#SmallBusiness: selling on TikTok as a growing eCommerce store
TikTok is no longer simply about silly dance moves. The social media phenomenon is the web destination with the quickest rate of growth, and it has developed into a potent sales channel for companies in industries ranging from high fashion to home maintenance called TikTok shop.
The feta cheese market was even created by TikTok. After a recipe for feta spaghetti became popular on the site in 2021, there was a feta cheese shortage in the United States.
It goes without saying that TikTok offers countless opportunities. Small businesses looking to increase awareness of and traffic to their online stores will find it to be the ideal fit thanks to its authentic and irreverent approach. Retailers may now sell directly on TikTok and see a direct boost to their bottom lines thanks to new shopping options.
What is TikTok?
Most people are already familiar with TikTok. But just in case you’re still unsure, here’s the rundown.
Similar to Vine, TikTok is a Chinese social networking platform for short videos (RIP). During the COVID-19 pandemic, when many consumers were confined to their homes and without access to live entertainment, the platform began to take off seriously.
A TikTok account can be created for nothing. If you choose not to register, you may still watch TikTok videos that have been shared with you or see a lot of TikToks that have been reposted on Instagram.
The channel’s quirkiness, creativity, and emphasis on personalization make it beautiful. You can quickly navigate through your “For You” page to find a number of videos that are amusing and/or interesting to you. TikTok users can choose to “follow” their favourite creators, but the “For You” page’s default targeting is so effective that you might not often check your “Following” feed.
It’s commonly known that TikTok is immersive, addictive, and the punchline of many jokes. In addition to being simple to consume, the channel provides a variety of filters, soundtracks, and video effects to encourage the creation of videos. Dance fads and audio hashtags are also essential components of TikTok. In addition to copying one another’s dance moves and famous voice tracks, creators frequently record their reactions to one another’s videos.
Why sell on TikTok shop?
It’s not surprising that companies like Louis Vuitton and Walmart have flocked to TikTok given its booming popularity and its highly sought-after Gen Z audience. TikTok has quickly incorporated additional business-friendly features, such as sponsored hashtags and social commerce tools.
It may seem intimidating to create another social media network, but there are several compelling arguments for using TikTok in your eCommerce marketing plan:
- The platform for connecting with young consumers is TikTok. In Malaysia, more than half of 18 to 24-year-olds claim using TikTok, and by 2025, the number of Gen Z users on TikTok would likely overtake those on Instagram. TikTok gives a view into the social and cultural trends that attract the under-40 demographic in addition to being a platform for engaging these people.
- TikTok has a worldwide audience. The largest user base is in Southeast Asia, then North America and Europe. Retailers who use this platform can connect with potential clients all over the world and even use new methods for international trade.
- Full-motion, full-screen content is available. TikTok is centred on video, which is a potent medium in and of itself. More than half of consumers use videos to help them decide what to buy, and 73 percent of those consumers think that seeing product videos increases their likelihood of making a purchase. TikTok also wants to eliminate interruptions during viewing by giving each video control over the entire screen.
- No need for Instagram perfection. TikTok video snippets can be up to 10 minutes long as of February 2022. From its previous cap of three minutes, that is a significant increase. However, most videos are often only 60 seconds or less long. Contrary to Instagram, where photos are expertly edited, aspirational, and polished, some of the most popular uploads are unplanned and raw. In other words, creating a TikTok video doesn’t require hiring a dedicated production crew. Snapshots taken quickly using a cellphone camera can be equally effective.
- Users of TikTok interact instead of just scrolling. The level of engagement on TikTok is a marketer’s paradise. More than half of TikTok users submit their own videos, and 63 percent claim they’ve “loved” another user’s work in addition to the fact that the typical user spends 52 minutes each day on the platform. Comparatively, the average engagement rate for commercial Facebook postings is merely 0.04 percent.
How to sell on TikTok shop
Understanding how TikTok shop fits into your whole eCommerce strategy should be your first order of business. What purposes do you have for TikTok? What kind of material do you intend to create?
You can go to TikTok’s business guide, which contains detailed instructions and tutorials for advertising and shopping apps. You can also look through a small company knowledge portal that offers case studies, best practises for authors, and other information.
To further assure a successful TikTok shop debut, adhere to the guidelines below.
- Do reconnaissance
Before launching your brand on TikTok shop, it’s a good idea to use the platform for yourself because it has such a distinctive environment. This will assist you in creating a content plan that produces high-quality results, discovering new peculiarities of the platform, and better allocating your resources.
For instance, although it could be alluring, the TikTok shop channel’s ever-changing trends and enthusiasm for spontaneity may work against you. If the only thing you do with your profile is resharing posts that lack authenticity, you can find it difficult to engage people.
Learning which products become popular on TikTok shop, analysing how those things are advertised, and determining which post kinds perform better as sponsored versus organic posts are other factors to take into account. Similarly, pay attention to how other businesses use TikTok shop to inform their users and/or respond to consumer questions.
TikTok can be used for a number of objectives for your brand, so you should decide in advance what is most important to you.
- Set up a business account and start posting
Having drafted a strategy, it’s time to download the TikTok shop app and create a business account (a business account gives you access to both paid advertising and shopping functions). From the Account Manager screen, you can switch to a business account after creating a simple username and password.
You are then prepared to start posting. Here, consistency is crucial. There is a tonne of advice available, some of which suggests that you upload one to three TikToks every day, but we advise that you develop a posting schedule that is practical for your brand. Don’t exhaust yourself too quickly.
- Create a storefront via TikTok Shop
You may connect with a range of business tools and solutions thanks to TikTok Shop, which launched in the second half of 2021:
- Add a shopping tab to your profile so that you may list your products right inside TikTok.
- Product links: Include links to your products in your videos so that viewers can readily learn more about them by visiting your website or shopping tab.
- Live product demos, giveaways, and other interactive activities can be held as part of live stream shopping.
- Through a range of ad kinds, shopping advertisements can expand the audience for your product videos (more info in the next section).
Remember to modify your text and product descriptions for TikTok’s specific user experience before uploading your products. Your titles should not exceed 34 characters. You should write your product descriptions with Gen Z consumers in mind. Additionally, any links in your description should be deleted because TikTok won’t allow users to click on them.
- Boost products by putting money behind them
When you’re trying to create momentum for a new or seasonal item, paid placements can help your videos move in the correct way. Simply create an Ad Manager account to get started, then look through TikTok’s several ad types:
- TopView – According to TikTok shop, this is the app’s “largest billboard.” When combined with In-Feed Ads, it is said to be the most effective ad type. It is the first video people see when they open TikTok.
- In-Feed Ads: These are advertisements that appear sporadically across user-generated, native content. Like any other TikTok video, viewers can swipe, replay, or share them from their “For You” pages. You have the option to either generate a new post or boost an existing one on your page when configuring an in-feed app.
- This ad type pays homage to the TikTok community’s love of dances, duets, and other trends with its branded hashtag challenge. When consumers click on your hashtag, Branded Hashtag Challenges will take them to a branded landing page in addition to allowing you to start your own movement. Although this ad kind isn’t specifically for your products, it can help to raise brand awareness and encourage viewers to watch more of your videos.
- Branded Effects – Branded Effects enables you to share personalised stickers, AR filters, and games with other people. In the app, your effects have a maximum shelf life of 10 days, but if people make films with them, they can have a considerably longer shelf life.
You should be very careful about your targeting, placements, expenses, and performance, just as with any advertising campaign. Some of the most eye-catching possibilities are becoming more and more expensive, with TopView advertising now costing more than $2 million during the fourth quarter holiday season. Your budget can be kept under check with the help of careful targeting and an organised approach for tracking your ROI.
- Partner with an influencer
You may access TikTok’s Creator Marketplace, which features influencers who are up for hiring, by creating an Ad Manager account.
You have the choice to collaborate with influencers for compensation or benefits on Creator Marketplace. Every influencer on the network has at least 100,000 followers and satisfies additional, by TikTok shop, regulated eligibility requirements.
You should be on the lookout for micro influencers on the app, even though the Creator Marketplace offers a handy setting for interacting with influencers. Micro influencers are those that have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers on their accounts. These accounts typically have close-knit fan bases united by a same geography or hobby. The majority of micro influencers use the app daily, which means they can assist promote your business much more quickly than you could on your own.