I took the plunge into the world of TikTok Shops recently and I'm briefly going to recap my first week selling on the platform...we'll talk about what works, what doesn't, and why...
First Steps into the Unknown
I kept hearing about how easy it was to list and sell on TikTok Shop (and that it was a lot like how Facebook Marketplace was the last few years before it died out). And it got me curious...b/c I love exploring new places where I can list products without needing to buy ads. And this seemed like another great opportunity where sellers like us could list our products and get crazy traffic....for free...which would turn into sales.
No Shortcuts, but a Different Road
My usual method of just listing loads of products (because, hey, something's gotta stick, right?) had to change with TikTok Shop. Here people aren’t just wandering around looking for something to buy...or searching for something specific. So, instead of being a store with everything, your shop should feel like a cozy room where everything’s specially picked out for viewers
Niche is Nice!
This called for a fun change of strategy! Instead of one big shop, I created TikTok pages that focused on specific niches. Keeping everything relatable and targeted meant my audience would see products that they genuinely liked...and once I built the page a bit, those followers could be subtly sold to through normal tiktok videos with the product linked in it.
Throwing Soft Balls Before the Fast Pitch!
The video strategy that's been working best for me recently is the Gary Vee "jab jab jab, right hook" approach. Basically you post about 3-5 normal videos on topics in your niche to build trust, interest, and momentum with viewers. Then you hit them with the occasional product pitch.
The difference with this on tiktok shop...and why it's so effective....is product videos with tiktok shop links in them look just like normal videos. The only difference is they have a clickable link viewers can choose to purchase that product from (right on tiktok - without ever leaving the app). This gives it a less "salesy" feel and it instead becomes more about sharing cool stuff...that happens to be relevant with that target audience. And if they're interested, they can purchase. It's much less invasive. And it doesn't tap your audience out as much as something like this normally would.
Friendly Help from Affiliates
Another super cool part of TikTok Shop is the Affiliate marketing integration! That means other TikTok pages with lots of followers might want to help sell our products. It's a win win for you and them. You get sales...and they get an easy way to monetize their audience with a relevant product. It's as easy as opting your products into the program...then from there you can either proactively reach out to pages in your niche (you can literally search through tiktok's catalog of relevant pages, which is awesome)...or you can wait for pages to message you.
One thing of note here, is if your product isn't super expensive, it might benefit you to offer 1 free sample per page. That way you'll get more pages wanting to promote your products. You just have to take that initial hit of gifting them a free sample. But in my experience this pays off. Not every page that gets a free sample will end up selling your product...or even making a video sometimes. But the ones that do, will offset the ones that don't. And the volume will make up for it.
One Shop, One Identity
A little heads-up: you can only have one shop per identity (1 per Social Security number and 1 per business EIN). So unfortunately, you can't make dozens of shops. You'll need to pick a niche, assign one of your shops to that page, and stick with it.
That's my 2 cents on Tiktok Shop and what's working currently. This platform is so new, but seems so promising. In my opinion this is the biggest opportunity in eCommerce right now. And it's available to tons of people worldwide that can make videos and sign up. Give it a shot!