How to sell on TikTok Shop

TikTok has exploded in popularity over the last few years, becoming one of the most widely used social media platforms worldwide.

As of 2023, TikTok had over 843.3 million active users globally, with 148.92 million users in the U.S. alone. And TikTok’s user base skews young, with over 50% of its users under age 34.

This massive audience presents a great opportunity for businesses and creators like you to reach potential customers. You could have a first-mover advantage if you’re one of the first in your industry to use TikTok to diversify your sources of revenue.

So if you’re asking “is e-commerce worth it?” about selling on TikTok – the answer is probably “yes!”In this post, we’ll help you learn how to sell on TikTok, covering the steps to take, marketing strategies, and tips for engaging TikTok’s thriving audience and communities.

What is a TikTok Shop?

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If you want to sell on TikTok as a small business or individual, you should know about TikTok Shop

TikTok Shop is a new marketplace that allows brands and sellers like you to showcase and sell products directly to users within the TikTok app. It launched in the U.S. in September 2023 and combines community engagement and discovery features to bring interesting products into the spotlight. 

TikTok has always done one thing well: it enables virtually anyone with creative ideas to reach millions of people. You don’t have to be a major brand with an unlimited ad budget to succeed.

What can you do with a TikTok Shop? Let’s explore its key features:

  • Shoppable videos: these have the same format as TikTok Shorts, but include a link to purchase a product. Users can click on the link and buy a product within the app. There are no redirects to other platforms or pages, which means your buyer is less likely to quit in the middle of the shopping process. 
  • LIVE shopping: this is one of TikTok’s most important selling features. It’s a type of live advertising experience where you can showcase products in real-time via TikTok LIVE.  Your audience can see you use and demonstrate live and even buy what you’re promoting on the spot. This is the perfect opportunity to drop a special offer or discount to drive sales instantaneously. 
  • AR shopping: shoppable AR experiences allow users to try on products virtually. For example, beauty company L’Oreal promoted its Colorista hair color via an AR filter. People could “try on” L’Oreal’s new hair color and share how it looked on them.  
  • TikTok Showcase page: this is a product showcase page where people can buy directly from your account or from an affiliate marketer’s account. It’s a collection of your products featured as a customized storefront or profile. TikTok users can buy items with a few taps.
  • Shop Tab: this is a marketplace that allows TikTok users to access products with just one tap.You’ll have access to engaged shoppers with marketing campaigns that offer personalization and drive FOMO with tactics like daily deals and more.

The advantage of using TikTok is that the entire e-commerce setup is done for you. The social media platform has created seamless experiences that allow users to go from viewing TikTok videos to buying products in a flash.

Using TikTok Shop means you’ll engage more people and won’t need a third-party e-commerce platform like Shopify or WooCommerce to start selling.

How to set up and sell on TikTok Shop

Anyone using TikTok for business can start selling with a few simple steps. 

Step one is to create a TikTok account. Next, you’ll head to TikTok Seller Center and sign up. Let’s take it step-by-step:

  1. Create a shop: once you log into the TikTok Seller Center, you’ll choose the correct regional site for your business. You’ll need your TikTok account or your phone and email address. The platform guides you through every step. Just enter your shop’s warehouse/pickup address, including street address, contact person, postal code, and phone number. You can use this address as your return address or set up a separate return location.
  2. Verify your documents: verification is essential to establish your identity or eligibility to sell products/services. Access the “Verify Documents” section in the Seller Center dashboard and upload the required documents based on whether you’re an individually owned business or a corporation. This includes identification for individuals or legal documents for corporations.
  3. Link your bank account: once your documents are verified, link a bank account to process payments and returns. Fill in your account details, making sure the account name matches the registered name for individuals or the company name for corporations, and submit it for approval.
  4. Add products: your Seller Center dashboard has options to add products individually or in batches. This is where you must add product images, headlines, product descriptions, and other elements of your product catalog so potential customers can find your items while browsing TikTok content.

These steps are self-explanatory, but make sure you get everything right by following TikTok’s detailed and official instructions. You should also follow TikTok’s optimization tips for filling in product descriptions and adding keywords to drive engagement and sales.

So far, the process is easy and straightforward. Virtually anyone can sell on TikTok if they have an account and products to sell.

But how can you ensure that people will actually engage with your new TikTok Shop and products? You need solid marketing strategies and testing to validate your products, listing  elements, and marketing assets. We’ll cover this in more detail next.

TikTok marketing strategies to sell successfully

Let’s start with general marketing strategies that can apply to all types of accounts using TikTok to sell.

Broad TikTok marketing tips

These are the key elements you should keep in mind when building brand awareness and marketing your products on TikTok:

  • Use short videos: TikTok is a video-first platform, so engaging video content is critical for any marketing strategy. While you can create longer videos, stick to ones that are 60 seconds or under as they perform best. Short videos align with TikTok’s quick, entertaining style and will engage younger audiences.
  • Hop on trends: consider popular trends and challenges on TikTok and create branded versions to tap into users’ engagement. Check out what audio tracks, video transitions, and templates are trending and incorporate them into your content (if it naturally fits).
  • Optimize hashtags: hashtags are extremely important for discovery on TikTok. Research relevant hashtags for your niche and industry, especially ones trending now. Include a mix of niche and broad hashtags in your video captions to get more views. For example, a niche hashtag might be #tiktokmademebuyit, and a broad hashtag could be #fyp to help you appear in-feed and on the “For You Page” for TikTok users. 

These basic marketing tips are a great starting point for making your products more visible and driving online shopping. Now let’s explore specific strategies for brands vs. solo creators and how they can use TikTok to sell.

Selling and marketing tips for brands and businesses

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Brands can leverage ads, partnerships, and analytics to create engaging content and promote their products and services. Here are some tips:

  • Set up a TikTok Business Center account. This allows you to access TikTok’s Ads Manager and analytics.
  • Run TikTok ads to reach new audiences. TikTok’s self-serve ad platform makes creating and optimizing video ads in different formats easy. Target users based on interests, behaviors, and demographics.
  • Collaborate with influencers and creators. Partnerships with TikTok influencers and creators are essential to gain trust from audiences fast. Look for TikTok creators in your niche and make sure they have an audience of at least 10,000 followers to make your efforts worthwhile. You can even combine a hashtag strategy with influencer marketing to create great results. Brands like Garnier, Maybelline, and L’Oreal have used the hashtag #tiktokmademebuyit to drive a powerful sales campaign. L’Oreal collaborated with over 100 beauty influencers who received a beauty package from the brand. The creators gave honest reviews while using the products and added the #tiktokmademebuyit hashtag to their posts. This led to L’Oreal tripling their web traffic and the largest product sell-out for the brand.
  • Share behind-the-scenes content and embrace trends. TikTok is about fun, viral videos. Post authentic content that engages users. Participate in branded hashtag challenges and viral trends.
  • Go LIVE or enable live shopping. Livestreams allow real-time engagement and sales. Add product links so viewers can easily purchase featured items.
  • Run contests and sweepstakes. Encourage user-generated content featuring your brand. This builds word-of-mouth and increases reach.

These are a few ways brands can sell on TikTok. Now, let’s explore how individual creators can drive sales as well.

Tips for marketing and selling as a creator

Creators have good options for monetizing their accounts and earning money directly from the platform. Here are some tips for marketing and selling as a creator:

  • Complete your TikTok profile, including links to other social accounts, a business email, and a quality profile photo and bio. This will legitimize your account.
  • Turn on your Creator Profile in your account settings. This gives you access to Creator analytics and other monetization features.
  • Add a link to your TikTok Shop (if you have one) or other e-commerce sites in your profile to drive traffic and sales. You can also share affiliate links to products and services in your captions and bios. Short links work best. And make sure you share disclaimers about your affiliate relationship.
  • Tag the brand you are promoting and use relevant hashtags so your content appears in searches.
  • Give honest reviews of products you use to build trust and transparency with your audience. Offer tutorials and how-to content and address people’s questions in comments to build goodwill and engagement.
  • Spend time building your audience before trying to sell to them. Earn people’s trust first with authentic, relevant, and engaging video content before you ask for clicks or purchases. 
  • Explore different options to monetize your profile. You can join the TikTok Creator Marketplace and TikTok Creator Fund. However, you need at least 100,000 followers and 100,000 likes or views in the past 28 days. These are hard requirements to meet, but you can still make money as a micro-influencer by catering to niche audiences and partnering with brands. 

There are many ways to make money and sell on TikTok. These tips give you an idea of how to get started. Whether you’re a brand or a solo creator, focus on leveraging TikTok’s unique features and useful content to get the best results.

Use PickFu to optimize your TikTok Shop

At PickFu, we have a long history of helping e-commerce brands, Amazon sellers, and marketers tap into the power of consumer insights to make data-driven business decisions.

PickFu is a DIY consumer research platform that instantly connects you to a built-in panel of real people in your target audience. You can run surveys against this audience to test your product ideas, optimize your listings and store pages, choose the best design or marketing campaign, and much more.

If you’re looking to refine your app marketing strategy using TikTok, our expertise has shown significant results, including helping a mobile app gain over 65 million players. We’ve also helped customers successfully rebrand to gain $23 million in sales and boosted a product’s ranking to the top of Amazon’s search results page. 

How? By empowering brands to carry out simple and effective testing with polls and surveys.

Let’s look at how PickFu can help you boost your TikTok sales: 

  • Simple Head-to-Head polls allow you to compare one image, video, or text option against another. It’s like an A/B test that you can run before launching your product or listing. Real users in your audience will choose an option and explain why they prefer it with detailed written feedback. This way, you can choose the best product image, video ad, etc. to launch from the start.
  • Ranked polls let you compare multiple items like product names, images, videos, or marketing assets. Users will rank the options in order of preference and, as always, share in-depth written feedback. You’ll get more data on why users prefer one product feature or marketing asset over another, which will guide your optimization strategy.
  • Click Tests generate heat maps based on where your audience clicks most. You can use a Click Test to ask respondents to click on the most interesting parts of an image. This is also a great way to compare your product images or details against competitors, finding out where people are most likely to click when presented with multiple product options.
  • Open-Ended polls are the simplest way to get unfiltered insights on what potential buyers feel about any aspect of your product or listing. Just ask a question, and the audience will answer. You can use Open-Ended polls to get feedback on your pricing strategy, gauge interest in your product idea, evaluate creators’ and influencers’ effectiveness, and more. Check out this example which asks the audience to view a TikTok video and explain whether or not they would purchase a product from the creator.
  • Surveys let you ask the same audience multiple questions, and you can mix and match question formats. This is a great way to get in-depth feedback about a new product, learn how you stack up against competitors, or perform a brand audit.

Optimizing your products with testing and consumer insights will help you validate your efforts and make data-driven decisions. It helps you ensure that your products have the best chance of engagement from the start – which informs TikTok’s algorithm that your content should be shared more.

Here’s a poll example asking a panel of 50 women in the U.S. to choose between two TikTok video thumbnails. We wanted to learn which format would lead to more views. Check out the results – option B was the winner, but only by a small margin.

Screenshot of thumbnail comparison for videos.

When you dive into the comments left by respondents and the AI-generated summary and sentiment reports, you’ll get an understanding of the key likes and dislikes. For example, a few users pointed out that the model’s lips in Option B are visible, while the play button in Option A covers the model’s lips. Others shared that Option B looked more professional and luxurious.

These insights can help you make changes instantly and improve your TikTok content and marketing assets. It’s free to sign up for PickFu and polls start at just $15 – so don’t miss this method for quick and easy user testing to boost your TikTok Shop.

Measure success on TikTok

When selling on TikTok, it’s important to track your performance to learn what’s working and optimize your strategy. TikTok provides analytics for business accounts that allow you to measure your success.

You can track key metrics like:

  • Sales: TikTok Shop reports your total sales, units sold, conversion rate, and more. You can see which products are performing best.
  • Views: see total views on your TikTok Shop and product videos to gauge interest and demand. The TikTok analytics dashboard shows views for each video.
  • Engagement: track likes, comments, shares, and more for your videos and profile. See which videos are getting the most engagement.
  • Followers: monitor follower growth over time. Rapid follower growth indicates your content is resonating.

By evaluating this data, you’ll identify top-selling products for increased promotion and adjust low-performing content and items. This way, you’ll have the insights you need to track progress and optimize your TikTok Shop for success.

Start selling on TikTok

TikTok provides a new and exciting platform for creators and brands to create sales and engage with their audience through creative content. 

You need to understand TikTok’s unique ecosystem and leverage the strategic marketing shared here to find success.

It comes down to testing different aspects of your marketing efforts as well as product elements like images, descriptions, and headlines.

Use PickFu to support your selling efforts on TikTok. By grounding your approach in real-world data and feedback, you ensure that your content and marketing messages are tailored for the best response.

Get started with PickFu today to optimize your TikTok products, shop, ads, and more!


What are the best practices for setting up a successful TikTok Shop?

Some best practices for setting up a successful TikTok Shop include adding relevant keywords and descriptive phrases in product descriptions, adding attractive images, and using effective marketing copy to engage users. Another tactic is to carry out headline testing, A/B tests, and polls or surveys to optimize your shop content. Use tools like PickFu when creating a store or rebranding yourself to get the best results.

How do I use TikTok for an online eCommerce business?

TikTok offers many options for both creators and brands to sell products via its in-app e-commerce features. You’re no longer restricted to choosing from Amazon vs Temu to sell your products. Join TikTok Shop via TikTok Seller Central and add details like your business information, bank account details, and so on. Soon, you’ll have a live TikTok Shop.

Learn more: Optimize your product listings by testing design concepts, photos, and descriptions with a target audience of likely buyers.

Deb Dutta

Deb M Dutta is a content marketer who runs a blog that explains the power of content marketing and using the right tools to grow businesses organically. Learn more about her work at