How and Why to Sell on TikTok Shop in 2024

May 23, 2024



Why should you sell on TikTok Shop? You’re probably already doing well with your Amazon products, and you’ve probably already branched out to Walmart, eBay, or even brick and mortar shops, so why should you learn how to sell on TikTok Shop? To begin with, there are the 150 million active users. Plus, the TikTok app uses unique, interest-based recommendations to target the right audience, boosting customer satisfaction and brand growth. That means that you can boost brand awareness for your ecommerce brand using TikTok videos, which will be shown to users who want to buy your products, now – without ever leaving the app. It’s a seamless shopping experience, that’s been shown to increase conversion rates, and help sellers create highly-targeted marketing campaigns to track customer behavior, demographics, and ad performance.

Put it this way. When you’re expanding your reach on a global scale, understanding and connecting with local customers in each area you expand to is key to your success. Thanks to the constant developments in the TikTok algorithm, this exercise has gotten so much easier, since the app gives you sophisticated data analytics about your customers. You’ll be able to promote your brand to qualified leads, saving much time and effort. When you know exactly who your customers are, and what makes them tick, you’ll avoid costly mistakes that comes from guesswork.

Read on to learn all about TIkTok Shop, the potential for Amazon Sellers, and how to set up a TikTok Shop to promote your product to a local audience. It’s time to sell on TikTok Shop!

How to Sell on TikTok Shop: Understand TikTok First!

So, what exactly is TikTok Shop? TikTok is a short-form video site that’s now the 6th top ranking social media site in the world.. In September 2023, TikTok announced the launch of TikTok Shop, which was heavily influenced by Amazon and its integration of social media-inspired features (incidentally, in December 2022, Amazon announced the release of Amazon Inspire in an effort to get ahead – check out our blog from 2022 on TikTok Shop vs. Amazon). TikTok Shop allows users to buy products directly from the app without leaving the app. It incorporates social selling, which, according to this Forbes article, has risen because of the drop in consumer trust in traditional advertising. Customers know when they’re being sold to, and would prefer to hear from their peers and other customers over brands. Look at the rise of content to inform and entertain consumers: people head to blog posts, SEO, websites, webinars, and social media to help them make purchase decisions. That’s why TikTok is so genius; it incorporates the stories that entertain and inform, padding in product recommendations, allowing you to check out without ever having to leave the platform.

Now, TikTok’s genius relies heavily on authentic and relevant content. Traditional advertising won’t work as well here; when you sell on TikTok Shop, you depend on user generated content. We’ll talk a little about the ways to sell on TikTok later on in this blog, but suffice it to say that the main difference between TikTok and other eCommerce stores is that TikTok is a social media app first. Customers download the TikTok app to watch videos of people dancing, cooking, singing, or giving advice. Content on TikTok is king. This means that customers aren’t generally on TikTok to buy stuff, and the best way to connect with your customers is to go viral on TikTok.

Nevertheless, given the recent statistics, it looks like TikTok is a viable addition to your omnichannel selling approach.

Sell on TikTok Shop: Create a TikTok for Business Account

First things first – you’ll need a TikTok account. Follow these steps:

1. Download and Install TikTok

  • Download the App:
    • Visit the App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store (Android) and download the TikTok app.
  • Install and Open the App:
    • Follow the prompts to install the app and then open it.

2. Create a TikTok Account

  • Sign Up:
    • Open the TikTok app and click on the “Profile” icon at the bottom right.
    • Click “Sign Up” and choose your preferred sign-up method (phone, email, or social media accounts).
    • Follow the prompts to complete the sign-up process.

3. Switch to a Business Account

  • Access Settings:
    • Click on the “Profile” icon at the bottom right.
    • Tap the three dots or lines (menu) at the top right to open “Settings and Privacy.”
  • Switch Account Type:
    • In the “Manage Account” section, select “Switch to Pro Account.”
    • Choose “Business” from the two options (Creator or Business).

4. Complete Business Profile

  • Enter Business Information:
    • Follow the prompts to fill in your business details such as industry, business name, and contact information.
    • Add a profile picture that represents your brand (e.g., logo).
  • Optimize Bio:
    • Write a concise and engaging bio that clearly describes your business and what you offer.
    • Include a call-to-action (e.g., “Visit our website for more info!”).

5. Link Other Social Media and Websites

  • Add Links:
    • In the “Profile” section, add links to your website and other social media accounts (Instagram, YouTube).
    • This will help drive traffic to your other online platforms.

6. Create Your First Post

  • Plan Your Content:
    • Decide on the type of content you want to create (e.g., product showcases, behind-the-scenes, tutorials).
  • Shoot and Edit:
    • Use the TikTok camera to record your video, add effects, music, and text as needed.
  • Post Your Content:
    • Add a caption, relevant hashtags, and tag any collaborators before posting.
    • Share your video and monitor its performance.

7. Utilize TikTok’s Business Tools

  • Access Analytics:
    • In the “Settings and Privacy” menu, go to “Creator Tools” and select “Analytics” to track your performance metrics.
  • Run Ads:
    • Use the TikTok Ads Manager to create and manage ad campaigns targeting your desired audience.

Key Considerations When You Set Up a TikTok Shop in 2024


Selecting the appropriate categories on TikTok Shop is a crucial aspect for any would-be TikTok seller. As of writing, the top category on TikTok across the globe is perfume, with a 61k popularity, followed by cases, screen protectors, and stickers (53k), serums and essences (40k), casual dresses for women (39k), men’s t-shirts (39k) and shampoo and conditioner (also 39k). Now, remember how this goes on Amazon – if you enter a category that has incredible competition, it’ll be harder to sell your products because of the traffic, no matter how many people are buying. The same holds true for TikTok. So, your first step is to figure out if your category is viable. Understand your audience and use data to keep informing your decisions. Make sure you tap into their preferences and behavior to choose categories that align with their interests. Also, be specific! The more specific your category, the better your product will match user searches.

Creating Engaging Content to Sell on TikTok Shop

More than a quarter of US-based TikTok users are between 25-34 years old, and 23.9% are between 18-24 years old. The bulk of users (66.2%) are between 18 and 44 years old. 49.2% of TikTok users worldwide are female, while 50.8% are male. So, the majority of TikTok users are Gen Z – or born after 1996. It’s so important to keep this young demographic in mind when you advertise your products on TikTok. It’s crucial to understand TikTok trends, and incorporate those into your content, so your TikTok page starts getting views. TikTok content is the best way to build a relationship with your target market.

Here’s the type of content that performs well:

  • Challenges & Trends: Participate or create challenges.
    • Check out the 7 top challenges:
      • The Blackout Challenge
      • The Cha-Cha Slide Challenge
      • The Face Wax Challenge
      • The Lip Sync Challenge
      • The Milk Crate Challenge
      • The Silhouette Challenge
      • The Savage Challenge
      • The Branded Hashtag Challenge
  • How-To Videos & Tutorials: Provide value, Teach new skills. How can you do this with your product?
  • Behind the Scenes: Show your customers some of your business processes or product creation. It builds authenticity and trust.
  • Product Demonstrations: Showing your product in use sheds a light on its features and benefits. This can drive interest and sales.
  • Storytelling: Engaging narratives that connect emotionally with viewers can enhance engagement and shares. Those shares will help you go viral!

Now It’s Time to Start to Sell on TikTok Shop

Okay, we’ve done enough studying. Now that you’ve set up your TikTok business account, it’s time to start selling on TikTok. Follow the below steps to become a seller on TikTok Shop, and link your store to your TikTok account:

1. Access TikTok Seller Center

  • Log In:
    • Go to the TikTok Shop Seller Center website.
    • Log in using your TikTok Business account credentials.

2. Complete Your Business Profile

  • Profile Information:
    • Fill out all required business information, including your business name, address, contact details, and bank account information for payments.
  • Verification:
    • Verify your business by uploading the necessary documents, such as your business license or ID. Hopefully, you’ve already done this, and your TikTok account is live.

3. Add Your First Product

  • Navigate to Product Management:
    • From the Seller Center dashboard, find and click on “Product Management.”
  • Add New Product:
    • Click on “Add First Product” or “Upload Product.”

4. Enter Product Details

  • Product Information:
    • Fill in the product name, category, and brand (if applicable).
    • Provide a detailed product description highlighting key features and benefits.
  • Product Specifications:
    • Enter product dimensions, weight, color, and other relevant attributes.

5. Upload Product Images and Videos

  • Images:
    • Upload high-resolution images of your product. Ensure you have a minimum of 3 images and a maximum of 9.
    • Use 1:1 aspect ratio for images to maintain consistency.
  • Videos:
    • If available, upload a short video demonstrating your product. Videos can enhance the appeal and provide a better understanding of the product.

6. Set Pricing and Inventory

  • Pricing:
    • Enter the selling price of your product.
  • Inventory:
    • Add the quantity of stock available for sale. Keep your inventory updated to avoid overselling.

7. Configure Shipping Options

  • Shipping Settings:
    • Set up shipping options, including delivery methods and costs.
    • You can choose to handle shipping yourself or use TikTok’s fulfillment services.

8. Review and Publish

  • Review Details:
    • Double-check all the entered information for accuracy.
    • Ensure that all images and videos are correctly uploaded.
  • Publish:
    • Once you are satisfied with the details, click “Publish” to make the product live on TikTok Shop.

9. Promote Your Products

  • Create Engaging Content:
    • Make TikTok videos featuring your products to drive traffic to your shop.
  • Use Hashtags:
    • Incorporate relevant hashtags to increase visibility.
  • Engage with Your Audience:
    • Respond to comments and messages to build a community around your brand.

10. Monitor and Optimize

  • Track Performance:
    • Use the analytics tools in the Seller Center to monitor product performance.
  • Optimize Listings:
    • Make adjustments to product listings, pricing, and promotions based on performance data and customer feedback.

Easy, right? Just don’t forget the number 1 rule about trying to get sales on TikTok: content is key. 

Sell on TikTok Shop: How to Start Promoting

Now, just like any eCommerce portal, just putting up a shop to sell your products doesn’t mean you’ll actually sell products. You won’t earn money until you start marketing your product on TikTok shop. Here’s how to promote your brand on TikTok:

Type of Ads That Do Well on TikTok Shop

Remember, traditional advertising won’t work on TikTok. People come to the app to be entertained or informed, not necessarily to buy, so it’s the challenge of any good TikTok Shop Seller to promote their products in a way that fits in seamlessly with relevant, interesting content.

That said, advertising is crucial to any sort of promotions. Here are the types of TikTok ads you can use to start promoting your brand:

  • In-Feed Ads:
    • These ads appear in users’ feeds as they scroll through TikTok. They are similar to regular TikTok videos and can include clickable links to websites or apps.
  • Branded Hashtag Challenges:
    • These ads encourage user participation by challenging users to create content around a specific hashtag. They often include a custom filter or effect.
  • TopView Ads:
    • These ads appear at the top of the TikTok feed when users first open the app. They offer premium placement and high visibility.
  • Branded Effects:
    • These ads allow businesses to create custom filters, stickers, and special effects that users can add to their videos, increasing brand engagement.
  • Brand Takeover:
    • These full-screen ads appear immediately when a user opens TikTok. They can include images, GIFs, or videos and link to a landing page or hashtag challenge.

Furthermore, it’s no secret that a TikTok creator or influencer could spell out success for your TikTok shop. Time to partner with TikTok creators to get more engagement. Here’s how:

  • Identify Potential Influencers:
    • Use TikTok’s search and discovery features to find influencers who align with your brand’s values and target audience. Look for influencers with high engagement rates and authentic content.
  • Evaluate Their Content:
    • Analyze the quality of their content, engagement rates, and follower demographics to ensure they are a good fit for your brand.
  • Reach Out:
    • Contact the influencers directly through TikTok or via their provided contact details. Clearly explain your campaign goals and what you expect from the collaboration.
      • As Jana mentioned in our article on Influencer Marketing Strategies for Global Success, “If you don’t have a local number of (the country you’re selling in), you won’t be shown to the local audience.” That’s why it’s so important to find the right influencer to connect you with your target market.
  • Negotiate Terms:
    • Discuss the terms of the collaboration, including compensation, content guidelines, and deadlines. Ensure both parties are clear on the expectations.
  • Collaborate on Content:
    • Work with the influencer to create authentic and engaging content that highlights your product or service. Allow them creative freedom to ensure the content feels genuine.

Explore TikTok to find the best influencers for you. They don’t necessarily have to be as big as Bella Poarch – a micro influencer with a devoted following might even be a better fit for your business. But suffice it to say that the products in your videos will move faster if an influencer is posting your content, as well. Influencer marketing really is the key to successful TikTok marketing.

Start Selling on TikTok: Analyzing and Optimizing Performance

To effectively measure your performance on TikTok, it’s essential to monitor key metrics. These include:

  • Views: The number of times your videos have been watched.
  • Likes: The total number of likes your content has received.
  • Comments: The number of comments on your videos, indicating engagement and interaction.
  • Shares: The frequency with which your videos are shared, extending your reach.
  • Followers: The growth and demographics of your follower base.
  • Engagement Rate: The level of interaction (likes, comments, shares) relative to your total views.
  • Watch Time: The average duration viewers spend watching your videos.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): The percentage of viewers who click on links in your bio or within your videos.

How to Use Data to Improve Content and Sales

Leveraging TikTok analytics can really boost your content strategy and sales performance:

  • Identify Top-Performing Content: Analyze which videos have the highest engagement rates and try to replicate their success by understanding what made them appealing.
  • Understand Audience Preferences: Use demographic data to tailor your content to the interests and behaviors of your target audience.
  • Optimize Posting Schedule: Determine the best times to post based on when your audience is most active.
  • Refine Marketing Strategies: Use insights from engagement metrics to adjust your marketing tactics and focus on what resonates most with your audience.

Improve Your Sales on TikTok Through Constant Testing

To ensure ongoing success on TikTok, continuously refine your content and strategies:

A/B Testing Content:

  • Experiment with Variations: Test different versions of your content (e.g., video length, music, captions) to see which performs better.
  • Analyze Results: Compare the performance of each version to identify the most effective elements.
  • Implement Learnings: Apply the insights gained from A/B testing to optimize future content.

Gathering and Responding to Customer Feedback:

  • Monitor Comments and Messages: Regularly review feedback from your audience to understand their preferences and concerns.
  • Engage with Your Audience: Respond to comments and messages to build relationships and show that you value their input.
  • Incorporate Feedback: Use the feedback to make informed changes to your products, content, and overall strategy.

The Necessity of a Localized Approach When You Sell on TikTok Shop

So…in case you’re new here, let’s talk a little about localization for eCommerce first. Localization adapts content, products, and services to meet the cultural, linguistic, and regulatory requirements of a specific target market. It’s not translating. You might translate a product manual, but translating content word-for-word often ends up sounding clunky and inauthentic. At best, you’ll be misunderstood with a sardonic wink and grin; at worst, you’ll offend customers because you’ve used altogether the wrong lingo to describe your product.

Effective localization can lead to enhanced user experience; customers like shopping in their native tongue, so when your content is localized to suit the audience’s specific cultural nuances, businesses can create a more relatable shopping experience. Plus, localization leads to higher conversion rates and customer loyalty.

Word to the wise: when localizing content, machine translations are not the way to go. Native speakers can tell when content is translated badly; it doesn’t resonate with their cultural sensitivities and content is often expressed in ways a native speaker would never communicate. Machine translators, while improving, just aren’t at the level yet of being able to transmute content from one language to another, while considering culture, jargon, trends, preferences, and so forth.

What does this all mean? To effectively sell on TikTok Shop, it’s crucial to localize your content to appeal to diverse audiences across different regions. That means striking the balance between content that encompasses your brand, while fine-tuning it to every region you sell in.

Here are some tips:

Adapting Content for Different Regions:

  • Tailored Messaging: Modify your marketing messages to align with local cultural norms and preferences.
  • Local Trends: Stay updated on regional trends and incorporate them into your content to make it more relevant and engaging.
  • Appropriate Imagery: Use images and videos that reflect the local culture and lifestyle to create a stronger connection with your audience.

Importance of Language and Cultural Nuances:

  • Accurate Translation: Ensure that all text, captions, and product descriptions are accurately translated to avoid misunderstandings and build trust.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Be mindful of cultural nuances, such as humor, symbols, and traditions, to avoid offending your audience and to foster a positive brand image.
  • Localized Hashtags: Use hashtags that are popular and relevant in each specific market to increase the discoverability of your content.

Again, influencers can help with this in a huge way.

YLT Translations can also help:

  1. Use the Amazon Market Opportunity Report to identify if a region would be interested in your product
  2. Leverage the power of proper localization and translations with our team, who are all native speakers
  3. Get YLT Translations to localize your ads and website
  4. Don’t speak the language? Consider hiring a virtual assistant to handle customer support – and get YLT to translate a customer service Chatbot to allow you to answer FAQs in real time, in their native tongue.

Considerations When You Set Up a TikTok Shop to Sell Your Products

We would be remiss if we didn’t illuminate some of the risks you’ll be taking if you sell on TikTok Shop. Here are a few to think about:

1. Potential Regulatory Issues

  • US Ban on TikTok:
    • Lawmakers and regulators in the US have gotten pretty loud about TikTok’s data privacy. Also, they’re concerned that China could use TikTok’s content recommendations to spread misinformation, particularly pressing during sensitive times with the Israel-Palestine and Ukraine situations and the upcoming presidential elections. Furthermore, critics have argued that TikTok has contributed to the spread of antisemitism.

2. Content Moderation and Guidelines

  • Adhering to TikTok’s Community Guidelines:
    • TikTok has specific community guidelines that all users must follow. Ensure your content does not violate these guidelines to avoid penalties or account suspension.
  • Censorship and Content Restrictions:
    • Be aware of the types of content that may be restricted or censored in different regions. Tailor your content to fit within these guidelines to avoid being flagged or removed. Again – localization is absolutely crucial.

3. Virality and Sustainability

  • Unpredictable Nature of Virality:
    • You want to go viral to get that huge boost in sales. But, don’t forget, virality is often unpredictable and hard to sustain. Make sure you have a strategy in place to safeguard your reputation and inventory when virality goes down.
  • Content Creation Consistency:
    • Regularly posting high-quality content is essential to maintain visibility and engagement. Consistency helps build a loyal follower base and keeps your brand relevant. Although engaging TikTok influencers is a good strategy, it helps to have your own country-specific content that still adheres to your brand personality.

4. Competitive Landscape

  • Rising Competition:
    • As more businesses recognize the potential of TikTok, the platform is becoming increasingly competitive. It’s probably a good idea to learn how to use TikTok before it gets too busy, and competition gets way too fierce.
  • Influencer Saturation:
    • The popularity of influencer marketing means that top influencers may be in high demand. Build relationships with a diverse range of influencers to ensure consistent promotion. Look for micro influencers with a dedicated following; they’re less expensive, and if they like your product they might even do it for free!

5. Technical and Operational Considerations

  • Platform Updates:
    • TikTok frequently updates its features and algorithms. Stay updated with these changes to optimize your content and advertising strategies effectively.
  • Technical Issues:
    • Be prepared for potential technical issues, such as app crashes or bugs, which can affect your ability to manage your account and engage with users.

6. Integration with Other Marketing Channels

  • Omnichannel Strategy:
    • Integrate TikTok marketing efforts with other channels such as Instagram, YouTube, and your Shopify store. This helps create a cohesive brand presence and reach a broader audience.
  • Cross-Promotion:
    • Use your TikTok content to drive traffic to your other online platforms. Cross-promote products and content to maximize visibility and sales.

Conclusion: Set Up a TikTok Shop to Supplement Your Amazon Account

It’s 2024, and there are over 150 million active users on TikTok Shop, so it’s about time you started selling on TikTok Shop as part of an omnichannel approach. It’s especially lucrative for sellers expanding their businesses on a global scale, because TikTok gives you access to your customer base in a way Amazon can’t. When you sell on TikTok Shop, you significantly boost brand awareness and customer satisfaction. Leverage the seamless shopping experience and advanced data analytics to create highly-targeted campaigns to track customer behavior, demographics, and ad performance.

But don’t forget, understanding and connecting with local audiences is crucial for success. TikTok can help you promote your brand to qualified leads efficiently – a much more cost-effective way of understanding your customers’ preferences and behaviors across the globe. This requires careful localization strategies, and staying mindful of potential regulatory and market challenges.

Embrace TikTok as an addition to your omnichannel selling approach and leverage its unique capabilities to enhance your e-Commerce success. TikTok Shop offers many opportunities for sellers to expand their reach, connect with customers across the globe, and develop another door from which to sell.

The TikTok community could just be the key to massive global sales, so get started – set up your TikTok Shop account, and get in touch for expert localization support!