TikTok has slowly evolved from a social media platform to a search engine and product discovery platform. In fact, the popular hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt now has over 87.5 billion views.
The ever-changing consumer behavior habits and the shift in generations have made TikTok an inevitable part of every ecommerce business’s marketing strategy. This is especially true for brands targeting younger audiences, as this platform helps increase brand awareness and sales.
But how do you go about setting up a TikTok Shop? What are the benefits and best practices for selling on TikTok? And can you sell digital products through TikTok?
It’s time to find the answers to these questions and more. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to setting up a TikTok shop and selling on TikTok, packed with tips, examples, and best practices. Let’s dive in.
What is TikTok Shop?
TikTok Shop is a social commerce platform that allows sellers, creators, and affiliates to sell directly through the TikTok platform using live shopping, shoppable videos, product showcases, and the shop tab.
Ever since its emergence in 2017, TikTok has captured the attention of millions of people worldwide. TikTok has approximately 2 billion users worldwide as of 2024 and is forecasted to reach approximately 2.25 billion users by 2027, according to Statista. With its growth and popularity, TikTok changed how people consume content, making short-form videos one of the best-performing types of content.
However, when TikTok entered the world of ecommerce with the launch of TikTok Shop, it revolutionized the way people interact with social commerce.
Who Can Set Up a TikTok Shop?
Before we get into opening a TikTok Shop, let’s first address one of the most frequently asked questions: Who can set up a TikTok Shop?
There are four categories eligible for opening a TikTok Shop:
Existing brands or ecommerce businesses looking for new channels to boost their online sales. There is no minimum threshold of followers required to be able to open a TikTok shop as a Seller. However, you must be located in the US, UK, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, or Singapore.
Individuals who create content on TikTok and can be paid by brands to sell for them. There are certain requirements for Creators that want to use TikTok Shop:
- They have to be at least 18 years old
- They must have 1,000+ followers
- They need to have 50+ video views in the last 28 days and
- They must have posted a video on TikTok in the past 28 days
Influencers who partner with brands and sell their products to earn a commission. This is a win-win for both creators and sellers because it allows creators to monetize their content and earn a commission, while on the other hand, it helps sellers leverage TikTok creators’ marketplace and partner with creators who will sell the products to their audience.
Businesses that provide professional ecommerce services to sellers and creators to help them thrive on TikTok Shop. There are Creator Agency Partners (CAPs) and TikTok Shop Partners (TSPs). CAPs provide creator acquisition support, creator management, live stream and short video expertise, and end-to-end collaboration solutions. TSPs provide merchant development and management support, video production, supply chain and logistics, and ecommerce strategy.
How to Sell via TikTok Shop
If you’ve ever scrolled through TikTok, you’ve probably noticed there are many different content types. TikTok Shop provides sellers with four native ways to sell on TikTok.
Live shopping lets you promote products in a Live video where users can purchase your products throughout the stream. Buyers can shop directly from a Live video by tapping the pinned products or browsing via the shopping basket icon.
Another way to sell your products through TikTok is to tag products in TikTok videos. This way, not only can buyers find out about products by watching the videos you post on TikTok, but they can also click through the tagged products and learn more about them. Using this feature, buyers can shop directly from a shoppable in-feed video by tapping the product link and basket icon.
Once you set up a TikTok Shop, users have a dedicated Shopping tab on their accounts represented by a shopping bag icon. This allows buyers to shop directly from a brand or creator account and get access to products without leaving the app.
The Shop Tab is a centralized marketplace within TikTok that allows users to discover, browse, and purchase products through a complete in-app shopping experience. Using the Shop Tab, users can find your product assortment, shoppable content, and promotion campaigns all in one place.
How to Start Selling on TikTok: A Step-by-Step Guide
If you fulfill all the requirements for TikTok Sellers, you are eligible to open a TikTok Shop and start selling on the platform. Here’s the step-by-step guide to enable online shopping features on your account.
Step #1: Define Your Target Audience
Before starting your TikTok Seller journey, make sure you have a clear picture of who your target audience is and why they want to buy your product. Without setting the foundation, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
By understanding your audience, including demographics, interests, and shopping behavior, you can develop effective marketing campaigns and improve sales with the right content and messages. The best part: once you have a well-defined target audience you can better cater to their wants and needs, improving overall customer satisfaction and leading to repeat purchases.
Step #2: Create a TikTok Business Account
To become a TikTok Shop Seller, you need to create a business account on TikTok. Creating a TikTok business account is simple and free — and it gives you access to performance metrics, audience insights, and creative tools, as well as access to TikTok Ads Manager.
Step #3: Register for TikTok Shop
Once you have a TikTok business account, navigate to the seller registration portal and fill out the application. Sellers can sign up as an "individual" or "corporate" seller. Based on that, you’ll need to upload the required documents.
Individuals need a passport or driver’s license. Corporate sellers need to upload a business license, certificate of incorporation, company registration certificate, and proof of eligibility under applicable law to sell products/services via TikTok Shop. The application will be reviewed within one to two days, and you’ll receive the notification by email.
Step 4: Connect Your Bank Account
Once TikTok has verified your business documents, you will need to connect a bank account to your shop so you can get paid for purchases and process returns. From the TikTok Seller Center home page, click Link Bank Account, then click Link Account. Here you should enter your account name, bank name, bank account number, email, address, and building number.
For individual sellers, the account name must be the same as the registered name. For corporate sellers, the account name must be the same as the company name.
Step #5: Link Your TikTok Shop Account to Your TikTok Account
The last step before you start selling on TikTok is to link your TikTok account to your TikTok Shop. With this, you are ready to use TikTok’s commerce features, add products, and promote your shop in your bio and content.
Best Practices to Boost Your Sales on TikTok Shop
Once your TikTok Shop is all set up, focus on how to increase sales through the platform. While there’s no surefire formula for success, by following these best practices, you’ll be able to capture the target audience’s attention and persuade them to buy your products.
Optimize your TikTok Shop
The competition on TikTok is fierce, and standing out can be quite a challenge. Focus on creating high-quality content and brand consistency to make your products recognizable right away. This is exactly what Kylie Cosmetics does with its branded content on TikTok: spotlighting short makeup tutorials using Kylie Cosmetics products and creating time-limited offers to urge customers to buy right away.
Create engaging content
Browsing TikTok sometimes means never-ending scrolling. That’s why your job is to create engaging content that captures buyers’ attention and sparks their curiosity to find out more about your products. There are many brands out there that invest a lot of time in creating outstanding content for their TikTok channel. One of them is Dunkin'. The famous coffee and doughnut company has more than three million followers on TikTok and always goes the extra mile when it comes to content creation and creativity.
Partner with influencers
Another way of getting more sales through TikTok is partnering with influencers to boost your reach and “borrow” their audiences. There are many TikTok influencers out there, so you need to find the right ones for your business. Consider working with influencers who have a specific niche audience that matches your target audience. The well-known brand Lunchables has partnered with one of the most famous TikTok influencers, Zach King, to promote its products. Zach King is known for his amazing video editing style, marked by seamless transitions. That video now has more than 15.5 million views on TikTok.
Promote your products
TikTok has a specific algorithm, and creators and brands that follow popular trends, audio, and hashtags can get more eyeballs. This is why brands are always looking for the latest trends and trying to create content that will resonate with the audience. As a result, in most cases, brands can’t simply repurpose the content they already have prepared for other platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. Some of the world’s most popular brands are creating TikTok-specific content. Nike is one of them with this example of using the This or That TikTok trend. Thanks to its tailored approach towards TikTok, Nike has over 5.8 million followers.
Experiment With TikTok Ads
If you want to expand your reach, you can use TikTok ads to boost your bestseller products. You can adjust the duration, location, target demographic, and other specifications of your ads. One of the brands that had significant success using TikTok advertising is Bears with Benefits. The nutritional supplement gummies became popular on TikTok when the brand used Spark Ads to promote its organic posts. Along with this, Bears with Benefits uses Video Shopping Ads that save viewers time by allowing them to shop the products right within the TikTok app.
What are the Benefits of Selling on TikTok?
TikTok had a massive impact on customers’ shopping behavior and the growth of social commerce. Here are some of the benefits of selling through TikTok:
Massive Buyer Network
TikTok has more than 1 billion active monthly users, according to Statista. This gives businesses great exposure to potential buyers. On top of this, TikTok data shows that 55% of people on TikTok say TikTok helps them discover new products/brands.
This platform is especially interesting for brands that are targeting a younger audience. Data from Whop’s survey shows that TikTok has the biggest influence on Gen Z’s purchasing decisions, followed by Instagram and YouTube. This is no surprise, as younger consumers prefer highly visual content. However, this can also point to the behavior shift in online shopping, where consumers rely on their social media feeds and recommendation algorithms when thinking about their next purchase.
According to Statista, 18.2% of TikTok's global audience are women between the ages of 18 and 24 years, while male users of the same age make up approximately 18% of the platform's audience. Next are 16.3% of female users aged between 25 and 34 years and 16.6% of male users in the same age group.
Seamless Shopping Experience
TikTok Shop offers an all-in-app experience, leading to higher conversion rates. According to eMarketer, 68% of Gen Z adults in the US are willing to make a purchase on TikTok. That’s no surprise—TikTok created a seamless shopping journey, from the For You Page to a safe and secure checkout, order management, and support all within the app.
Data is the foundation of good decision-making. Without having a clear picture of which products perform well and what the most popular content is that users love to engage with, businesses would have to make their decisions based on assumptions. TikTok Shop’s data dashboards allow sellers to track performance, traffic, customer reviews, and transactions, which can lead to informed decision-making.
Can you Sell a Digital Product on TikTok Shop?
Everything you’ve read so far sounds great if you are selling physical products. But you probably wonder: does this all apply if you are selling digital products?
The short answer is: it doesn’t.
Currently, it's not possible to sell digital products through TikTok Shop. The platform only caters to physical products, meaning that selling digital products, services, or subscriptions is not supported. That said, you can use TikTok to promote any digital products you have created. If you have a significant following on TikTok, you can use the platform to get more eyeballs on your digital products.
So…Where can you sell your digital products?
Enter Whop, a one-stop shop for all the latest and greatest digital products. From trading software to reselling communities, buyers can browse all types of products and find what they need. What makes Whop different is the manual approval of each product to ensure that every listing is top-notch. Whop also allows users to manage all their digital subscriptions and memberships in one place.
The quality of product listings and unparalleled customer support bring millions of people to shop on Whop. This is why this can be the perfect opportunity for you to sell digital products through Whop, including plugins, downloadables, and private community access.
What are the Advantages of Selling Digital Products?
Digital products have gained popularity in the last couple of years, making them enticing for online entrepreneurs looking to take part in the creator economy. Here are some of the advantages of selling digital products:
- Easy to create
Digital products are easy to create and require very minimal (if any) initial investment to produce. The reason for this is that most digital products are the result of a person’s expertise, which allows that person to invest a couple of hours and create a digital product.
- No shipping costs or inventory space needed
Unlike physical goods that require storage space and shipping to the end user, online creators can sell digital products without the hustle of storing and shipping products.
- Access to a global market
Selling digital products allows online creators to target a global audience without worrying about the logistics. This gives them the opportunity to scale their business and boost sales.
If you’re looking for ways to sell your digital products but you’re still not sure about the best marketplace to do so, here are a few key benefits of selling on Whop:
- No-code page builder which allows you to design your product page and start selling almost instantly
- One-click checkout feature that facilitates smooth transactions for over 1 million eager customers
- Customers hub which allows you to boost visibility and sales, giving your product exposure to a large audience
- Global payment structure allowing you to accept payments in national currencies from over 135 countries, as well as cryptocurrency payments via Coinbase Commerce
- Email automation and customer support for a delightful customer experience
Start Selling Today With Whop!
Whether you are just starting out your business or you’re looking for ways to add more channels to sell your digital products, Whop is the right place for you.
If you have built a significant TikTok community, you can monetize it with Whop by promoting your digital products and directing them to the Whop marketplace, where they can make the purchase.
👉 Start selling your products on Whop. It takes less than 10 minutes to build your store, so sign up to Whop today!