TikTok Ecommerce: The Online Retailers Guide

by Jason Vaught
TikTok Ecommerce: The Online Retailers Guide

Are you an ecommerce brand looking to use TikTok, the latest social platform to grow your business? Or are you interested while hesitant about investing in yet another social media app? Either way, before jumping into the TikTok arena, there are a few things you should know about TikTok social commerce.

Why TikTok Matters

TikTok quickly became a leading social media platform thanks to its focus on short viral videos. While they were not the first to do it, they are the best. Fusing together features from Music.ly (rest in peace) and Snapchat, TikTok videos provide a dopamine release that keeps users interested.




TikTok is rivaling for the top spot among other social media platforms for the length of engagement. It’s uncertain if they will pass YouTube, but their design and algorithm are better at preventing distraction, which may push them past YouTube’s noisy interface.

The Benefits of TikTok

From a marketer’s perspective, TikTok is becoming the best social media platform for building brand awareness and selling products. Here is a sample of benefits that TikTok gives ecommerce brands.

  1. In 2022, it’s easier to grow an audience than other platforms.

  2. Links out to other social media profiles.

  3. Expanded reach lets you discover similar audiences.

  4. The best integrations with ecommerce shopping platforms.




These benefits exist for brands willing to embrace the TikTok culture. This doesn’t mean producing the same content as other TikTokers, but sticking to what works within the framework TikTok provides.

How To Use TikTok

For the social media unsavvy, here's how to get started with TikTok.

  1. Download the TikTok App.

  2. Set up a TikTok Account.

  3. Edit profile.

  4. Fill out your company information.

  5. Click the three dots in the upper right-hand corner.

  6. Switch to business account.

  7. Choose your category.



That’s it! Within a few minutes, you are ready to post your first viral video! OK, it’s not that easy, but you’ve now put your ecommerce brand in a position where brand-aware TikTok users can see your videos.

How to Create a TikTok Video

Next step, let’s put a test video into the TikTok stratosphere and see what happens. We suggest you start with a pre-recorded video to make the process easier. Here are the steps.

  1. Record a short video with helpful information.

  2. Hit the + button that is at the bottom of the screen.

  3. Upload that content by choosing it from your library.

  4. Experiment with unique sounds, filters, and effects.

  5. After editing, hit the post and exit the app. (thanks for the tip, Shopify!)

You are now officially a member of the TikTok community rather than some lingering creep hanging out in the background.

TikTok For Ecommerce

With the basics covered, it’s time to move to the subject that matters... commerce! With the right strategy, your ecommerce brand will see a significant impact from TikTok. With each passing day, this platform is becoming more ecommerce business-friendly.

In fact, TikTok integrates with the largest ecommerce platform, Shopify. You can link up your Shopify store directly into the app for easy product promotion and generating transactions. 

The TikTok-Shopify integration is the first (we believe) to get social commerce right. Instagram and Facebook ecommerce were the early adopters, and while both have value, TikTok is the industry leader. Our agency will be the first to tell you that impulse purchases are a frequent occurrence within TikTok.




How to Go Viral on TikTok

While there is always an element of luck for viral videos, TikTok has some important metrics that determine how much they will promote it.

  1. Is the TikTok user watching the full video?

  2. What is the average video watch time across all users?

  3. What viral TikTok sounds is the video including?

  4. Is a TikTok influencer used in the video?

  5. Are influencers sharing it with their audiences?




Your ecommerce TikTok profile manager needs to consider these questions before publishing content. If you’re not interested in putting this much effort or hiring a TikTok marketing agency like us to do the work, then we advise another route.

Instead, pay influencers to promote your products. Like social media platforms before TikTok, for the right price, influencers will be ready to showcase your brand.


TikTok Live

You have permission to use TikTok live once your ecommerce company achieves 1000 followers. This feature cannot support companies that take TikTok seriously by giving them more opportunities to stand out. We can use TikTok live for all kinds of purposes. Here are a few:

  1. Live versions of your podcast recordings.

  2. Limited-time product promotions.

  3. Real-time interviews with relevant guests.

  4. Answering questions about your products.

Yes, this takes a person who isn’t camera shy and embraces a live performance. Therefore, it’s not for everyone. But if a team member is willing to take this on, TikTok live shopping can generate serious revenues for your ecommerce brand.

TikTok Shopping

Isn’t the term “TikTok Shop“ catchy? I mean, who doesn't want a TikTok Shop being that it sounds like the lyrics from a rap song? A fantastic feature TikTok provides is the ability to shop directly within the platform.

Where a TikTok shop best serves commerce is at lower price points between $15-$35 dollars. There are exceptions to the rule, but we have a strategy for higher-priced ecommerce shops hoping to engage in TikTok shopping.

What kind of lead magnet product can you create at a crazy low price? What can you offer with a $100.00 value that you sell for $15.00 on TikTok?

With user privacy now protected during social media and online shopping, these lead magnets help you identify and qualify buyers interested in your full-price product.




Are you a Shopify merchant? Our ecommerce agency takes care of the Shopify in app integration so that you can focus on running your business where you manage all online shopping.

Organic TikTok Marketing

TikTok marketing requires fluidity and creativity throughout the entire experience. However, you still need a framework so your topics stay relevant to audiences you hope to attract. Otherwise, you end up talking about subjects that attract the wrong type of followers.




When considering your TikTok campaign, be open to embracing change only if it benefits the user, your company, and the TikTok algorithm.

The key To organic TikTok marketing is being considerate, consistent, and patient.

Considerate: Not even the most impulsive and frequent digital marketers go without considering everything necessary for TikTok success. Gary Vaynerchuk has a team who takes his spur-of-the-moment content and curates it to fit the platform’s audience while checking the TikTok boxes for success.

Consistent: Your initial TikTok campaign is essentially trial by fire. Get in there and publish many videos to understand what turns viewers into buyers. The only way to achieve this is by being consistent.

Patient: Back to Gary Vaynerchuk, his old school social media book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” gets this right. TikTok is not a platform where you throw knockout punches the moment the bell rings. Instead, “move the free line” means adding value for as long as possible before asking for a purchase.




TikTok Ads For Ecommerce

Whereas Facebook and Instagram were the dominant force for advertising, TikTok has become a prime contender for the best social media ad platform. Your ad campaign can have shockingly high engagement rates and a strong ROI with the right strategy.

TikTok makes it easy to set up and manage your TikTok ads in the ads manager section.

TikTok Ads Manager

Inside the Ad manager, you can create In-Feed ads right from your phone. This is a great way to get started with TikTok ads.

If you are interested in other forms of TikTok advertising, you will need to reach out to them directly. TikTok does some vetting to make sure they deliver quality ads, but equally important; they want information from you to better serve (we mean market) services to your business.

Here is a look at what you can access inside the TikTok ads manager.

  • TikTok Campaign: The foundation of your ad, setting up advertising objectives and formats

  • TikTok Ad Group: Target audiences, ad placements, budget, and bidding,

  • TikTok Ad Creative: the test and video that will appear once published. 

  • TikTok Landing Page: The destination URL outside TikTok where potential customers land.

5-Types of TikTok Ads

Here’s a look at 5 types of TikTok ecommerce ads that you can use to promote your business.

Brand Takeover Ads: An ad appears the moment someone opens the app. This is one of the more expensive forms of TikTok ads and is reserved for brands with a big budget.

TopView Ads: This ad builds on brand takeovers. The difference is that TopView ads are the first in-feed post that displays after 3 seconds. TopView ads show up at the top of the for you-to-view page.

In-Feed Ads: The video shopping ads that appear in between user videos. Native in-feed ads are much like Instagram stories and can include a call to action, making them great for TikTok Shopping ads. These videos are 9-15 seconds long and let users like, comment, and share your ad. 

Branded Hashtag Challenge: branded hashtags are exclusive to TikTok and appear on the discovery page. They offer both organic and sponsored opportunities. Great for user-generated content and building brand awareness.

Branded Effects: TikTok allows brands to create and promote shareable stickers, filters, and effects. Done right, this can create a viral effect, but we recommend them for companies with existing brand recognition.




Tip: For ecommerce companies with multiple products, consider dynamic showcase ads and collection ads to show off your full line.

One More Tip: consider using influencer marketing to help your ads gain more initial traction. This can help TikTok’s algorithm further promote your ad.

TikTok Events Manager

Another sign of TikTok being a great platform for ecommerce brands is their early effort to provide tracking ability for their ad campaigns. Apply the TikTok pixel to your ecommerce website to find out which ad was delivered to the visitor, their geographic location, a timestamp, and what device they used.

At The Nine, we believe in measuring the success of all campaigns we run. Therefore, we set up the TikTok pixel on your site before running any ads.

TikTok Tips For Ecommerce Brands

We reached out to our Marketing Director and partner at The Nine for her best tips on TikTok. Andrya had this advice for ecommerce companies.

  1. Be a human with a face: Brands that lean on stock photos and robotic messaging will never win the TikTok game. Brands big and small must bring personality to the TikTok stage.

  2. Rely on captions: TikTok is not a proactive platform. It’s reactive. This means people use TikTok in loud places where they shouldn’t (like work and the toilet!). Captions make sure your video speaks to everyone watching, not just those bored on the couch.

  3. Reverse engineer trends: Most trends and viral videos on TikTok use the same structure, often the same words and sounds, with a small twist to make it original content.

  4. Show a slice of life: let people into the world of your ecomm brand. Show them the team, the office, and the product experience. Give them the goods! This creates brand recall, so when the time comes, they think of you.

  5. Use “user” generated content: Showcase your brand through the eyes of your customers. Product testimonials, how-to-videos, and tips & tricks are a few examples of how to take advantage of user-generated content on your profile.

  6. Experiment with sounds: Music is not just a “nice feature” with TikTok. It’s there for a reason. Rarely will you find a viral video that doesn’t have viral music with it.

  7. Surprise us: TikTok users love to follow creators where they can expect the unexpected. Creating TikTok content that surprises users will keep them “looking” for your content.

As you can tell, Andrya knows more than a thing or two about TikTok marketing. Great news for our clients and hopefully great news for your brand once you fill out the form and learn how our a can help.




TikTok Ecommerce Agency

Want to see a revenue jump? The Nine is a full-service ecommerce marketing agency that partners with clients to grow online sales. We can make your interest in ecommerce on TikTok a profitable reality.

From developing your TikTok ecommerce strategy to facilitating the content publication, we handle everything you need to succeed on this and other digital marketing platforms. Schedule a time to learn about our social media marketing services. 

Jason Vaught

About Jason Vaught

Business and entrepreneurship came early for Jason, with his candy selling business being shut down by the middle school principal, which led to his suspension. Taking a break from marketing and strategy until after his formative years, Jason began his first “real” business at 22, which he held until December 2021. Throughout this time, Jason owned various businesses in many industries, which gave him a unique lens to look through. He channeled the information gained from these various perspectives through article content writing. He quickly realized that it took more than good content to rank in Google. This is when his fire for SEO and content marketing first started. Now, Jason focuses all his efforts on SEO and content marketing, finding that he enjoys helping other companies more than his own. There is something special (and spiritual) about being a part of someone else’s success. Personally, Jason most enjoys spending time with his 5-kids and beautiful wife. He’s also passionate about golf, gardening, and reading good books.