How to sell on TikTok Shop (2024)

  • TikTok is investing heavily in e-commerce with its TikTok Shop program.
  • The company has offered perks to both sellers and creators who join.
  • Here's what sellers, small businesses, and influencers should know about using Shop.

How to sell on TikTok Shop (1)

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TikTok is investing heavily in e-commerce with its TikTok Shop program, offering perks to brands and creators who participate.

Getting started on TikTok Shop as a seller is simple. Brands and small businesses need to apply on the TikTok Seller Center portal and upload documents for verification. The feature is available in countries including the US, Vietnam, Singapore, the UK, and Thailand.

Read a 9-page document from TikTok detailing how to get started on Shop as a merchant and best practices

The primary way creators and brands can help boost sales is through affiliate marketing. Brands give a percentage of each sale to creators who promote the brand's products. Sellers set their own commission rates, which usually range between 5% and 20%, according to creators and a TikTok exec.

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Read about what TikTok Shop can offer brands, according to an exec who spearheads the program

How to sell on TikTok Shop (4)

TikTok / Maryam Malik / Lissette Calveiro

How to start a TikTok Shop as a seller

Brands can join TikTok Shop by applying on the platform's website.

Once accepted to the program, they can set up their own product showcase on their TikTok profile and pay creators a commission to promote items through affiliate marketing. Sellers set their own commission rates, and they can choose between a couple of affiliate plans:

  • "Open" collaboration, with all or selected products and the ability to set varying commission rates;
  • "Targeted" collaboration, which allows merchants to choose the creators they want to partner with.

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Merchants can access a Seller Center App to manage their shop, inventory, orders, promotions, creator collaborations, and customer service. Sellers can also integrate third-party e-commerce platforms, like Shopify, Square, Ecwid, and BigCommerce.

Is TikTok Shop free for sellers? You can register for free as a seller, but TikTok currently takes a 2% commission combined with a 30 cents per transaction fee from merchants, with plans to increase that to 8% in July.

When setting up a Shop on TikTok, sellers should read the company's list of prohibited items. Sometimes, goods that are initially approved, such as homemade foods, can be taken down for not complying with the company's terms. Sellers should also be aware that TikTok uses a combination of AI and manual reviews to track product listings, which has caused headaches for some merchants who have had to appeal violation claims they view as unwarranted.

Sellers should also pay close attention to TikTok's shipping and order fulfillment rules, as the company can issue violations when a merchant fails to ship within its required three-day window for items sold in the US.

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Read more about TikTok's three-day shipping requirements for sellers

What TikTok Shop offers sellers

As TikTok worked to woo merchants, it began offering perks such as free shipping and discounts for new sellers.

Read about how TikTok subsidized shipping and hawked 30% discounts as it raced to onboard US sellers

TikTok occasionally puts together special promotions to encourage sellers to post videos, go live, and hopefully drum up sales. During its push around Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2023, the company ran a series of seller competitions and other offers, including coupons to promote their videos in the app.

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Read more about TikTok's Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategy

Some independent sellers told Business Insider that Shop has been lucrative for them. One creator who signed up to sell his independently published books on TikTok was able to quit his job as a nurse and focus on writing full time.

Check out how Adam Beswick used TikTok Shop to become a full-time author

However, not all brands are on board with Shop, and getting blue-chip corporations to start selling on the app has been particularly difficult, BI reported.

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Read more about how TikTok is pitching to marketers to get them onto Shop

The company has plans to not only onboard third-party merchants, but also to start selling items directly. It launched a product page with this aim in the UK, "Trendy Beat," and reportedly has plans to emulate this strategy in the US.

How to start earning money as a creator

Creators can apply to start selling on Shop when they meet the platform's community guidelines and other criteria, such as being at least 18 years old and having at least 5,000 followers.

Several creators told BI they've been making thousands of dollars on Shop and getting millions of views on their affiliate content

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Creators (and brands) have three ways to sell on TikTok Shop, according to a document the company shared during a recent web summit:

  • Livestreaming: creators can go live on the platform and promote products to their viewers;
  • Shoppable videos: creators can link to products on the videos that they publish on the profile;
  • Product showcases: creators can list their favorite products in a dedicated showcase at the top of their profile.

On TikTok Shop, creators earn money through affiliate commissions. When they advertise a product in their content, they receive a cut of the sales they generate.

TikTok has also offered creators bonuses, perks, and various exclusive programs to get them to use Shop.

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Check out the perks TikTok has offered to woo creators to use Shop

Tips for live selling

TikTok Shop encourages merchants to sell in livestreams, in addition to posting videos and enlisting influencers to push products.

The company recommends that sellers go live for at least two hours at a time when pitching products on lives.

Some merchants, such as electronics retailer Newegg and luxury goods reseller What Goes Around Comes Around, are aiming for longer stretches, such as eight or even 24-hour streams.

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"The longer you can stay in, the more people you can bring in to comment and things like that," Newegg's media services director Drew Roder told BI.

Read more about TikTok's recommendations for selling on livestreams

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

As an expert and enthusiast, I have access to a wide range of information and can provide insights on various topics. In this case, I can provide information related to the concepts mentioned in the article about TikTok's e-commerce program, TikTok Shop.

TikTok is investing heavily in e-commerce with its TikTok Shop program. The company is offering perks to both sellers and creators who join the program. Sellers, small businesses, and influencers can benefit from using TikTok Shop. Here's what you should know:

Getting Started on TikTok Shop as a Seller

To get started on TikTok Shop as a seller, brands and small businesses need to apply on the TikTok Seller Center portal and upload the necessary documents for verification. The feature is available in countries including the US, Vietnam, Singapore, the UK, and Thailand .

Boosting Sales through Affiliate Marketing

The primary way creators and brands can help boost sales on TikTok Shop is through affiliate marketing. Brands give a percentage of each sale to creators who promote their products. Sellers can set their own commission rates, which usually range between 5% and 20%.

Joining TikTok Shop as a Seller

Brands can join TikTok Shop by applying on the platform's website. Once accepted into the program, they can set up their own product showcase on their TikTok profile and pay creators a commission to promote items through affiliate marketing. Sellers can choose between "Open" collaboration, where all or selected products are available for collaboration with varying commission rates, or "Targeted" collaboration, which allows merchants to choose the creators they want to partner with.

Managing the Shop

Merchants can access a Seller Center App to manage their shop, inventory, orders, promotions, creator collaborations, and customer service. Sellers can also integrate third-party e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Square, Ecwid, and BigCommerce with TikTok Shop.

Fees and Policies

While registration as a seller on TikTok Shop is free, TikTok currently takes a 2% commission combined with a 30 cents per transaction fee from merchants. However, there are plans to increase the commission to 8% in July.

Sellers should be aware of TikTok's list of prohibited items and comply with the company's terms. TikTok uses a combination of AI and manual reviews to track product listings, and sellers should pay close attention to shipping and order fulfillment rules to avoid violations .

Perks and Promotions

TikTok offers perks such as free shipping and discounts for new sellers. The company occasionally puts together special promotions to encourage sellers to post videos, go live, and drum up sales. During events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, TikTok runs seller competitions and offers coupons to promote videos in the app.

Earning Money as a Creator

Creators can apply to start selling on TikTok Shop when they meet the platform's community guidelines and other criteria, such as being at least 18 years old and having at least 5,000 followers. Creators can earn money through affiliate commissions when they advertise products in their content. TikTok has also offered creators bonuses, perks, and exclusive programs to encourage them to use TikTok Shop.

Tips for Live Selling

TikTok Shop encourages merchants to sell in livestreams, in addition to posting videos and enlisting influencers to push products. The company recommends that sellers go live for at least two hours at a time when pitching products. Some merchants aim for longer livestreams, such as eight or even 24-hour streams, to engage more viewers.

These are the key concepts related to TikTok Shop mentioned in the article. If you have any specific questions or need further information, feel free to ask!

How to sell on TikTok Shop (2024)
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