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Avid TikTok users may be familiar with the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt trend. They also may be happy to know that it’s now possible to buy things directly from TikTok thanks to TikTok Shop. Entrepreneurs and content creators may be especially drawn to the shop, as it’s a way to sell products to the millions of TikTok users out there.
Whether you’re a content creator, entrepreneur or simply curious, here’s what you need to know about how to make money using TikTok Shop.
What is TikTok Shop?
In September 2023, TikTok Shop launched in the U.S., creating a new way for content creators, brands and entrepreneurs to make money. Individuals and brands can earn dollars by showcasing and selling products directly on the platform.
Here are some of the notable TikTok Shop features that sellers can use to support their money-making endeavor:
In-feed video and Live shopping: This feature makes it possible for people to buy products that are tagged in the TikTok videos and Lives in their feed.
Product showcase: Sellers can curate collections of products they’d like to sell on TikTok and post those collections to their profile page. Users can then browse the products, read reviews and buy directly from a business's profile.
Shop tab: TikTok users can find promotions, discover new products and make purchases within the Shop tab in the app.
Affiliate program: The new affiliate program connects content creators and sellers. Sellers can seek out content creators to promote their products in videos and Lives in exchange for a commission.
Shop ads: These can be likened to Instagram, Facebook or other social media ads. They give sellers a chance to advertise to TikTok users.
Fulfilled by TikTok: To take the weight off of sellers, with this feature, TikTok will store, pick, pack, and ship items to customers.
» Learn more about how to step up your TikTok business game
How do you make money on TikTok Shop?
People can make money on TikTok Shop by becoming sellers or creators. Sellers can showcase their products. Creators can use the affiliate program to partner with brands to promote their products.
Once payments are processed, both creators and sellers get paid through the bank account they connect to TikTok.
How to start a TikTok Shop as a seller
There are a few steps a person need to take before they can start selling products on TikTok. Keep in mind, you must be at least 18 years of age to open a TikTok Shop.
Step 1: Sign up at the TikTok Shop seller center
The first step is to use your TikTok account, an email address or phone number to create a TikTok Shop account. Next, be ready to provide onboarding information like business type, a form of identification, the last four digits of your Social Security number, the shop name, primary products or services that will be sold, and contact information. Business owners should prepare to input information like the business name, employer identification number and business address. Payment and tax information for both individuals and businesses are also necessary, in addition to the business address for the product detail page.
If you’re unsure about what you want to name your shop, don’t worry too much, as you can change your shop name later. It should take three to five days for your information to be audited and for TikTok to make a decision about approval.
Step 2: Upload products
Once the shop is open, it's time to upload the products TikTok users will hopefully buy. Note that all the products listed on TikTok Shop must align with the app’s policies and community guidelines, so check those out beforehand.
Products can be uploaded in four different ways:
Manually: This may prove to be a slow grind, but you can add products to the store one at a time using this option.
Sync with your existing online store: Those who already sell products on platforms like Shopify, Amazon, BigCommerce or WooCommerce can integrate those platforms with TikTok Shop. The how-to guides can be found in the TikTok Shop Seller Center.
Use the Seller Center app: For people who prefer using phones and tablets, there is an option to upload products from a mobile device.
Bulk upload: Using a template TikTok provides, sellers can upload products in bulk. The process includes selecting a product category, downloading the template, inputting product information and uploading the template to the TikTok Shop Seller Center.
When uploading products, sellers should try to focus on clean images and tight product descriptions to engage shoppers. After uploading products, don’t forget to link the shop to a TikTok account.
Step 3: Sell
The final step is to sell products using live streaming, shoppable videos or product showcases. Sellers can also consider posting a Shop ad, sharing the word on other social platforms and encouraging buyers to leave reviews.
Partnering with TikTok creators through the affiliate program is another way to improve reach and sell products.
There are three types of affiliate plans sellers can choose from:
Shop plan: Gives creators a flat commission rate for every product.
Open plan: Allows sellers to create special plans for specific products.
Targeted plan: Allows sellers to invite specific creators to promote select products.
» Dig into the basics of making money online
How to join TikTok Shop as a creator
For people who don’t have products to sell, becoming an affiliate may be the best way to make money on TikTok Shop. The affiliate program is for content creators who want to partner with brands and get paid through commissions to promote products. To become a TikTok creator, you must be at least 18 years old and have over 5,000 followers.
To get started as a creator with the affiliate program, apply through TikTok Shop in the the TikTok app. Once your application has been approved, explore TikTok Shop to find products you might want to sell. Then reach out to sellers to get permission to promote their products. Next, add the products and your contact information to your showcase. Finally, request samples and sell the products to your audience.
Is TikTok Shop safe?
On its site, TikTok says it works with trusted third-party platforms to process customer payments and provide a secure TikTok Shop checkout. That said, if you’re concerned about safety, consider using the same online safety measures you’d use with any other account, such as changing your passwords regularly and using two-step verification for login.
TikTok Shop is one of many ways to make money in our digital-forward society. Just ensure you understand the process and guidelines before committing.