Is TikTok Shopping The Future Of Social Commerce?

tiktok shopping

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TikTok Shopping is legit exploding right now and if you aren’t on this train, you’re leaving cold hard cash on the table.
So let’s take a look at TikTok Shopping and why it’s shaping the future of social commerce as we know it forever. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s inside this guide:

  1. What is social commerce?
  2. The future of social commerce
  3. What is TikTok Shopping?
  4. Who is eligible for TikTok Shopping?
  5. How to set up TikTok Shopping
  6. What can brands do with TikTok Shopping?

What is social commerce?

Social commerce is the buying and selling of products exclusively through social media. Some popular social commerce platforms include Facebook, Instagram, and (of course) TikTok.
What makes social commerce different is its uninterrupted buying journey. This means users don’t leave the social media app to complete a purchase. It’s an immersive experience that takes place entirely within TikTok (or Facebook or Instagram and so on).
The reason social commerce is so powerful is that it shortens the buying journey. There are fewer steps between initial discovery and final purchase. In other words, there’s less friction which makes it easier on customers to buy something.


The future of social commerce

The future of social commerce is a bright future, indeed. It’s estimated that social commerce will triple into a $1.2T industry by 2025. Studies also show that social commerce sales will likely reach upwards of $492B.
But what does this mean for brands?

Brands can use social commerce to reach younger audiences

TikTok is filled to the brim with Gen Z and Millennials. Funny enough, these generations are also cord cutters. And they don’t consume media in the same way that Gen X and Baby Boomers do.
So tapping into social commerce, especially on TikTok, is a great way to engage with young consumers.

Short-form video is an absolute MUST

TikTok (and Instagram Reels) is all about the short videos. So if brands want to blend in with the crowd, they’re going to have to master the art of short, snackable posts. This means incredibly short in-feed video ads AND organic posts.
Short-form video has to grab attention and send a message in seconds. This is an opportunity for brands to get more efficient with their messaging.

There’s going to be a huge shift in aesthetic

Social commerce is already shaping the way brands look and feel on social media apps. And we think it’s going to continue along the same path.
Brands have to match the “vibe” of each social media app. For TikTok, this means ditching the polished aesthetic for a more authentic one. This also means embracing high-energy content that tells a story.


shop on tiktok


What is TikTok Shopping?

After a ton of testing, TikTok has rolled out TikTok Shopping. It’s an epic social commerce solution that lets you promote and sell products on the TikTok app.
Creators and brands get to add a shopping tab to their TikTok profiles. Fans can then tap to scroll product catalogs. The best part? If a fan wants to make a purchase, they can do so without leaving the app. Now THAT’S the power of social commerce, baby!
TikTok Shopping integrates with Shopify. So everything syncs up across your TikTok account and Shopify-powered e-commerce website. TikTok is also working integrations with other partners. This list includes Prestashop, Base, Square, BigCommerce, OpenCart, Shopline, Wix eCommerce, and Ecwid.
No more going to a website, no more messy links, no more tracking across channels. It all happens in TikTok from initial discovery to checkout.
Plus, creators and brands who take advantage of TikTok Shopping can tag their products in organic content with special in-app product links! Yep, you read that correctly. You can push your own products in organic content 🤯 You can even market products via in-feed shoppable video ads, too.


Who is eligible for TikTok Shopping?

As of late 2021, only certain brands in the USA and UK were eligible for TikTok Shopping.
As of mid 2022, TikTok Shopping is available to any brand that uses Shopify. Plus, TikTok Shopping is now available to brands in nearly every country around the world.
NOTE: You have to have a TikTok Business account to activate TikTok Shopping.
set up tiktok shopping

How to set up TikTok Shopping

First up, you need a TikTok Business account. If you don’t have one already, you can learn how to set up a TikTok Business account with this step-by-step guide.
If you partner with Shopify, download the TikTok Shopify app from the Play Store or App store. Then, use the app to sync and manage products.
If you use a partner other than Shopify, check the Play Store and App Store to find their TikTok integration app. And if you don’t see an app for your partner, TikTok likely hasn’t fully developed an integration yet so hang tight.
But Ray Cao (TikTok’s managing director and global head of product strategy) says that they “do offer two integration points: one is directly on TikTok, and the other — we’re still going to be providing the flexibility for users to convert on the merchants’ own websites, as well.”


What can brands do with TikTok Shopping?

TikTok Shopping cracks open a whole new level of social commerce for brands. Here’s a sneak peek at the features you can find inside the app:

TikTok product tags

TikTok shopping lets you tag one or multiple products in organic posts. This way users get to tap a product tag and go directly to your product page(s).

TikTok live shopping

If you’ve got more than 1k followers, the benefits of TikTok Shopping carry over to TikTok Live. This is GREAT news for brands that want shoppable video and live shopping sessions.

TikTok Shopping ads

Collection ads

These are swipeable product “cards.” When users tap a card, they’re taken to a gallery that showcases different products.

Dynamic showcase ads

These are personalized product video ads that target audiences based on interest.

Lead generation ads

These are in-feed ads that let users fill out a contact info collection form. They do this in exchange for access to a lead magnet.

How to create a successful TikTok Shopping tab

The key to creating a next-level TikTok shop is in the details — let’s take a look:

Optimize your Shopify product catalog

Since TikTok Shopping syncs with Shopify, you gotta make sure everything in there is in tip top shape. This means uploading killer images, choosing interesting backgrounds, and branding the experience.
When it comes to text, take full advantage of the product title and description. Keep the text snappy, descriptive, and not too short or too long.

Use in-app advertising

Most of the time, people aren’t just going to discover your shop by accident. So it’s your job as a marketer to TELL people about it.
Take advantage of the different kinds of in-app ads and figure out what works best with your audience.

Partner with TikTok creators

This is one of the best things you can do as a brand, seriously. Influencer marketing puts your brand directly in front of your target audience. Plus, when a creator promotes you, it feels more authentic. And if we know anything about Gen Z and Millennials, they CRAVE authenticity.

Launch Hashtag Challenge Plus campaigns

“Hashtag Challenge Plus” is a type of advertising campaign that’s specific to TikTok. In short, brands come up with a dance, or any kind of challenge, that’s connected to a paid hashtag. These campaigns come with special TikTok landing pages and can integrate with in-app shopping.


Final thoughts on TikTok Shopping and the future of social commerce

TikTok Shopping is changing the way brands do business online. Not to mention, social commerce is an industry that’s growing FAST.
Now is the time to take up space in the social commerce world (and on TikTok specifically). So here’s a recap of how to do this and why it’s important:

  • Social commerce is an immersive shopping experience with a shorter buying journey. It takes place entirely within a social media application without interruption
  • Social commerce is changing the way brands present themselves on social media
  • Social commerce is an incredible opportunity to find and connect with younger consumers
  • TikTok Shopping is TikTok’s epic social commerce solution. It is now available to nearly anyone on the app with a Business account and Shopify store
  • TikTok Shopping enables product tagging, live shopping, and in-feed ads
  • Optimize your Shopify product catalog and in-app ads for a stronger TikTok shop
  • You can also promote your brand by recruiting creators and launching Hashtag Challenge Plus campaigns

Want even more info about influencer marketing, social commerce, and TikTok? Check out the Humanz blog and remember to bookmark it. We’re always updating it with hot tips, expert guides, and valuable info.

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