With over a billion active users monthly, TikTok is undoubtedly one of the biggest players in the social media game. The platform has a wide demographic of users from teens to seniors, which makes it an important target for brands in terms of online marketing.

For the past few years, TikTok has been focusing on creating an environment where brands are able to strengthen their online presence. It keeps improving its algorithm in a way that benefits online store owners and their targeted customers at the same time. Partnering with Shopify, which is one of the biggest e-commerce platforms out there, was definitely a huge step in this direction. With this integration, store owners can now benefit from TikTok’s variety of users while consequently expanding their target market tremendously.

Let’s dive into the details of this collaboration and discover what you can expect from TikTok’s ever-developing features as a Shopify store owner.

Why TikTok?

The world of e-commerce is getting competitive with each passing day. The options are limitless, and it is not an easy job to stay relevant. TikTok is available in more than 150 countries, and as of late 2022, 3.5 billion people had installed the app. Furthermore, users spend an average of 1.5 hours a day watching TikTok content. These statistics are a true testament to TikTok’s high social media engagement rate. Although the app faced numerous setbacks when then-president Donald Trump tried to ban the app in the

United States, and the Indian government actually did ban TikTok due to security issues and other political reasons, the app continued its exponential growth within Gen Z and younger millennials.

TikTok has been around for about 5 years now; it is not exactly a brand-new platform. However, online marketers have been using this platform as a tool for their marketing strategy rather recently. The platform especially gained popularity among teenagers who were exposed to TikTok videos and shorts on other social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. This new demographic of followers allowed TikTok to become an increasingly powerful social network for brands that are especially aiming for the younger generation as customers.

The fact that TikTok manages to build a strong sense of community for people who enjoy browsing entertaining content and seeking unique shopping experiences makes this platform quite significant for merchants who are looking to expand their target market.

The Partnership

After the announcement of its partnership with TikTok in the late 2020s, Shopify launched its TikTok channel on the Shopify app store. Through this app, Shopify store owners are now able to manage orders, track results, create ads, and other relevant

TikTok content directly from their stores. Another convenient feature of this app is that it makes it quite easy for merchants who are seeking to modify their TikTok content in a more creative way. The already existing templates and structures allow store owners to come up with different and appealing ads, videos, and shorts for their targeted customers rather effortlessly.

Another important TikTok tool on the Shopify app store is TikTok Pixel. This app helps store owners monitor their TikTok performance and make the necessary adjustments for their marketing campaigns and strategies. The app also allows store owners to track visitor statistics such as “purchase” or “view page” through which they can communicate with the store’s previous visitors who did not make a purchase. This aims to help store owners try to find new ways to engage with visitors and turn them into paying customers in the long run.

Now that TikTok has enabled in-app shopping and product discovery tabs, Shopify merchants can reach their customers rather quickly and easily. These rather new features of TikTok not only boost the Shopify store’s website traffic but also allow users to shop from the store with minimum effort, which is very convenient in terms of their shopping experience. Using certain hashtags on organic TikTok posts also brings the opportunity for stores to provide product links to their websites thus improving their click through rate which we will cover more thoroughly in the upcoming section.

TikTok Marketing:

TikTok is one of the main social media platforms where you can actually be creative. If you are new to the game, there is a lot of good content out there that can inspire you. All you need to do is familiarize yourself with the basics, and the rest will follow. Here are some tips that will help you optimize your TikTok business profile and overall marketing strategy:

First of all, you need to make sure that your bio is in line with your brand image. Using related keywords in your bio is essential for SEO. However, it is important to stay relevant to your target audience while using these keywords. You need to keep the text fun and simple while feeding these keywords naturally since you are mostly addressing TikTok's main user base, which is Gen Z and Millennials. You also need to take convenience into consideration and allow people to easily access your products with clear links and brief yet informative guidance. If the user feels the profile is too confusing and messy, they are more likely to leave.

As we already mentioned, hashtags are fundamental in the TikTok world. Among all interactive TikTok trends, hashtag challenges are the number one way to boost user engagement. People are drawn to these challenges because it creates an opportunity for them to be a part of a movement, get creative and entertain themselves while doing so. Participants are having fun, and brands are being recognized all over TikTok, so it is a win-win situation for everybody.

Another important way to boost exposure is to "go viral." Going viral does not happen in one day and can be quite random. There is no one way to force it yet there are some key points to take into account if you aim to make your content be an internet sensation.

Here are some of those points:

The first couple of seconds are the most important ones. TikTok is a fast-paced environment, so you need to get the viewer's attention within a few seconds. In order to accomplish that, try getting to the point immediately via being funny or mysterious.

Songs are crucial for viral videos. Remember that if you use a trending song, your video is more likely to catch TikTok's algorithm, and more people will be exposed to your content. As already mentioned, TikTok's trademark is speed. You do not need to keep your videos longer than they need to be. People like to scroll to the next video quickly and are more likely to stick around if your video is less than 60 seconds.

Do not forget to add relevant text to your videos. Text helps viewers have an overall understanding of what your message is and the reason why they should keep watching your video. You can use intriguing questions or captivating phrases for your texts to keep things interesting. The same goes for voice-overs, which can also be quite effective.

Adding a "call to action" to your content is another way to grow user engagement. Encouraging them to "like" and/or "comment" on your video helps you spread the word and grow your content's organic reach.

Finally, do not miss the opportunity to communicate with your audience by replying to their comments. Make sure you keep the conversation going. More and more people commenting on your video would ultimately lead other users to see your content.

Here is a great example of a viral video by Oreo with 2.7 million views that has most of the features that were mentioned above.

Teaming up with TikTok influencers is another way to strengthen your marketing strategy and build brand visibility. Even high-profile brands such as Starbucks, Guess, Chipotle, and many more are benefiting from famous TikTokers who hold the power to affect their followers' opinions and perception. The reason why this works is that influencers have the ability to expand your target audience while bringing more attention to your brand and product. This increases awareness and helps you build a strong brand image within the TikTok community.

The final effective TikTok marketing strategy we will cover is user-generated content (UGC). What better way to bring attention to your brand than encouraging everyday people to upload their own videos with your products? Whether people are using your branded hashtag, reviewing your product, or joining your hashtag challenge, UGC is always a wise choice for marketing. With the consent of the original creator, re-sharing a UGC post or even promoting your product would have an undeniable impact on your brand's trustworthiness. Due to its authenticity, other TikTok users would be more inclined to purchase the product since UGC content allows them to associate with others who are just like them.

TikTok Live:

According to TikTok, its users are highly engaged in live content. TikTok Live has become more and more relevant for creators and brands who like to connect with their own community in real-time. This type of content can be in all sorts of formats such as Q&A, product reviews, giveaway contests, "how-to" videos, and so on. TikTok statistics show that half of the entire user base is interested in branded live content and actually made a purchase due to the live event. With the help of TikTok Live, the users are more inclined to follow their favorite brand on the platform and solidify their relationship with the brand. This not only improves brand recognition but also proven to be effective in driving sales.

For brands who are interested in TikTok Live, the app strongly recommends maintaining consistency within the live events. It is important to maintain frequency and keep things interesting while being visually appealing to the audience. It is definitely a must-use tool to maintain your online presence as a brand.

TikTok for Business

The platform launched TikTok for Business in the mid-2020s, allowing online marketers to benefit from detailed information about trends, market research, and other statistics. However, the platform does more than just provide valuable data. TikTok for Business has a lot more to offer store owners in terms of assisting them to build a strong marketing strategy. Here are some of the most effective marketing concepts they provide guidance for:

  • Projected campaign strategy for improving interaction and visibility.
  • Advertisement solutions for creating content and setting trends with in-feed ads, top-view ads, spark ads, and branded hashtags.
  • Creative center where you can find specific information such as the latest trends and popular songs to use for your content.
  • Enhanced service provider for creative solutions that help businesses connect with the most suitable service providers for their needs.
  • E-commerce solutions that aim to help businesses create demand by implementing video shopping ads, live shopping ads, and catalog listings.

Linking Your Shopify Store

After covering how to implement an effective marketing strategy and understanding the way TikTok works for your business, it is time to mention how to connect this platform to your Shopify store.

Once you have downloaded the TikTok app from the Shopify app store, you can easily connect your TikTok for Business account to your store from your admin dashboard. Once the connection is completed, all you need to do is install your TikTok channel to your store in its entirety. Through the app dashboard, you can create, run, and optimize your TikTok marketing campaigns.

It is important to mention that by linking these two platforms, you can now sync your Shopify product catalog to TikTok by adding a “shop” tab to your business profile. This tab can be used by shoppers to make a direct purchase from your business profile and gives your store an opportunity to display your selection of products on TikTok. This mini catalog on TikTok essentially represents your brand’s image, so keep it as aesthetically pleasing as possible. To establish an attractive TikTok storefront, you need to upload clear pictures of your products and be consistent with your selected theme. It is also a good idea to limit the product descriptions to under 35 characters. If it exceeds the limit, the entire description will not be visible at first glance. However, if you feel it is necessary to use more characters, you can include more detailed information about the products so that your potential customers have the answers they are looking for.

That being said, if direct checkout from TikTok is not something you prefer for your store, you can always benefit from TikTok’s tagged posts, which can direct shoppers to your shop storefront to finalize their purchase. Luckily, TikTok offers both options to wShopify merchants.

All in all, with all these developments, TikTok has become one of the most essential social media platforms for Shopify merchants to expand their businesses. If you are one, make sure to benefit from TikTok’s growing user portfolio as much as you can. Do not hesitate to take advantage of all the tools it has to offer. Keep yourself updated with the latest trends and observe what other brands are doing. It would definitely be worth your time and investment.

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