Being a phone app for short video sharing, TikTok has become a sensation during the last four years. Since 2020, it has surpassed Facebook and Instagram in number of visitors. In 2023, TikTok has 45 million Gen Z visitors in the US; in the world, this number goes to 1.7 billion active users of different ages. For comparison, this year, Facebook has attracted 35 million people and Instagram - 41.4 million.
While many people of all ages still use search engines to find brands, some now use social media instead. According to the chart below, 36% of Gen Z, from 18 to 24 years old, prefer to search for brands on social media, not search engines. Millennials, from 25 to 34 years old, come next, with 22% doing the same, and Gen X is right behind at 21%. But only 6% of Boomers, a different age group, said they look for brands on social media.
TikTok has become not only a social media channel but an e-commerce platform as well. A Material study found that 58% of TikTok users uncover new brands and products on the platform, which is 1.5 times higher than users on other platforms. It has become one of the reasons to create new features for sellers:
TikTok Shop - enables product showcasing and direct selling on the platform.
It facilitates a one-on-one transaction between buyers and sellers, eliminating the need to take the transaction off the app.
The TikTok Shop feature empowers merchants to highlight their products during live broadcasts, in-feed content, and within the dedicated product showcase tab.
This innovation allows brands to enhance their product sales and strengthen their connections with the platform's users.
Search Ads Toggle - allows brands to display ads in TikTok search results.
This feature leverages existing In-Feed Ad content to showcase ads alongside organic search results, aligning with users' relevant queries.
These ads are marked as "Sponsored" content and positioned based on their relevance, user intent, and insights gathered from user behavior.
The Search Ads Toggle allows brands to extend their campaign reach to users actively seeking information, potentially driving increased engagement and conversions.
TikTok's Shopping Front
When it comes to Gen Z, the folks who made TikTok popular, a survey by Jungle Scout tells us that they tend to use Instagram first (71%) when deciding to buy something, followed by YouTube (68%), TikTok (68%), Facebook (62%), and Snapchat (55%).
Unsurprisingly, Instagram takes the top spot because it pioneered in-platform shopping. But TikTok is catching up, blending its viral content with easy shopping, which could mean more sales and loyal customers for brands soon.
What is TikTok Shop
TikTok Shop is an e-commerce feature integrated into the TikTok platform, enabling sellers, creators, and partners to present and sell products directly to TikTok's massive user base. It offers three distinct shopping formats:
- Live Shopping, where live streams showcase and sell products;
- Shoppable Short Videos featuring product links for in-app purchases;
- and the Product Showcase Tab, a catalog for users to browse and purchase products within TikTok.
Getting started depends on your role:
- Sellers can sign up through the TikTok Shop Seller Center, manage their shops, and engage in collaborations.
- Creators with at least 1,000 followers can monetize content by collaborating with brands.
- Partners, including Creator Agency Partners (CAPs) and TikTok Shop Partners (TSPs), offer logistics and management support to enhance sellers' and creators' success.
Blueprint for Brands and Trendsetters
Influencer marketing, where influencers promote products, is now a standard strategy for many brands. Influencer marketing has seen significant growth, increasing from $1.7 billion in 2016 to an estimated $16.4 billion in 2022, projected to reach around $21.1 billion in 2023.
Over 83% of people still see influencer marketing as an effective way to promote products. TikTok has become the top choice for influencer marketing, with 55.5% of brands preferring it over other platforms, surpassing Instagram, which held the top spot until recently. Instagram now comes in second at 50.8%, followed by Facebook at 42.1% and YouTube at 38.3%.
Among the most popular marketing tools are:
In-Feed Video: a way for brands to sell products directly within their video content on TikTok. Instead of viewers having to ask where to find featured items, you can include clickable links and tags in your video, guiding your audience straight to the product page. This feature is particularly useful for promoting specific products or sales, encouraging viewers to interact with the video and make quick purchases without leaving the TikTok app.
TikTok Live Sales: enable real-time interactions with followers. During a Live session, sellers can answer questions about product details, style, and functionality in real time, encouraging viewers to make purchases while watching. This approach has been successful on other platforms like Instagram, with examples like Kohl's Shoppable Livestreams.
Product Showcase Tab: a new feature allowing sellers to create a dedicated storefront within their profiles. It serves as a central space where influencers can display their clients' products, simplifying the process for followers to explore and buy items. Brands can organize products into specific categories, enhancing the user experience. This tab can be especially valuable for merchants looking to promote exclusive collaborations, limited-edition releases or highlight their best-selling products.
TikTok Shop gives sellers access to a vast audience, tools for seamless selling, collaboration opportunities, and support to enhance their success in reaching and engaging potential customers within the TikTok platform.
The Power of Search Ads Toggle
The Search Ads Toggle on TikTok is a tool that permits advertisers to showcase their ads amidst TikTok's search results. Whenever TikTok users conduct searches, this feature empowers advertisers to exhibit their ads within the search results. These advertisements are carefully tailored to align with the user's search query, offering brands a means to engage with users actively looking for particular content.
Understanding Search TikTok Ads
Search TikTok Ads are a strategic tool that enables brands to effectively connect with their target audience. These ads allow brands to tap into TikTok's extensive user base and showcase their content when users perform specific searches. This approach bridges the gap between brands and users actively seeking relevant content.
The power of Search TikTok Ads lies in their ability to repurpose content based on insights from TikTok search. Brands can tailor their ad content to align with popular search queries, ensuring their message reaches the right audience at the right time. By diving deep into TikTok searcher insights, brands can create effective advertising campaigns meeting users' interests and needs.
To explore the workings of Search TikTok Ads in more detail, you can visit:
TikTok's official help page: Search TikTok Ads Help
and gain valuable insights from TikTok's business insights page: TikTok Business Insights.
Search Ads Toggle Impact
Search Ads Toggle on TikTok has had a profound real-world impact, with numerous brands leveraging this feature to enhance their TikTok presence. These brands have effectively utilized Search Ads to connect with their target audiences and achieve remarkable results.
Clinique UK quickly embraced the Search Ads Toggle feature to promote its Foundation. This approach proved highly beneficial as it enabled Clinique to connect with and convert users who were already interested in their product, resulting in increased sales.
DIBS Beauty harnessed the power of the Search Ads Toggle to expand the reach of Ad campaigns featuring its co-founder. By utilizing this additional ad placement, DIBS Beauty extended its visibility, reaching users who actively searched for the brand or related products. This strategic move boosted revenue during the Black Friday period.
These examples demonstrate how well-known brands have effectively utilized TikTok's Search Ads Toggle to enhance their visibility, engage with their target demographics, and drive product sales.
Advice for Modern-Day Marketers
As TikTok continues its rapid evolution, it has the potential to become a major player in the world of e-commerce. To harness its power, brands are encouraged to remain closely aligned with features like:
TikTok Shop Marketplace, where brands and creators could sell products directly to TikTok's user base. These features allowed sellers and influencers to showcase and sell products through their TikTok content.
TikTok Shop Seller Center serves as an online hub for vendors to oversee their e-commerce enterprises within the TikTok ecosystem. This web-based platform offers store administration, customer support and interaction, vendor expansion and learning resources, performance evaluation, policy notifications, and more.
- TikTok Creator Marketplace allows brands and agencies to engage with a vast network of over 800,000 qualified creators worldwide. TTCM streamlines the entire campaign process within one platform, simplifying creator sourcing, activation, and performance measurement.
TikTok's success in merging entertainment and shopping is evident, and its blueprint for social commerce could become a benchmark for the whole industry. Staying attuned to these developments and adapting marketing strategies accordingly will be crucial for staying competitive in the ever-changing digital marketing landscape.
How to sell on TikTok Shop
- Create a TikTok Account:
Install the TikTok application and establish your account.
Consider having a separate account for your business.
Ensure consistency in your username across social platforms.
Add a profile picture and a compelling brand bio.
Connect your Instagram and YouTube accounts for easy navigation.
Switch to a "Pro" Account:
Transition from a "Personal" to a "Business" account on TikTok.
Gain access to detailed analytics and performance tracking.
Add a link to your online store or other contact information.
Create Engaging Content:
Produce authentic and engaging TikTok videos.
Keep videos around 15 seconds in length to maintain viewer interest.
Utilize trending songs, challenges, and styles.
Feature your products subtly within your content.
Engage with your audience:
Actively interact with viewers through likes, shares, and comments.
Build a sense of community around your brand.
Leverage Influencer Marketing:
Collaborate with TikTok influencers who match your target audience.
Look for influencers using relevant keywords and phrases.
Promote User-Generated Content:
Motivate users to generate and distribute content associated with your products.
Create branded hashtags or challenges to foster user engagement.
Explore Paid Advertising:
Consider using paid ads like In-feed Native Video or Ad Manager.
Choose ad types that align with your marketing goals.
Utilize TikTok's Resource Center:
Access templates, webinars, and expert insights in the "Small Business Resource Center."
Utilize TikTok Pixel for tracking and analyzing ad performance.
Have Affiliate Partnerships:
Partner with TikTok creators to promote your products.
Set up affiliate links for creators to earn a commission on sales generated.
Utilize TikTok Creator Marketplace:
Connect with TikTok influencers through the Creator Marketplace.
Use data-driven insights to find creators that match your target audience.
You'll need a way to show your products on TikTok. Use a special TikTok product feed template in the Mulwi app. It is especially useful for Ads creation. To access it, open the TikTok following feed within our Shopify app. This template is set up to work with TikTok's rules, but you can change it if you want.
You can choose which products you want to include in the feed using filters. For example, you can leave out products that are out of stock or don't have pictures.
To make more people want to buy your products, you can make your product catalog easy to understand for people in different places. You can do this by connecting Google Translate, Weglot, or Shopify translation apps to Mulwi. More detailed instruction is available here.
You can easily add products with the prices you've changed using the Price lists feature in Shopify. Just choose the right Price list for your product feed.
With the Shopify markets feature, you can also adapt your product feed for different countries. If you've set up prices for international sales, you can include those prices in your product feed by selecting the relevant Shopify market.
More features you can find here.
If you have any problems with your product feeds, don't worry. You can ask the Mulwi support team for help. We will help you make the right shopping feeds for your store.
Social platforms like TikTok have transformed remarkably, evolving from entertainment hubs into dominant commercial centers. This metamorphosis reflects not only changes in user preferences but also the integration of innovations that fuse user-generated content with e-commerce. It is imperative for brands to adapt swiftly to these changes and keep pace with innovations to remain relevant in the market.
We urge readers to voice their opinions on TikTok's latest initiatives and encourage forward-thinking brands to prioritize these revolutionary features as essential components of their digital marketing strategy. These features offer unique opportunities to connect with audiences and maintain competitiveness in the market.