How to sell on TikTok: Master your TikTok shop setup and start selling today

Ready to reach new audiences on social media? Let’s explore how to sell on TikTok for small businesses.

 How to sell on Tiktok and master your TikTok shop setup

No doubt you’ve seen the dances and heard the trending audio clips, but did you know TikTok is fast becoming a popular ecommerce platform?

Around 30% of daily TikTok users have used TikTok Shop – the ecommerce feature that lets app users buy from their favourite creators and brands. Small businesses that learn how to sell on TikTok have the potential to reach huge new audiences.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to create a TikTok shop and start making sales. Discover content best practices and the ad types that can help you promote on TikTok, too.

How to set up TikTok

In 2020, TikTok for Business was launched, creating a whole new avenue for ecommerce businesses to promote their products and drive sales.

If you haven’t already, it’s worth exploring whether selling on TikTok can fit into your digital marketing and ecommerce strategy.

You’ll need a TikTok business account to get started. Let’s walk through how to set one up.

1. Create your account

Download the TikTok app on your device. You’ll need to sign up with a business email and password (you can also use a phone number or another social media account to register).

You’ll need an easily recognisable username, too. If your brand name isn’t available, find a username that’s as similar to your business name as possible. This makes it easier for customers to find you.

Now it’s time to flesh out your bio. Include a line on what your business does and who it serves – try to make this as compelling as possible. Upload a profile picture – your brand logo will help users recognise your business. There’s also room to include links to your other social media accounts – make sure you add these so TikTok users can find you elsewhere.

2. Switch to a business account

On your TikTok profile, tap the three horizontal lines in the top right-hand corner of your profile. Then, tap ‘Settings and Privacy’, and ‘Account’ – you’ll see an option to ‘Switch to Business Account’ where you can choose a category for your business and add a contact email address.

3. Create organic content

Organic content is the stuff you create without spending money on ads – it’s the videos, stories, and photos you post from your account. Engaging content is how you attract TikTok users. It’s a critical part of selling on TikTok.

Content should be entertaining, informative, or a combination of the two. If you’re struggling with ideas on what to create, look at what people in similar industries are doing on the platform. TikTok’s Creative Centre is a helpful resource, too.

Give TikTok users a behind-the-scenes view of your business; show them your team, values, culture, and product demos. Involve them in product decisions – such as new colours, sizes and designs. Many TikTok users are seeking a sense of community and involvement. If your brand can make them feel part of something bigger, they’ll be more inclined to engage with you.

Pay attention to trending videos and see how you could replicate them for your brand. Trends are things that are already popular on TikTok, so people will be watching more of those types of videos. If a recycling challenge goes viral, it could be a great time to show off your sustainable clothing brand that uses recycled materials.

Incorporating trending sounds, visuals, and formats is good every once in a while, but don’t make it your whole strategy. This can come off as inauthentic if the trend doesn’t link back to what you do. If you’re feeling bold, try to start a trend of your own!

How to sell on TikTok Shop

You have an account and you’re creating engaging content. Now let’s look at how to set up a TikTok shop so you can start selling your products.

Step 1: Create a shop

You need to log in on the TikTok Shop registration page. From here, you can authorise TikTok Shop to access your TikTok account.

You’ll be taken through the Seller Centre – this is the hub for your TikTok ecommerce activities. From here, you can manage customer service, content engagement, analytics, and access to seller education.

You’ll need to provide a few key details about your business before you can sell – such as your contact name and phone number, business contact details, warehouse or pick-up address, and a return address.

Step 2: Verify your documents

TikTok needs to check you’re a real person before you can start selling. UK-based sellers can use passports or UK driving licences to verify their identity and show they’re eligible for TikTok selling. You may need to use additional documents depending on whether you’re a sole trader or a corporation, and TikTok Seller Centre will walk you through these steps.

Step 3: Bind a bank account

Once verified, you’ll need a bank account attached to your TikTok shop so you can get paid for purchases and process returns. Again, this can be set up in the Seller Centre – click ‘Link Bank Account’, then click ‘Link Account’. Enter your account name, bank name, account number, and the address of your business. Only one more step to go.

Step 4: Add your products and begin selling!

Now you’re ready to add products to your shop.

You can do this from the Seller Centre. Make sure you’re using high-quality, aesthetically pleasing images of your products so that they stand out to users. A consistent catalogue of products is easier to navigate and makes your brand look more professional. Keep product titles succinct and add key product details to the item description.

There’s a lot you can do for free on TikTok, but you might want to explore setting up TikTok shop ads too. We explain the benefits of these ads in the next section.

How can you promote on TikTok? TikTok ad types

Can you sell on TikTok without ads? Absolutely.

But sprinkling a few different ads in your TikTok ecommerce strategy could help you reach wider audiences.

The most important thing to remember is that TikTok users want to see personality and authenticity. TikTok is a social media platform where users look for education and entertainment – using hard sales tactics won’t get you far.

In this section, we’ll look at how to promote on TikTok using ads that engage your target audience.

1. In-feed native video ads

These ads are less intrusive than traditional adverts. When you navigate a website, pop-ups disrupt your browsing. By contrast, in-feed ads appear in the same place as other videos your target audience might watch (on their ‘For You’ page). You’ll still need to make them super engaging to stop users from scrolling to the next clip.

Keep in-feed ads short and snappy. Nine to 15 seconds is the ideal length, and don’t forget to link your products in the advert so that TikTok users can shop for them.

Tracking your ad performance metrics can help you determine if a campaign is working. You can monitor clicks, impressions, views, view time, and engagement with the TikTok ads manager. Review these stats regularly and don’t be afraid to test different ads until you find something that works.

2. Brand takeovers

Brand takeover ads are bolder than in-feed ads. They’re the first thing TikTok users see when they open the app, and because the entire ad is clickable, a single tap can take users through to your store.

These ads have high visibility and remarkably high click-through rates. The average global click-through rate for a social media ad hovers just under 1%, but brands can see rates in the double digits for TikTok ads generally.

Brand takeovers typically take the form of animations or videos with links, and you can use them to form the basis of hashtag challenges – for example, your sustainable clothing brand invites users to share their favourite recycling tip for the chance to win a store discount.

A good example is Too Faced’s brand takeover ad. The cosmetic company used a single ad to showcase the effects of one of its most popular products. Too Faced drove 2.54 million unique impressions and 1.3 million clicks to the product page – with an overall click-through rate of 18.35%.

3. Hashtag challenges

Running a branded hashtag challenge can help you engage your audience, and inspire them to create content that relates to your business. The idea is that you produce a piece of content with a specific branded hashtag, and invite others to recreate their own version of the content.

Let’s use the example of a sustainable clothing brand again. Your hashtag challenge could be a video of you styling the same piece of clothing in different ways – demonstrating the value of versatile clothing items. Create a unique hashtag for the content and invite other people to share their own outfit recycling videos with the same hashtag.

Hashtag challenges aim to build a community around an idea. And that idea connects back to your brand. When your audience shares their own videos, their followers see that content too and help you promote on TikTok. For the best result, pick a unique hashtag that relates to your brand. You can search hashtags like #smallbusiness to find inspiration.

How to keep track of TikTok sales

Now you know how to sell on TikTok Shop, it’s time to plan for your sales income.

Xero apps like Open Payout and Synder integrate with TikTok so you can easily track ecommerce sales and inventory. Reconcile TikTok ecommerce sales in Xero without having to manually import them.

Our accounting software for ecommerce businesses can help you manage TikTok sales as part of your business cash flow, so you can focus on publishing your next piece of content to bring those sales in.

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