An Introduction to TikTok Shop

Just when you thought you had mastered all the social media and eCommerce platforms, something new lurches in the distance. Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it’s another social media channel trying to convince people to purchase in-app. Sigh.

Don’t get us wrong, we love options and we love the element of convenience. We just empathise with our clients who have to stay on top of them all. That’s why we’ve created this handy introduction to TikTok Shop, so you can easily implement it. Like all social media platforms, it comes with its own challenges and nuances, so it’s important to immerse yourself in these before you consider utilising their eCommerce functionality.

TikTok has taken the social media world by storm. And with its popularity as a search engine growing too, it’s no wonder that the app has monetised these searches, allowing brands to sell natively. Let’s jump straight into it then.

What is TikTok Shop?

TikTok Shop is an integrated eCommerce feature within the TikTok app that allows businesses and content creators to showcase and sell products directly to users. By merging social media and online shopping, the platform has created an immersive shopping experience, allowing users to discover and purchase products seamlessly, all whilst consuming entertaining and engaging content. We’re already seeing multiple content creators and influencers working with top brands on TikTok - now those same brands can provide a much shorter buying cycle.

Who can use TikTok Shop?

TikTok Shop is not limited to a specific category of users, but you must fall into one of the following four categories in order to sell on the app (and then there’s eligibility criteria within those categories):


You should reside in the UK, China, Indonesia, or Hong Kong and have proof of incorporation of your business, as well as identification and telephone number for that region. So pretty standard stuff if you’re a legit business.


You can’t just become a content creator and start selling on the same day on TikTok. You need to have at least 1,000 followers, as well as more than 50 video views within the last 28 days (and have posted a video on TikTok within the last 28 days too). You also need to be 18 years old or more.


As a partner, you’re a little different from a standard seller. You must have a registered business in these countries: China, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, the UK, or Vietnam.


For Affiliates, you must be registered as a TikTok Shop seller from the following countries: the UK, Chinese mainland and the Hong Kong SAR Seller (cross-border only), Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, or Singapore.

TikTok Shop is available to both established businesses and emerging content creators, and brands of all sizes, from local artisans to global corporations, can leverage the platform to connect with their target audience and boost sales. For influencers and content creators, it’s an additional opportunity to monetise content by promoting products and earning commissions. And we all know how much influencers love an additional income stream. Get that bag!

How to set up TikTok Shop

Setting up TikTok Shop requires a few simple steps:

Eligibility: Ensure that you meet the requirements for TikTok Shop, which may include having a certain number of followers or meeting specific criteria set by TikTok.

  • Business Account: Convert your TikTok account into a Business Account, which unlocks access to TikTok Shop. It also allows you to access advanced analytics and TikTok Ads Manager, providing you with more business options.

  • Linking an eCommerce platform: Connect your existing eCommerce platform or create a new one to facilitate transactions and manage inventory.

  • Product catalogue: Upload your product catalogue to TikTok Shop, including high-quality images, compelling descriptions, and relevant tags.

  • Storefront customisation: Customise your TikTok Shop storefront to reflect your brand's identity and captivate potential customers.

How TikTok Shop can aid your eCommerce business

Increased exposure: With TikTok's massive user base, your products gain exposure to a vast audience, enhancing brand visibility, and reaching potential customers who may not have discovered your business otherwise.

Seamless shopping experience: By allowing users to purchase products without leaving the app, TikTok Shop reduces friction in the buying process, increasing conversion rates. Although this can feel frustrating, especially when you’ve invested a LOT of money in a fully functional, eCommerce website, providing customers with numerous ways to purchase breeds brand loyalty.

Social proof and influencer marketing: TikTok's interactive nature allows for user-generated content (UGC), fostering social proof, and enabling influencers to showcase and endorse your products to their dedicated fan base. In less marketing waffle terms, it means your brand appears to be more authentic and authenticity is invaluable.

Data-driven insights: TikTok Shop provides valuable analytics and insights on customer behaviour, allowing you to refine your marketing strategy and optimise product offerings. You might have a product that performs incredibly well on your website, but flops on TikTok - and vice versa. Having in-depth and measurable data means you can track the success of your products and which ones you should launch where.

How can users shop on TikTok?

As is the case with most platforms, there’s not just one way to shop. With TikTok, users can buy from brands and content creators via live streams, shoppable videos, product showcases in the Shopping Tab, and, of course, ads.

Top tips for using TikTok Shop

Authenticity and creativity: TikTok is known for its creative and entertaining content. Ensure your product promotions align with the platform's spirit i.e. creating engaging and authentic content that resonates with your target audience. Take brands such as RyanAir. They jump on TikTok trends and memes as if a Gen Z intern is running the show. And it’s working.

Collaborate with influencers: Partner with TikTok influencers who align with your brand values to expand your reach and tap into their loyal fan base. This has been a tactic for brands for a number of years, but with savvier social media users, authenticity is key here. Fast-fashion giant SHEIN recently partnered with a number of influencers to highlight their factory standards and the garment-making process - but audiences weren’t impressed, as the content didn’t feel genuine.

Utilise TikTok's features: Leverage TikTok's creative tools, such as effects, filters, and soundtracks to make your product videos more engaging and shareable. Again, make sure it feels natural and genuine for your brand to use a trending audio - don’t use it for the sake of it.

Engage with your community: Interact with users, respond to comments, and participate in trends and challenges to build a community around your brand. This is the authenticity that users want to see.

Monitor and optimise: Continuously track your TikTok Shop performance, experiment with different strategies, and iterate based on the data to improve your results over time. Easy.