TikTok for eCommerce: From Followers to Consumers

TikTok for eCommerce: From Followers to Consumers

TikTok has indisputably revolutionized the retail shopping experience. The comprehensive hub for popular trends, influencer partnership recommendations, and unique content niches, the app has become integral to the sales experiences...

TikTok has indisputably revolutionized the retail shopping experience. The comprehensive hub for popular trends, influencer partnership recommendations, and unique content niches, the app has become integral to the sales experiences of companies across the globe. Are you curious as to how your brand can revolutionize its eCommerce sales game through TikTok? We’ve got you covered.

Why is TikTok the ideal eCommerce medium?
How does TikTok shop work?
How to expand audiences and catapult TikTok sales
eCommerce Brands Winning at TikTok
TikTok eCommerce takeaways

TikTok live illustration

Why is TikTok the ideal eCommerce medium?

TikTok is not the first platform where eCommerce has burgeoned. From Meta’s shopping features to X’s retail ads, digital purchasing options are omnipresent across social media channels. However, unlike other platforms, TikTok possesses distinguishing attributes that compose its transcendence over competing online sales spaces. Here’s why your brand should take advantage of the unique shopping experience TikTok offers its users:

1. Individualized algorithms

TikTok’s For You page is exceedingly personalized, producing feeds curated around distinctive user habits. The app that most accurately targets consumers within curated, specific audience demographics, TikTok is an indispensable sales-driving tool–brand acquaintance and connection with target consumers are practically guaranteed on the social platform.

2. Audience interaction

TikTok has long been prized for the authenticity of its relevant content. Its influencers excel at amassing followings by strategically producing organic video content. They aim to mimic the feel of FaceTime calls with close friends, creating intentionally vulnerable, intimate digital spaces and developing parasocial relationships with huge audiences. Consequently, the app’s users feel they can trust the product recommendations of their favorite accounts.

These facets deem TikTok the ideal medium for eCommerce brands to promote their products. As influencers maintain originality and community, their brand collaborations, partnerships, and user-generated content (UGC) videos prove esteemed methods of fostering connections with viewers across a wide variety of niches. Similarly, by participating in viral trends, businesses lean into TikTok’s built-in relatability factor. Assimilation into the popular topics and trends occupying the platform’s audiences at any given time significantly inevitably catapults audience bonds.

3. Appeal for all

No shortage of niches and demographics possess corners of TikTok, like BookTok for its literature lovers or CoffeeTok for those who ritualize their morning caffeine. The app distributes content for every age, race, and gender, making it the superlative channel for brands to reach target audiences while concurrently expanding outreach among new populations. Take Birthdate Co., for instance, the personalized candle distributor with a host of scents dependent upon unique consumer birthdays. Cognizant of the ever-expanding AstrologyTok community, the brand simultaneously connects with target Gen Z demographics and expands its reach among new audiences through the For You Page, engaging in organic and UGC trends like morning routines and angel number analyses.

4. In-app shopping

The in-app shopping features TikTok offers are unparalleled by all other social media platforms, namely because of its latest claim to fame– TikTok Shop. Following TikTok Shop’s official US launch last month, sales conducted across the platform continue to increase exponentially. Succeeding the meteoric rise of hashtags like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, the app scrambled to take advantage of its evident impact on consumer habits. Implementing an in-app shopping center for user convenience has inextricably spurred an expedient, comprehensive avenue for brands to connect with buyers.

How does TikTok Shop work?

After applying to join TikTok Shop on the platform’s website, users can access their favorite brands and products through manifold features. Here’s a comprehensive overview of what it has to offer

  • In-feed videos and LIVE shopping offer purchasing practicality through tags to products via popular videos and live streams, accessible on the For You page. Rooted within TikTok’s primary stream of content, products are visible to a host of audience demographics.
  • Product showcases allow consumers to browse all-inclusive collections of their favorite content creators’ go-to items, peruse product reviews, and procure new finds directly within showcases for optimum shopping efficiency. Embedded within individual user profiles, these virtual compilations serve as extensions of TikTok users and are easily accessible to their followers.
  • The Shop tab permits brands to display their products within a specific section of the app dedicated to showcasing a wheelhouse of viral TikTok finds. Businesses can display bestsellers, users can easily familiarize themselves with current promotions, and product recommendations are readily generated– all within a single space.
  • Affiliate programs authorize sellers and consumers to connect through commission-based purchases. TikTok Shop extensively promotes affiliate links that simultaneously allow creators to monetize plenty of content and consumers to browse at discounted rates, a win for every party involved.
  • Shop ads are frequently interspersed throughout For You pages, stimulating increased item discovery and purchase intent. Frequent exposure to ads is statistically proven to increase a consumer’s likelihood of obtaining a product, creating familiarity with new brands.
  • Secure checkout provides a dependent third-party payment gateway for transaction fulfillment. In a digital age where scams have overhauled the Internet, a reliable checkout process is crucial for TikTok Shop’s success. The implementation of secure checkout features within TikTok Shop deems consumers more likely to purchase there than from third-party sites.

Each of the aforementioned elements culminates into the TikTok Shop with which the US is rapidly becoming acquainted– and coming to revere for all purchasing needs.

TikTok Shop

How to expand audiences and catapult TikTok sales

If your brand is in need of a revenue development strategy, look no further. Here are five pivotal pointers around which to orchestrate TikTok’s presence:

1. Captivating audiences

While consumerism is a rapidly increasing component of TikTok, users ultimately flock to the app to be entertained first and shop second. Overtly scripted eCommerce sales content is consistently associated with lower engagement rates, revenue, and brand loyalty. Subtly featuring products within overarching vlogs, anecdotes, or popular TikTok trends is the most auspicious marketing strategy–authenticity and dependability are a brand’s best friends. GymShark, for example, seamlessly integrates trending memes into its social media strategy, even if they do not tie into the brand’s typical workout culture. This effectively enthralls audiences, who consequently view GymShark’s product-specific content as well.

2. Striving for virality

Sometimes, the best content a brand can produce for effective eCommerce results is not promotional but that which maintains a trajectory for virality. Participating in TikTok trends is a great way to familiarize new audiences with your brand, especially if it is up and coming. The obvious goal of any brand is attaining viral status, a feat easier said than accomplished. However, there are a few steps brands can take to leverage their digital presence. Monitoring trending content formats, like 2023’s modish get-ready-with-me videos, is of the utmost importance. Moreover, surveilling popular audios, CapCut templates, and points of discourse across the For You page will indicate elements to blend into content to expand virality potential.

3. Taking advantage of in-app sales

Needless to say, TikTok Shop holds unmistakable retail power. While some brands have yet to utilize the new feature, others have differentiated themselves from competitors by swiftly integrating into the app’s latest purchasing landscape. Instead of relying on consumers to shop via links to third-party sites, amplify their browsing convenience and, in turn, your brand’s sales by acquiring a TikTok Shop membership. The most prosperous brands have prioritized consolidation into the in-app shopping hub–why shouldn’t yours do the same?

4. Gaining traction through TikTok ads and promoted posts

By utilizing TikTok’s built-in promotional features, cultivating a following becomes increasingly efficient. These tools are designed to boost overall reach at a quicker pace, maximizing sales and TikTok Shop retention. Utilizing the app, brands have the ability to design campaigns in accordance with specific objectives, track ad performance, and monitor optimization through TikTok dashboards. The efficacy of TikTok’s ads and promotional features are unparalleled by those of any other social media app’s shopping tabs.

5. Partnering with influencers in your industry

Collaboration with respected, engaging influencers is the quickest way to highlight your brand on TikTok– trusted creators hold power to propel their must-have items into overnight recognizability. This phenomenon is observable across all product categories, from Bloom Nutrition’s sought-after Greens & Superfoods to Rare Beauty’s best-selling Soft Pinch Liquid Blush. Creators are accessible for partnership opportunities through an array of channels, like Google searches and consultations with industry-specific influencer agencies.

Influencer post engagement rates, by follower size.

eCommerce Brands Winning at TikTok

Looking for TikTok eCommerce inspiration? Here are 4 brands to keep an eye on that really have a good understanding of the social landscape. 

Mini Brands

@minibrands Which one was your fave Disney outfit? Start your collection of our Mini Brands Disney S2 today 😍 #minibrands #minibrandsdisney #miniverse #disney ♬ original sound – Mini Brands

Beloved by adults and kids, Mini Brands knows its audience and gets the best of both worlds on the platform. Now partnering with Disney for their Disney Store Edition, Mini Brands has taken to influencer marketing (currently with @magicwithmegd) and the use of tongue-in-cheek trends and outlandish challenges – which all reinforce the company’s childlike, playful image. 

Pleasing

@pleasing

need help with the last one

♬ original sound – Katy Perry

Whether or not Chris Olsen is behind Pleasing, Harry Styles’ beauty line has fully captured the true spirit of TikTok. They feel native to TikTok because their use of trending sounds, templates, and challenges rivals that of Gen Z. Pleasing doesn’t have to sell you anything – they know their chaos brings in customers. 

Olipop

@drinkolipop the most nerve-racking presentation of my career 😳 tune in tonight to see if we got approved to go to the @nuggets game !!! 🤞🏀 #nbacourtside #workpresentation #socialmediamanagertips #tiktokpresentation #worktok #drinkolipop #nuggetsgame ♬ original sound – OLIPOP

How exciting can a soda alternative be? Olipop’s answer is very – from ridiculous shenanigans (such as documenting the journey to sitting courtside at an NBA game in an Olipop costume) to glamorous (and healthy) mocktail recipes, Olipop’s content is driven by their unfiltered sense of humor, understanding of entertainment value, and connection to their community.

Essence Cosmetics

Drugstore makeup may not sound glamorous on paper, but Essence Cosmetics makes their products pop online. Scrolling through their feed, you’ll see product try-ons, hacks, and hauls that feel incredibly relatable and conversational. They also sprinkle in humor specific to the brand, because they aren’t prestige and don’t need to present themselves seriously, which allows Essence Cosmetics to really have fun with their audience. 

Toys R Us (Canada)

@toysruscanada Can we talk about my skills tho? 🦒 #dabloons #dabloon #npc #toysrus ♬ cold island sped up – leo/sun || digital circus🎪

Yes, everyone’s favorite toy company made the list. They answer questions from their fanbase about product availability, engage with silly trends that match the brand voice (you might remember #dabloontok or TikTok’s new obsession with the children’s show Bluey), and filter the brand’s image through beloved mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe. 

TikTok eCommerce takeaways

With TikTok Shop at its inception, the time to revolutionize your brand’s eCommerce strategy is now. The platform is entirely transforming the online shopping experience, and failure to adapt will prove a catastrophic disadvantage to your brand. By creating organic, lighthearted content, collaborating with captivating influencers, and utilizing TikTok’s in-app amenities, audience connection and your brand’s expansion is inevitable. In an online realm where eCommerce reigns supreme, strengthening TikTok’s presence and adapting to the app’s purchasing culture are unavoidable growth cornerstones.

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