TikTok Shop: What It Is, How to Launch One & How to Market One

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Olivia Deng

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I was scrolling through the “For You” page on TikTok when something caught my eye — a TikTok from the clothing brand Foxblood showcasing a black, flowy mesh cloak.

TikTok Shop

I’d actually been searching for a cloak and while this piece of clothing did not fit the bill completely, I’d still wear it.

Intrigued, I clicked on the shop link, which took me to the product description within the app.

what tiktok shop looks like to users

TikTok made it easy for me to check out the product and add it to my cart. I also instantly saw suggestions for more products from the shop and a chat option where I could ask the company questions. While I didn’t make the purchase, TikTok put this brand (and this cloak) on my radar.

Free Ebook: The Marketer's Guide to TikTok for Business [Download Now]

Why Should Retailers and Entrepreneurs Care?

With 1 billion users, TikTok provides you with bountiful opportunities to get your products in front of your target audience. According to HubSpot’s Social Media Marketing Report, social media marketers already on TikTok planned to double down on their investment in 2023 — more than marketers on any other platform. “53% of them will increase their investment in marketing on TikTok in 2023 and another 36% will keep investing the same amount."

TikTok Shop is fairly new, having launched in Sept. 2023, but it holds great potential for brands. Below we'll dive into:

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The Marketer's Guide to TikTok for Business

Learn how to make and promote content for your business on TikTok.

  • An intro to TikTok.
  • How to use TikTok.
  • Advertising on TikTok
  • Examples of TikTok for business.
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What is TikTok Shop

TikTok Shop is an e-commerce feature within the TikTok platform that allows sellers to display and sell products. TikTok Shop offers in-feed video and live shopping, product showcase, an affiliate program, and advertising.

If you're more of a visual learner, this video can walk you through what you need to know, too. 

TikTok Shop Features

TikTok Shop UX

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1. In-Feed Video and LIVE Shopping: Customers can shop for tagged products directly from videos and LIVE feeds in your For You feed.

2. Product Showcase: With this feature, you can create personalized product collections on your profile to make it easier for customers to find and buy what they’re looking for with organized product tiles and helpful reviews.

3. Shop Tab: This tab of the app allows customers to search and discover promotions, get recommendations, and manage their orders, all in one convenient place. Once your shop is created, customers might find your showcased products here as well as products from other businesses TikTok’s algorithms might direct to them.

4. TikTok’s Affiliate Program: Want to leverage creators or influencers, but don’t know where to start? Brands can leverage TikTok Affiliate plans to connect with and monetize TikTok creator videos or live streams that mention their product or brand. Depending on the plan, creators usually get some level of commission for marketing a product, service or TikTok Shop (that can also be linked directly within their content.)

5. Shop Ads: Sellers can promote their TikTok Shops with the new TikTok Shop Ads, providing more opportunities for customers to discover and make purchases directly on TikTok.

6. Fulfilled by TikTok: Merchants can now focus on your products while TikTok takes care of logistics. TikTok Shop stores, picks, packs, and ships sellers' products to your customers, providing a seamless shopping experience.

7. Secure Checkout: Feel confident during the checkout process with TikTok's trusted third-party payment platforms. Transactions are quick, smooth, and secure, and all US user data is stored and managed by USDS in the US for added protection.

How to Start a TikTok Shop

Setting up a TikTok Shop involves several steps. To set up your shop on TikTok, you’ll need to meet the requirement of having at least 1,000 followers. If you do, go to the TikTok Seller Center.

Create and Verify Your Shop

1. Create a Shop in TikTok Seller Center

Go to the TikTok Seller Center for your specific country/region. Sign up with a TikTok account or phone number and email. Once you’re done with that, set up your shop's warehouse/pickup address and return address.

2. Verify your documents.

Click on Verify Documents in the TikTok Seller Center. Upload the required documents based on your business type: corporation or individually-owned business. Here, you will enter your shop name.

3. Bind your bank account.

Click on “link bank account” in the TikTok Seller Center. Enter the required details to bind your bank account to your shop.

Adding Products to Your Shop

4. Access the TikTok Seller Center.

Once you've set up your shop on TikTok, it's time to add your products to start selling. Follow these steps:

Login to your TikTok Seller Center account using your credentials.

5. Navigate to Product Management.

In the Seller Center dashboard, find the "Product Management" section or tab.

6. Click on Add Products.

Look for the option to add products and click on it. This will open up the product creation page.

7. Fill in your product's details.

Enter all the necessary information for your product, including the product name, description, price, SKU (if applicable), and any other relevant details. You can also add product images to showcase your merchandise.

8. Add Product Variants (if applicable)

If your product comes in different variants such as size or color, you can create and include these options along with their corresponding price and inventory details.

9. Set Up Shipping and Inventory

Specify the shipping options and rates for your products. Additionally, manage the inventory for each product to ensure accurate availability information is displayed to customers.

10. Add Product Tags to make items easy to find.

To improve discoverability, add relevant tags or keywords that describe your product. This will help customers find your products when they search for related terms.

11. Save and publish your products.

Once you have entered all the necessary information, review and confirm that everything is accurate. Click the "Save" or "Publish" button to make your product live on TikTok Shop.

12. Repeat for Additional Products

If you have more products to add, you can repeat the above steps for each item. Remember to regularly update your product listings with any changes or new additions to keep your shop fresh and engaging for customers.

How to Market Your TikTok Shop

1. Define your target audience.

Defining your target audience is a crucial step in effectively marketing your TikTok Shop. Take the time to research and understand your ideal customers. Consider factors such as demographics (age, gender, location), interests, behaviors, and purchasing power. This will help you create targeted campaigns and tailor your marketing messages to resonate with your audience.

Hubspot persona creator

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You can use tools like HubSpot’s free Make My Persona to construct buyer personas that will help you define who you’re  marketing to.

2. Create engaging content that highlights products.

On TikTok, content is royalty. Create visually appealing and engaging videos that showcase your products in a creative and entertaining way. Experiment with different formats, trends, and challenges to grab attention and keep your audience hooked. Use catchy captions and compelling visuals to make your content stand out.

ai caption highlighting a tiktok shop product

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Pro Tip: By leveraging HubSpot’s AI tools, you can generate copy that converts.

3. Utilize influencer marketing

Unsure of HOW to create great content or get recommendations for your products? Consider leaning into influencers.

Influencer marketing can be a powerful strategy for promoting your TikTok Shop. Identify influencers within your niche who have a strong following and engagement rates. Collaborate with them to create sponsored content that showcases your products.

The influencer's endorsement can help you reach a wider audience and build trust among potential customers.

4. Leverage TikTok Shop Ads for better reach.

Tap into the power of TikTok Shop Ads to expand your reach and drive traffic to your shop.

TikTok shop ads

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You can also use TikTok's advanced targeting options to ensure your ads are shown to the right audience. Monitor and optimize your ad campaigns based on key metrics such as impressions, clicks, and conversions to maximize your ROI.

5. Engage with the TikTok community.

Engaging with the TikTok community is essential for building brand awareness and connecting with potential customers.

Participate in trending challenges, respond to comments, and collaborate with users by duetting or stitching their videos. This interaction can help you build brand loyalty and generate organic reach.

6. Run promotions and contests.

Running promotions and contests is an effective way to drive traffic and generate excitement around your TikTok Shop. Offer exclusive discounts, limited-time offers, or hold contests where users can win prizes by engaging with your content. This will encourage engagement, increase visibility, and incentivize users to make a purchase.

7. Learn about product performance with analytics and insights

Utilize TikTok's built-in analytics tools to gain insights into your shop's performance. Monitor key metrics such as views, likes, shares, and conversions to understand which content resonates with your audience. Use this data to refine your marketing strategies and create more targeted and effective campaigns.

By following these steps and consistently refining your marketing efforts on TikTok, you can successfully promote your TikTok Shop, reach your target audience, and drive meaningful engagement and sales.

Get Started With TikTok Shop

Whether you're a small business looking to grow or a well-established brand seeking to give your audience more options to engage with your products, you need to be on TikTok Shop.

Social media management will be integral to keep things organized. Get started with HubSpot’s Social Media Management Software.

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