TikTok Shop is finally here. Following its initial launch in the U.K., TikTok rolled out its in-app shopping experience in the U.S. earlier this month. Creators, companies, and other sellers can now offer their products directly through TikTok. That means their audience can go straight from a TikTok video promoting a product to a product page, and even enter their payment information without leaving TikTok.
Read on for everything you need to know about TikTok Shop, and how you can start selling products on the platform.
What is TikTok Shop?
So, what can creators and other sellers expect from TikTok Shop?
With the launch of TikTok Shop, you can now promote your products in many more ways. For instance, you can create Shoppable Videos, meaning that your audience can tap through a TikTok and go right to a product’s page. You can also use TikTok LIVEs to advertise specific products — your audience will see small pop-ups at the bottom of their screen, allowing them to buy a product in just a few taps.
There’s a whole lot more to TikTok Shop, according to TikTok’s recent announcement. Here are just a few of its key features:
- A product showcase on your profiles: That means your audience can browse through everything you have to offer without going to another platform.
- A new Shop tab: TikTok Shop doesn’t just give sellers the ability to put their products in more places throughout their content, it also gives viewers a single place to view products from all their favorite creators and brands.
- Checkout and fulfillment: That’s right, you won’t even need to package or ship products yourself! TikTok will take care of everything for you, from the initial purchase to the final delivery.
- Ad support: You’ll now be able to advertise your TikTok Shop products on the platform, giving you more opportunities to connect with potential customers.
That’s just a taste of you can do with TikTok Shop. Now, let’s take a look at how you can get set up and start selling.
How to sell products on TikTok Shop
Ready to start selling on TikTok Shop? Since there’s some administrative stuff to take care of before you start (like tax information), you should make sure you’re eligible for TikTok Shop.
While the eligibility requirements for TikTok Shop haven’t been made available in the U.S. yet, we can make some educated guesses from similar requirements for TikTok Shop in the U.K. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- If you’re an individual seller (i.e. you don’t run a corporation), you need to have a valid, U.S.-issued passport or driver’s license to sign up. You also need to have a U.S. address and be at least 18 years old.
- If you’re running a corporation, the business needs to be registered in the U.S. And you need a warehouse that’s based in the U.S., too.
- TikTok won’t let you sell just about anything on their platform, so make sure your products aren’t on their list of prohibited products. That includes adult products, alcohol, tobacco, weapons, and gambling products.
Are you eligible to sell on TikTok Shop? Then follow the steps below to get yourself set up!
Step 1: Make sure you have a TikTok account
To sell products through TikTok Shop, you’ll need to have a TikTok account. Don’t worry though, you don’t need a minimum amount of followers to be eligible for TikTok Shop.
If you don’t have a TikTok account already, here’s how to create one easily.
Step 2: Sign up for TikTok Shop
You can sign up for TikTok Shop through TikTok’s Seller Center, as long as you’re based in one of the territories where TikTok Shop is currently available:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- The Philippines
Enter the email address you want to use and you’ll see the Verification Code box pop up. You’ll be prompted to do a quick CAPTCHA-style test. Then, TikTok will send you an email with a verification code. Finally, you can choose a password and finish your initial signup.
Step 3: Fill out your TikTok Shop application
Now that you’ve created a TikTok Shop account, you’ll need to give TikTok some information about you and your business. If you’re signing up as a corporation, you’ll need to supply a business registration number and a registered business address. If you’re running a sole proprietorship, you’ll just have to give your TikTok Shop a name.
You’ll also have to supply some kind of identification at this stage. For a corporation, you’ll need to provide a U.S. company registration document, and the passport or driver’s license of the company owner. If you’re not running a corporation, a passport or driver’s license will do.
The last part of your application will be giving TikTok the banking information it needs to pay you. Corporations have to provide a significant amount of information, including an Employer Identification Number (EIN), a Merchant Category Code (MCC), and details about any related persons. Individual sellers only need to provide a social security number or individual taxpayer identification number — as well as an MCC.
Both corporations and individual sellers will need to provide TikTok with tax information, too.
After you’ve finished and submitted your application, you’ll have to wait a day or two for your store to be approved — assuming there aren’t any issues.
Step 4: Link your TikTok account with your store
Once your TikTok Shop account has been approved, you can link it to your TikTok handle to create a consistent identity throughout all TikTok services. Here’s how to do it:
- Go to the TikTok Shop Seller Center, then hit My Account.
- You’ll see an option called Seller Profile. Select that, and find the heading called Login Accounts.
- Hit the Sign in with TikTok Account link to connect your TikTok account with your seller profile.
Step 5: Upload your first product
When your application is accepted, you’ll be able to access the TikTok Shop Seller Central, which is your one-stop shop for managing every aspect of your store — including uploading your first product. At first, the Seller Central should look something like the above screenshot.
This is TikTok’s introductory guide, and you can upload your product by hitting the purple Upload now button. You’ll have to fill out your product’s information, like the type of product it is, sizes, etc. Additionally, you’ll want add product images at this stage.
You’ll then be asked to provide a pickup address for your product through the form below. That’s because TikTok will handle every aspect of the fulfillment process, meaning you can focus on making the best product you can and promoting it through TikTok.
Step 6: Promote your product with content
With TikTok taking care of getting your products to your customers, you can put a lot more focus into promoting them. Since TikTok Shop allows you to put direct links to a product in any TikTok or TikTok LIVE, you have a ton of options for promotion. Here are just a few ideas:
- Unboxing videos: These videos are a great way to show your potential customers what they’re getting for their money.
- Product demos: No matter what you sell, you can probably find a way to show it off in a TikTok. This kind of content is great for partnering with creators and other sellers, too.
- Product comparisons: If you’re feeling particularly bold, you can feature your competitor’s product and compare it to what you’re offering. You can also use this kind of video to compare multiple tiers of your own products.
- Q&As: TikToks are great for answering questions about your products. You can also go LIVE and answer a bunch of them all at once.
No matter how you choose to promote your products, make sure you’re creating consistently and responding to your audience. If some types of content are performing better, try creating more of that.
Step 7: Look into paid ads
Along with Shop, TikTok has launched Shop Ads, which you can use to promote your products.
Instead of taking a potential customer to a different website, Shop Ads will open a tab that’ll show your product right in the video. From there, they can go straight to a TikTok Shop cart and buy your product in just a few taps.
Whether these ads are worth the investment or not will depend on your niche, the average cost of your products, and the number of sales you can expect to make from a single ad.
How to sell digital products on TikTok
Let’s get one thing out of the way: TikTok Shop doesn’t currently support digital products. Built-in TikTok Shop features only apply to physical products, whether that’s merch, makeup brushes, art prints, or anything in between.
That being said, digital products are so lucrative and so much easier to make and deliver than physical products that they’re worth working around TikTok Shop’s limitations. If you don’t think you’re ready to create your own line of physical products, then a digital product is a great place to start. Here’s a full step-by-step guide to getting started.
Step 1: Figure out what you should sell
Before you start thinking about how you’re going to sell your digital product, you need to know what you’re selling.
What kind of product does your audience absolutely need? What can you easily create with your current skillset or a minimum amount of training? Whatever exists at the intersection of those two questions is what you should be looking to sell.
For example, Miss Excel is a creator educator who went viral with her dynamic, entertaining tutorials for mastering Excel spreadsheets. So, naturally, she started creating and selling Excel courses online.
What is the perfect digital product for you? Here are a few options to consider:
- Online courses
- Stock photos and videos
- Photo-editing presets
- Beats and sample packs
- Printable art
Does any of these speak to you? If not, try picking a few options and creating a poll for your audience to answer. That can help you identify the product that’s the best fit for them.
Step 2: Build your digital product
Now that you know digital product what you’re selling, it’s time to actually create it. While this might seem intimidating at first, remember that digital products are a lot easier to make than physical ones. No matter what you’re creating, you can find tons of free online tools that’ll make building them a breeze.
Let’s say you’re creating an ebook. A quick Google search for “free ebook creator” leads to platforms like Visme, Canva, and Venngage. If you’ve never used these tools, you can easily find various tutorials for them on YouTube.
Need an extra boost? The Leap’s AI-powered tool helps you build digital products — like tutorials, guides, and mini-courses — in a snap. Try it now for free.
Step 3: Create your online storefront
One of the few downsides to selling digital products on TikTok instead of physical ones is that you can’t take advantage of TikTok Shop’s features. While you don’t need someone to come to your warehouse to literally pick up a physical product, you’ll still need a way to get your product to your buyer and process their payment.
Thankfully, there are many platforms that make this possible. For example, The Leap allows you to easily create your own link-in-bio storefront and upload your digital products, while also handling the digital delivery of your products and your customers’ payments. That means you can still get access to one of the best ways to make money on TikTok, even if digital products aren’t supported by TikTok Shop just yet.
Step 4: Launch your product
After creating your digital product and uploading it to your online storefront, it’s time to spread the word!
Before you actually launch your digital product, you’ll want to create some kind of content that teases it in the days — or weeks — leading up to the launch. That can mean explaining the problem that your product solves, showing some behind-the-scenes footage of you building the product, or even collaborating with creators who sell similar products.
When it’s time for the launch, make sure you have content for all your platforms announcing it. That means a TikTok video for sure, but hosting a TikTok LIVE on the launch day isn’t a bad idea either. If you have an email list, make sure you send a launch announcement to your subscribers.
Step 5: Promote your product through content
The launch day isn’t the only time you should be promoting your digital product. In the weeks, months, and even years after the initial launch, you’ll want to occasionally include mentions of your product in your content — from regular TikToks to LIVEs — and even on other channels where you have a presence, like YouTube or Instagram.
The key is to keep a balance between your regular content and the promotional stuff. Make sure most of your content falls in the former category, or people will start to think you’re spamming.
Here are a few ways you can use content to promote your digital product:
- Showcase testimonials and reviews from your customers.
- Create content that addresses the problem your product solves and plug the product at the end.
- Announce an exclusive sale or deal through a TikTok video.
- Film a simple guide to how your digital product works.
- Share a list of top products similar to yours, making sure to include yours.
Want to sell products on TikTok?
TikTok Shop is a fantastic feature for creators who hope to diversify their income with physical products, like merch or beauty products. Since TikTok takes care of fulfillment and processing payments, you can focus on making the best product possible and promoting it on TikTok. It’s never been easier for content creators to start their own product line.
And if you want to make it even easier? Create digital products! While you can’t sell them directly through TikTok Shop, fulfillment and payment processing for digital products are way simpler than physical goods, making them a valuable addition to your income.
Wondering how selling products can help you earn money on TikTok? Check out our free guide How To Make Money on TikTok.
How can I get set up on TikTok Shop as a seller?
You can get set up on TikTok Shop in just four steps. Here’s what you need to do:
- Make sure you have a TikTok account: Before you can get set up as a seller, you need a TikTok account. Here’s how to create one.
- Create your TikTok Shop seller account: Go to the TikTok Shop Seller Center and create your account with an email and password. You’ll also need to submit a verification code that TikTok will send to your email.
- Fill out the TikTok Shop application: You’ll go through a few forms that’ll ask you for your business’ identifying information, government-issued ID, tax information, and more. Once you’ve completed the application, it can take a day or two for TikTok to approve it.
- Link your TikTok account with TikTok Shop: When your application is approved, you’ll have access to the full Seller Center dashboard, and you can link any number of TikTok accounts to your TikTok Shop account. This will help streamline the creation of promotional content for your products.
How can I sell my products on TikTok Shop?
Once your application is approved, you can start selling your products through TikTok Shop. Follow these steps to get started:
- Upload your first product: When you’re first given access to the TikTok Shop Seller Center, you’ll see a purple Upload now button. Hit that to add your first product to your shop.
- Set up a pickup address: Since TikTok handles every part of the fulfillment process, from storage to shipping, you’ll need to give them an address where they can pick up your products.
- Promote your products: With TikTok Shop, you can promote products directly in your content, whether that’s through a shoppable video with a built-in link to your product or a TikTok LIVE. Your audience can tap on a product link and be taken right to your product’s page without leaving TikTok.
- Try paid ads: TikTok Shop products are eligible for paid ads, meaning you can capture customers beyond your audience and get them to a checkout screen all in TikTok.
TikTok Shop takes care of a huge chunk of the actual distribution and selling process. To maximize sales, brainstorm creative ways to promote your product. And, of course, make sure you have the best product around!
Can you sell digital products on TikTok?
Yes and no. TikTok Shop only supports the sale of physical products right now, meaning you won’t be able to use any of its features with your digital products.
While you can’t sell digital products directly through TikTok, you can still use TikTok to promote any digital products you’ve created — and use your link in bio to direct your audience to your online storefront.
Here’s what you need to do if you want to sell digital products on TikTok:
- Figure out what you’re selling: Create a digital product that doesn’t require any advanced skills — unless you already have them — and that your audience has a need for.
- Create your product: Prioritize free, simple tools like The Leap’s AI-powered digital product builder to create your product.
- Publish your product on an online storefront: Since you can’t put your product up on TikTok directly, upload it to a link-in-bio storefront like The Leap.
- Launch and promote your product: While you can’t put your product on TikTok Shop, you can still promote it on TikTok through your content. Just make sure to keep a healthy balance between promotional content and content that provides value to your audience.