How To Start Selling On TikTok: Plus 8 Tips To Make More TikTok Sales
The most downloaded social media app in the world is also the app with the least competition for small business sales. It may pay well to get in on the ground floor.
You can now make TikTok sales through the TikTok sales integration, TikTok Shopping. TikTok Shopping allows business owners to connect an online store with a TikTok business profile, which allows you to sell on TikTok without customers ever having to leave the TikTok platform. Business owners can make TikTok sales through profile pages, video product links, and ads.
Keep reading to learn how to sell on TikTok using the TikTok Shopping integration.
Table of Contents
How To Sell On TikTok
To sell on TikTok using the TikTok Shopping integration, you need a:
- Store located in an eligible country (currently, TikTok Shopping is available in the US and UK)
- TikTok Business account
- TikTok Ads Manager account
- TikTok Business Center account
- TikTok pixel
- Paid subscription to an online store with a product catalog to sync to your TikTok Business account (otherwise known as an eligible partner)
- Confirmation of account/product approval from TikTok’s internal reviews board
To better understand how to sell on TikTok, let’s first understand the requirements.
What Is A TikTok Business Account?
A TikTok Business account is an account dedicated to your business or professional brand. TikTok Business accounts are free to make and use.
TikTok Business accounts are nested under the overarching TikTok For Business platform. TikTok For Business includes business tools such as TikTok Ads Manager accounts, the TikTok Creator Center, business analytics, and exclusive TikTok sounds.
With your own TikTok Business account, you can leave a link for your online store in your business account profile, create shoppable posts, and showcase a shoppable social media storefront.
How To Create (Or Convert) A TikTok Business Account
You can make your personal TikTok account into your business account, which is a good idea for influencers looking to sell merch or do affiliate marketing. If you fit into this category, skip to the second step.
Step 1: Download the TikTok app (if you haven’t already) and create a new profile.
Step 2: Click on the three horizontal lines on the top right side of your profile.
Step 3: Click “Manage Account”, then “Switch to Business Account”.
Step 4: Follow the prompts to finish creating or converting to a business account.
Step 5: Edit your business account profile.
Don’t forget to add your website link to your TikTok business profile, so users can easily access your website.
What Is A TikTok Ads Manager Account?
A TikTok Ads Manager account is an account that is authorized to create and analyze TikTok ad campaigns for a TikTok Business account.
It’s free to sign up for an Ads Manager account, but it’s not free to run ads.
What Is A TikTok Business Center Account?
The TikTok Business Center is an all-in-one platform that houses all of a business’s TikTok Business accounts, TikTok Ads Manager accounts, product catalogs, business partners, user permission levels, campaign planning/outcome data, and more.
You can sign up and use a TikTok Business Center account for free.
Note: TikTok Business Center accounts and TikTok Business accounts are two different things that require two different account signups.
Essentially, the Business Center is an online office. There are different “employees” (TikTok Business and Ads account owners) with varying levels of authorization who all collaborate with each other. Important files and plans are contained in the Business Center. Sometimes, other businesses can join forces with your business in the Business Center (maybe you’ll go viral that way!)
What Is A TikTok Pixel?
A TikTok pixel is a piece of code that you add to your website. TikTok pixels allow you to measure how users interact with your site, which will inform you about who your target audience is, how well your TikTok campaigns are performing, and what you can do (or avoid) in the future to get more people to click on a link, complete a purchase, etc.
TikTok pixels are automatically generated for you when you add TikTok as a sales channel on your online store. This means that you don’t have to actually write any code to gain access to the rich amount of data TikTok pixels collect.
Best of all, you get to choose which events you want to monitor.
For example, when you don’t know who your target audience is, you can capture broad amounts of data about users, such as who viewed a page or added a product to their cart.
Once you understand your target audience, you can monitor who moves from contemplating a purchase to buying, and build campaigns that turn one-time buyers into repeat customers.
Now that you have all the terminology down, this is how to connect your TikTok business account with an online store.
Note: Currently only Shopify, Square, BigCommerce, and Ecwid stores are eligible for the TikTok Shopping integration. However, TikTok does plan on creating integrations with more popular online store builders in the next year.
How To Connect Shopify & TikTok
Shopify is a store builder that’s easy to set up and a fan favorite of many online sellers. Here’s how to connect Shopify and TikTok.
How To Connect Square & TikTok
Eligible Square Online store owners can connect their products to a TikTok business account and create a social media shopping experience by completing the following steps.
How To Connect BigCommerce & TikTok
BigCommerce is another popular eCommerce web builder that is comparable to Shopify. Eligible business owners can integrate BigCommerce and TikTok Shopping by completing the following steps.
How To Connect Ecwid & TikTok
Ecwid is a one-page storefront builder that acts as a standalone website. Eligible Ecwid store owners can complete the following steps to connect their Ecwid products to a TikTok Storefront on their TikTok business profile.
How To Advertise On TikTok & Make More Sales
You can advertise on TikTok by posting videos to grow organically or running paid TikTok ad campaigns using TikTok Ads Manager.
Here’s how to set up a paid ad campaign using TikTok Ads Manager.
Running A Paid Ad Campaign On TikTok
To run a paid TikTok ad campaign in your TikTok Ads Manager account, you must:
- Have a TikTok Ads Manager account
- Create a new campaign with specific campaign objectives
- Create at least one ad group to show ads to
- Design your ad content
- Set a campaign budget and timeline
Running A Successful TikTok Ad
Looking for content inspiration to run a successful TikTok ad? Here are a few classic business-related ideas:
- Show the creative process. Create a video of your product being made.
- Post user-generated content. (For example, if you’re selling merch with a catchphrase on it, post a video of a buyer wearing it. If you’re selling a tool, post a video of someone talking about how the tool has changed their lives.)
- Create a video showing the different uses of your product. For example, if you sell clothing, post a video showing different ways to style a clothing item.
- Make an informative video that also relates to your product. For example, if you sell lotion, make a video sharing different ways to protect your skin, and highlight the importance of moisturizing.
- Start a giveaway or challenge to build user engagement and grow your following.
- Post any and all exciting business updates or merch releases!
Don’t forget to add product links to videos with the TikTok Shopping integration!
Also, monitor the results of all your ad campaigns. With TikTok’s data analytics, you can learn what makes customers buy and what makes them scroll past you. After a few campaigns, you’ll know exactly what kind of content to make and how to get it in front of the right viewers.
Check out our complete guide to social media marketing if you want to learn how to build a full-scale social media marketing strategy that works for your business.
FAQs: Selling On TikTok
8 Tips To TikTok Selling Success
The following tips are here to help you get your TikTok shop in front of the right people.
1. Research Your Target Audience & Competitors
Your advertising efforts will only be worth it if the right audience finds your content. The best way to make sure you’re reaching the right people is to start with some market research.
To find your target audience:
- Look into businesses or influencers selling something similar to your products, and how they’re making sales.
- Find trends within your current following, if you have one.
- Come up with an “ideal buyer” for your products, then find statistics about that kind of buyer, such as what time they’re most likely to be on TikTok.
- Do a hashtag search to see what’s relevant to your target audience.
- Use TikTok analytics to view demographics on your following and monitor your account growth.
2. Learn How The TikTok Algorithm Works
The TikTok algorithm is a complex system that determines what each individual user encounters on their discovery page, otherwise known as each person’s “For You Page.” It’s almost startlingly accurate when it comes to showing users content that they would be interested in.
While the mechanisms of the algorithm were previously kept a secret, TikTok has since let creators in on what factors influence the algorithm. Those factors include:
- User Interactions: The more a user interacts with a certain type of video, the more a user will be shown that type of video. Also, the length of time that a user spends on a video before scrolling past will affect how the algorithm interprets content interest and quality.
- Accounts Followed: The algorithm will show users videos from creators that provide similar content to TikTok accounts they already follow.
- Video Information: Every piece of information about a video helps the algorithm understand what your content “is about”. Sounds, captions, video stickers, filters, hashtags, and video length all factor into how the algorithm understands who to show your videos to.
- Content Guidelines: TikTok has very specific community guidelines. Any creator that doesn’t follow them will have their video taken down.
Understanding (and keeping up on) how the TikTok algorithm works will help your videos land on the For You Page of interested buyers.
3. Create A Share-Worthy TikTok
You should strive to create share-worthy TikToks for two reasons: the TikTok algorithm weighs shares higher than likes or comments, and users trust videos that are sent to them from people they know more than they trust paid ads.
To create a share-worthy TikTok:
- Take the time to learn all of TikTok’s different functionalities. High engagement videos are well-edited, often use effects and words, and use crisp transitions.
- Take advantage of video builders and editors on sites like Canva for more professional-looking videos.
- Create videos live on the TikTok app when you’re lip-syncing, dancing, or want to really make use of filters and stickers.
- Capture your viewer’s interest within the first three seconds.
- Use high-quality footage.
- Create a shareable sound using your own voice, a mashup of different songs, or a variety of effects, and allow others to use it.
- Use auto-captions or write out words/sounds in videos to make them more accessible to people who are hard of hearing or want to quietly watch videos.
- Create your own remakes of popular videos (but make sure to credit the original creator!)
- Hone in on your intended audience through targeted hashtags.
4. Build A Relationship With Your Viewers
Both viewers and the TikTok algorithm value relationships. To build relationships with your viewers:
- Like, comment, and start discussions with people in the comments section of your posts.
- Engage with content made by others in your niche area.
- Make a duet responding to a TikTok, or plan a duet with someone.
- Focus on entertaining your audience, in addition to promoting your product.
- Don’t make every single post a promotion. Post some videos that just show your influencer or brand personality, in addition to product promotions and updates.
- Shoot for authenticity before all else. If you misrepresent your product, say something that doesn’t resonate with your intended buyers, or hop on a trend if it doesn’t align with your brand, you will probably lose followers.
- Try to post quality content at least once a day. The more content you put out, the more material there is for viewers to engage with. But don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.
5. Use Several Types Of Advertising
Advertising doesn’t start or end with posting on your own TikTok profile. You can also:
- Cross-promote your TikTok account on other relevant platforms such as Instagram.
- Take advantage of TikTok Ads Manager, if your budget allows for it.
- Work with other creators to promote your products. Offer smaller influencers a spotlight on your feed too, if a paid influencer video isn’t in the budget right now.
6. Keep Up On Trends (Or Start One)
While trends don’t last very long on TikTok, hopping on a trend is a good way to get people on your profile, where they can learn more about your brand and your values.
To hop on a trend (or start one):
- Find and use trending sounds/hashtags whenever possible.
- Create your own shareable sound and “tutorial” on what creators can “do” with the sound you’re sharing, then encourage others to use it.
- Start a silly or impactful hashtag challenge and invite others to join in.
- Encourage viewers to duet your video. Make sure to tell them what to do when they duet, or your video may fall flat.
7. Create A Consistent Posting Routine
Some of the most popular TikTok accounts post 1-4 times per day. That may not achievable for the majority of small business owners, but having a posting routine will make it easier for you to quickly create and edit content.
To get into a good posting routine:
- Monotask. Choose one day to film and edit a bunch of videos, then schedule posts using TikTok’s video scheduler or another social media scheduler.
- Film a lot. You never know what random thing you’ll want to use in your next video.
- Organize your videos into categories to save time and internal storage space.
- Invest in props and equipment that will make filming easier. For example, many creators invest in ring lights and green screens to optimize their filming conditions.
- Keep all your props and filming equipment in one place, especially when you promote products in videos.
- Figure out your brand aesthetic, then stick to it – sometimes boundaries are very helpful.
- Don’t spend hours filming trying to get the “perfect” video. It will make you crazy and you might want to quit.
- Practice. The process will become easier.
- Try not to spend hours scrolling on TikTok becoming more of a consumer than a creator. Vegging out and watching TikToks is really nice, but not if you’re trying to be productive.
8. Optimize your TikTok Storefront
Your TikTok shop is where people make their purchasing decisions, so you should make it as appealing and scannable as possible.
To optimize your TikTok shop:
- Take high-quality product photos. You can show products in use or products on a neutral or aesthetically pleasing background.
- Show multiple photos of products.
- Write short but informative product descriptions.
- Create high-quality short-form video ads.
Key Takeaways When It Comes To Selling On TikTok
Selling on TikTok, and social media selling across all platforms is the future of eCommerce.
TikTok Shopping offers a complete beginning-to-end customer journey, from discovery to purchase, and requires very little capital investment. The smooth in-app shopping experience is also a great way to reduce shopping cart abandonment.
To be successful on TikTok, stay true to your brand, provide value to your followers, strategically plan out your ads, and make the social media to online checkout process as smooth as possible.
Also, read our post on the best eCommerce marketing strategies to drive traffic to your eCommerce website.