know we wanted it!
According to the brand, “With community-driven trends like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt inspires people to discover and share the products they love, TikTok is creating a new shopping culture,”. People now can buy products they have been seeing in videos without leaving the app. This brings a great and easy user experience, and will, without a doubt, increase product sales and TikTok’s profitability.
The truth (and data) behind this platform shows that this can be a really smart and really profitable move from the brand.
1. People are spending more time on the platform:
23h58min, and the value has grown 19,7% since last year. It’s the social media app where users spend most of their time;
2. % of people using TikTok to search for brands is increasing:
37,9% of users research for brands on TikTok;
3. The potential of reach is huge:
1.05 billion people who are more than 18 years old can be impacted by ads on TikTok;
How does TikTok Shop work?
As said above, TikTok has developed 3 native ways to shop on the platform:
This is where merchants or creators host a live stream to showcase and sell products. You can buy products straight from a live video, by tapping the products or browsing the shopping basket icon.
These are your usual short videos that include product links for users to click through and buy products. You can shop directly from in-feed videos, by tapping the product link and basket icon.
Product showcase tab:
It is located in the tab of the seller or creator profile. You can access a brand’s or content creator’s account and get access to products within the app. It is essentially a catalog of products and purchase there directly.
How can you get started on TikTok Shop?
TikTok Shop is already being tried out in the US, UK, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, among others. There are essentially 3 ways that you can start selling on TikTok Shop – as a Seller, Creator, or Partner.
First of all, you need to be located in the countries that are already allowed for this (check it here). Then you need to follow a few simple steps: Sign up as a merchant in the TikTok Seller Center; Upload the mandatory documents; Wait to receive the approval notification; get everything ready to start selling!
It works similarly to an affiliate program, giving creators the opportunity to monetize their content, creativity and influence by collaborating with merchants on TikTok. What do you need to get started? You just need to fulfill these rules: have at least 1000 followers; have posted videos in the last 28 days; be more than 18 years old; make sure your account is in good standing.
Last but not least, if you decide to be a Partner, you have to: have a business in the countries where TikTok Shop is already live. Then, you can decide which type of partner you want to be. This covers: Creator Acquisition (support with identifying and mass onboarding creators to meet your brand/campaign needs), Creator Management (oversee the education, training and day to day management of creators), Livestream & Short Video Expertise (monitoring of LIVE performances, product strategy, sample management, performance analysis), or End-to-end Collaboration Solutions (from creator outreach to post-collaboration analysis, CAPs can support all creator needs on TikTok Shop).
The last ones – the TikTok Shop Partners, also known as TSPs – have a more technical and expert side: they are social commerce experts that can provide services to TikTok Shop merchants. This can include:
1. Merchant Development & Management
Helping with the onboarding and merchant business development on TikTok Shop, and also as Shop management and operations, customer service and traffic support;
2. Studio, Presenters and Content
Providing LIVE operations, such as video production, studio configuration, account management and presenter recruitment and training;
3. Supply chain and Logistics
Supporting the supply chain, from warehouse capabilities to packing and shipping products;
4. E-commerce strategy
Giving assistance when it comes to content strategy, performance analysis and revenue, and revenue optimization.
TikTok Shop App & Service Store
This solution also developed a way for every business to be able to connect your commerce tools and streamline operations with several apps and services. It goes from Commerce platforms such as Shopify, Woocommerce or Bigcommerce, to apps related to logistics of parcel delivery like Parcel2Go. This will be a great opportunity for partners, brands, retailers and merchants to consolidate their operations across TikTok Shop, while all parties work together to achieve all the same goal – the best, most seamless experience to all users.
TikTok Shop community Commerce: from fashion to books, you name it (they’ve got it)!
TikTok has been known not only for dance trends and entertainment, but also because it was able to build an engaged community in different areas, where product recommendations were trustworthy and taken seriously. And now, all the users have to do is tap into that behavior.
Among the communities, the most known are: #BookTok, #FashionTok, #TechTok, #FoodTok and #BeautyTok. The communities have allowed brands to use them and spread across the social network, and building great success cases.
To learn more about this, you can check the following articles:
- The Beauty of TikTok 💄💋
- FoodTok For Thought 🤤
- How to Be Book-Smart on TikTok Shop 📚🤓
- How to slay on FashionTok 👗🛍
- Welcome to our TechTok 🦾
It doesn’t end here: TikTok Shop launches “Fulfilled by TikTok”
TikTok decided that, to complement this new TikTok Shop ecosystem, they needed to launch a new logistics program that makes it easier for merchants to sell on the platform. This program assures the storage, picking, packing and delivery of the products to the TikTok community. This way, merchants can focus on business aspects such as marketing, content and product development, and don’t need to spend time on getting the logistics ready to deliver their products.
It includes things such as a same-day automated fulfillment for all orders made until 7pm (monday to saturday), a premium delivery service on the next working day, a dedicated customer service and feedback collection, and also a constant improvement on metrics regarding delivery times. But, obviously, this comes with a price: TikTok Shop charges fees for warehousing, shipping and other services, such as labeling or pre-packing. Find the full list of value added services here.
TikTok is constantly committed to creating solutions that engage its community in a dynamic and creative way, and of course, with few steps and greater efficiency for businesses, providing all the support they need to integrate the entire purchasing process. Also, the first TikTok partner in Portugal has been working closely with brands to help them create brand awareness and improve their content and results on the platform.
This new way of leveraging what is already practiced on other platforms (live shopping) and simplifying it for both businesses and their customers could be truly revolutionary. The hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt may gain even more strength: in addition to inspiring, discovering, and sharing, users can now make purchases without leaving the application, saving every second for the user and streamlining the conversion journey for businesses.
TikTok Shop is not yet available everywhere, but who knows, it could be the strategy for your business once it becomes available in your business market. We continue to keep an eye on the success stories in markets where it is already accessible. We can’t wait to experience the impact of these innovations!
If you want to deep dive into TikTok and understand if it is worth for your company to invest on this platform, read: TikTok for business: should you stay or should you go?