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TikTok is looking to transform into an even bigger ecommerce player, getting ahead of Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to become one of the most monetizable social media platforms of 2023. What does that mean for your TikTok ecommerce strategy?

The ByteDance-owned app has ambitious goals for this year, looking to quadruple its global ecommerce sales from $4 billion to $20 billion with tools like its all-in-app TikTok Shop integration. 

Users can now shop directly via the app without being directed to another site, resulting in a more seamless purchasing experience and higher conversions. Shop owners can also complete certain missions to gain more exposure on TikTok and a boost from the algorithm. 

[Screenshots of what TikTok Shop features look like and how they can create strong CTAs for your products.] 

They anticipate that a large portion of that social commerce revenue will come from Southeast Asia. Countries like Indonesia, where livestream shopping is more popular, have easily adopted the technology and saw ecommerce sales peak during key holidays like Ramadan. 

However, small to medium-sized businesses in the U.S. should also take note as TikTok ramps up its investment in ecommerce tools and tests new features like visual search. 

TikTok's Ecommerce Growth Rate Is Huge

The Adobe Digital Economy Index shows how TikTok is rapidly eating up market share.

Unlike other platforms like Facebook and Instagram, which are seeing a decline in traffic, TikTok is growing month to month at an astonishing rate, with a 164% YOY growth in May 2023

TikTok’s influence on consumer buying habits is nothing new. The common phrase and hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has accumulated over 58 billion views and demonstrates how consumers are influenced to try products they see on the platform and test for themselves. 

This extends to all popular consumer categories, such as home goods, beauty products, and even the latest tech gadgets. Online retail giants like Amazon have benefited immensely from TikTok users plugging their products using the hashtag #AmazonFinds. 

But their TikTok Shop integration is now making it easier than ever for ecommerce businesses to monetize through the app and calculate returns. 78% of companies that use TikTok for marketing claim that the social media platform offers a favorable return on investment. 

Although the popular app still faces pushback from the U.S. due to privacy issues around user data, TikTok remains the most downloaded social app this year amid the controversy. They are also estimated to reach 834.3 million monthly active users by the end of this year. And they show no signs of leaving the U.S., as TikTok is now in talks with L.A.-based company TalkShopLive to expand their livestream shopping footprint.

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5 Tips For Selling With TikTok Ecommerce

If you need help with brand awareness and growing your business using TikTok, here are some tips on taking full advantage of their ecommerce tools.

Add these to your TikTok ecommerce strategy to attract and win over your target audience, whether you want to connect with Gen Z or an older demographic. 

1. Raise brand awareness with binge-worthy social media content

Before spending your dollars on an ad campaign, focus on creating relatable and binge-worthy organic content on your TikTok page to help build brand awareness and trust. 

Ecommerce jewelry brand Evry Jewels creates viral videos and content that gets their customers excited about their products. They post often, and their videos do a great job of entertaining, demoing their products, and offering educational tips regarding jewelry care and styling. 

They also pay close attention to current fashion trends to generate a high engagement rate. 

With #mermaidcore trending heavily for summer, it's no surprise that their TikTok video below quickly went viral for showing off a seashell necklace, encouraging lots of saves and shares with potential customers since it's a product people are eager to purchase. They also use popular hashtags like #tiktokfashion and #summerjewelry to reach their Gen Z audience. 

@evryjewels Replying to @Nadia Bonardelli viral tiktok necklace😳 Meribella Necklace & Earrings🐚 #tiktokviral #tiktokmademebuyit #fyp #foryou #summerjewelry #tiktokfashion #necklace ♬ original sound - EVRY JEWELS

By having a huge library of content and keeping a pulse on what’s trending, TikTok users can quickly binge through their videos which helps build trust and credibility and lead to more conversions over time. Their success in the TikTok space shows how even small businesses can stand out with the right content strategy. 

Building a strong presence on social media platforms has many benefits, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to showcase your brand. 

2. Take advantage of livestream shopping

Any business that hits 1,000 followers on TikTok can go live anytime. Unlocking this livestreaming feature is great for brands who want to reach a wider audience. It also allows viewers to interact with your team in real-time, ask questions, and build a closer connection to the brand. Partnering up with a well-known influencer can also drum up plenty of excitement for your next live stream. 

Livestream shopping is a great and proven way to sell your products and services. As more and more consumers prefer to shop via mobile, live streaming allows them to purchase on the go and enables brands to host live virtual events with their loyal customers. 

Like the sales tactics you’ll see on The Shopping Channel, ecommerce brands offer limited-time deals and products or a sweet discount to shoppers who purchase immediately, creating a sense of urgency and the illusion of scarcity. 

Viewers who join a live stream can simply click the basket icon on their screen to see a complete list of your products and purchase directly. 

Ecommerce tip

Encourage your team, family, and friends to join the live stream to help get some momentum going and ask questions to keep the stream exciting and engaging.

3. Create a product showcase 

Hair brand Kitsch showcases their hair accessories using TikTok’s product catalog feature.

This is a super easy way to get more ecommerce sales from TikTok fast. Simply add this shopping tab to your business account to display all of your products in one place. TikTok can pull from your existing online store catalog, which makes this really easy to set up. If you use Shopify, it only takes one click to connect your TikTok Ad Manager account with your Shopify store and install the TikTok pixel. 

This minimal shopping gallery looks similar to the Facebook and Instagram Shop features. You can feature an image of the product plus the price in this tab. If a viewer is interested, they can click through to purchase without leaving the app if they are interested. 

4. Produce engaging ad campaigns with a strong hook

TikTok rewards and prioritizes videos with a longer watch time, so make sure to hook in your viewers with a compelling storytime or thoughtful question that gets them to stop scrolling when creating your ads. The first three seconds of the video are crucial—this is the timeframe a TikTok user decides if your video is worth watching or decides to swipe to the next video. 

@hushsleep

Crafted from 100% pure bamboo, these sheets provide unbeatable comfort and breathability.

♬ Promoted Music - hushsleep

TikTok audiences appreciate ads that don’t look like ads, praising advertisements that blend seamlessly with native content. Do some research to see what’s trending within your niche before storyboarding your ad campaign. Finally, have a strong call to action that directs users to purchase or learn more on your online store or landing page. 

With their analytics, you can see the average watch time, the number of new followers gained, traffic sources, and your conversion rate. 

Ecommerce tip

Test different ad campaigns at a time to see what resonates best with your target audience.

5. Get credible TikTok influencers to review and compare your product with competitors

Whether they include your brand in an unboxing, haul, or try-on video, influencer marketing is key. TikTok creators are well versed with what works and what doesn’t on TikTok, quickly attuned to what songs are trending and what is deemed cheugy. 

Partnering with these vetted creators gives you access to their audiences and know-how so they can name-drop your brand in their videos and live streams. You can also take advantage of using affiliates. Affiliate creators receive a commission for every sale, so they feel incentivized to promote your brand online. 

A popular video format on TikTok is positioning a brand’s product as a “dupe” for a trending product. Associating your brand with a more recognizable one can trigger viewer curiosity who want to try a more affordable option. Lesser known brands can piggyback off a household name brand to extend their online visibility. 

@coufe Use code “COUFE10” for 10% off ✨🤍 @dossierperfumes #ad #dossier #perfume #sponsored ♬ Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) - Kate Bush

Having influencers as part of your marketing mix is a great way to cast a wider net. Make sure to read about more social media trends to help your business grow. 

Clock Is Ticking: Get Your TikTok Ecommerce Strategy Ready

Growing your TikTok ecommerce revenue doesn’t have to be complicated. Take note of these TikTok marketing tips when crafting your marketing strategy. Using these TikTok ecommerce features like live streaming and ad campaigns can allow you to drive sales and start monetizing quickly. 

Who knows, maybe you’ll even crack the algorithm and end up on the For You page. 

For more tips and insights to give your ecommerce business an edge, subscribe to The Ecomm Manager newsletter today.

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By Frances Du

Frances Du is a content manager and writer with 10 years of experience in ecommerce and digital marketing, turning customer insights and market trends into actionable content strategies that drive engagement and discussion. Frances' editorial work has been featured in The Ecomm Manager, Village Living Magazine, GOOD Magazine, Traveler's Digest, SHE Canada, The Culture-ist, and The Huffington Post. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto.