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GUEST COMMENT What is a TikTok Shop and how do I create one?

James Khoury, CEO of Zendbox

The recent launch of TikTok Shop is something all e-commerce businesses should consider. The platform has a huge captive audience and a massive impact on shopping habits, and TikTok Shop now makes it even easier for retailers to take advantage of it. Here, James Khoury explains how to make it work for your business.

What is a TikTok store?

With over a billion monthly users worldwide, TikTok offers an incredible opportunity for businesses to reach a huge and highly engaged audience.

The recent launch of TikTok Shop now allows e-commerce stores to list their products in a Shopping tab in their profile, so customers can browse and buy items while still in the app.

Essentially, the new social commerce offering is a way for brands, creators and e-commerce businesses to sell their products directly to consumers on the growing platform, removing a key step from the customer journey. Products can be showcased through regular and engaging stories, live streams, or videos.

The launch of TikTok Shop is huge news in the e-commerce space. It gives sellers another way to grow their customer base and sell products, and encourages brands to produce fun and engaging content to attract viewers.

Should I create a TikTok store?

With social selling now generating billions of pounds in revenue, setting up a TikTok store is a no-brainer for any e-commerce store. Whether you want to capitalize on a pre-existing buzz around your products on the app or start creating more noise about your brand and therefore sales, TikTok Shop could be the answer.

Plus, if you’re looking to pursue influencer marketing, TikTok Shop is a great avenue to explore. The platform allows you to partner with affiliates who will create content for you, making it even easier to set up and use content creators.

TikTok has certain stipulations for sellers; for example, if you are a creator selling your own products, you must have more than 1,000 subscribers, have posted and viewed more than 50 videos in the last 28 days, and be over 18 years old (Source: TikTok).

How to create a TikTok store?

If you don’t have an account yet, you’ll need to create a TikTok profile first. Be sure to optimize your profile with a relevant bio and profile photo that matches your other social media branding.

TikTok has four main categories that you must fall into to create a TikTok store. They are sellers, creators, partners and affiliates.

  • “Sellers” are usually existing brands or e-commerce businesses.
  • “Creators” are people on TikTok who create content for fun but may be paid by brands to sell for them.
  • “Affiliates” allow brands to partner with influencers who actively sell their products and earn a commission.
  • Partners “are businesses that work with brands to make selling even easier.”

Decide which category you belong to before creating your store. It’s incredibly easy to set up as a seller. Simply complete the TikTok online form and provide the correct documents. TikTok will confirm that your account has been opened and then you can link your TikTok account to your store and start selling.

How can I optimize my TikTok store and increase sales?

To get your products seen, it is important to create relevant content to show up in front of your target audience. TikTok works by showing its users content that they have historically shown an interest in. This means that if your videos are reaching people, they are most likely already engaged with the topic you are creating content around. To capitalize on this, analyze which of your videos are performing well and which topics are performing best, and keep producing content with the same themes.

To further optimize your TikTok store, you can take advantage of TikTok promotional tools such as flash sales, coupons, and free shipping. You will find them in the seller area.

Make sure to use popular hashtags. For example, #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has over 18 billion views so far and is clearly in front of many viewers.

You can use the TikTok Seller Center to easily track products, add new ones, and check sales. Linking with creators gives you access to their followers and provides you with fresh content that you also don’t have to waste time creating. Learn about ways to optimize your actual content, including things like audio trends, ideal video lengths, and popular filters.

You can also use the TikTok Shop partner feature to maximize sales. Using professional companies like 3PL providers to take care of things like packaging, shipping, or warehouse costs gives you more time to create content and seek sales.

Are there any caveats or considerations I should be aware of when setting up a TikTok store?

When you first sign up and set up your TikTok store, TikTok reduces its commission to 1.8% for the first 90 days. After that, the standard commission rate is 5%, so be sure to factor that into your bookkeeping.

You’ll need to create a business account to get the most out of your TikTok store, which will give you access to metrics, paid ads, and user-generated content (UGC). It is important to note that UGC can reduce marketing expenses; users trust it and can increase sales, but you’ll want to make sure that any user-generated content matches your brand and is positive.

TikTok is an incredible growth platform and is still relatively new, so we can definitely expect to see more and more opportunities stemming from it. Keep up to date with changes and trends and do your research. Duos, hashtags, and giveaways are just some of the things you’ll become familiar with when setting up a TikTok store. Be prepared to learn quickly and react quickly; if you can do it, the rewards are worth it.


James Khoury is CEO of Zendbox. Learn more about Zendbox’s TikTok Store Fulfillment Service here.