TikTok Shop: 5 Ways to Earn Money & How to Become Seller on TikTok
In September 2023, the U.S. saw the launch of TikTok Shop, which introduced a fresh avenue for content creators, brands, and entrepreneurs to generate revenue. This new feature allows individuals and brands to earn money by presenting and selling products directly on the platform.
What is TikTok Shop?
Below are some of the noteworthy features of TikTok Shop that sellers can utilize to enhance their revenue-generating efforts:
- In-feed video and Live shopping: This feature allows users to directly purchase products that are showcased in TikTok videos and Live streams that appear in their feed. When a product is tagged in a video or Live stream, viewers can click on the tag to learn more about the product and make a purchase without leaving the TikTok app. This seamless shopping experience enhances convenience for users and provides a new way for sellers to promote and sell their products.
- Showcase Product: Sellers have the ability to carefully select and organize groups of products they wish to sell on TikTok, and then share these collections on their profile page. Users can then explore the products, read reviews, and make purchases directly from the seller’s profile.
- Shop Tab: TikTok users can access promotions, explore new products, and complete purchases by navigating to the Shop tab within the app.
- Affiliate Program: TikTok users can access promotions, explore new products, and complete purchases by navigating to the Shop tab within the app. The new affiliate program facilitates partnerships between content creators and sellers. Sellers have the opportunity to collaborate with content creators to feature and promote their products in videos and Live streams, offering a commission in return. Promotional features on TikTok, such as the affiliate program, are comparable to the advertising options available on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. These features allow sellers to showcase and market their products to the TikTok user base.
- TikTok Fulfillment: This feature allows TikTok to handle the storage, selection, packaging, and shipping of items to customers, relieving sellers of these responsibilities.
How can you earn money through TikTok Shop?
Individuals can generate income on TikTok Shop by either becoming sellers or creators. Sellers have the opportunity to display their products, while creators can utilize the affiliate program to collaborate with brands and promote their products. After the payment processing, both creators and sellers receive their earnings through the bank account linked to their TikTok account.
How to begin as a seller on TikTok Shop?
Before commencing the process of selling products on TikTok, there are several steps that need to be taken. It is important to note that individuals must be at least 18 years old in order to establish a TikTok Shop.
Step 1: Sign up at the TikTok Shop seller center
To begin, you can create a TikTok Shop account using your TikTok account, email address, or phone number. Then, you will need to provide onboarding details such as business type, identification, the last four digits of your Social Security number, shop name, primary products or services, and contact information. Business owners should also be prepared to input business-specific details like the business name, employer identification number, and business address. Additionally, payment and tax information for both individuals and businesses is required, along with the business address for the product detail page.
If you’re unsure about the shop name, there’s flexibility as it can be changed later. The process typically takes three to five days for TikTok to review the information and make an approval decision.
Step 2: Product Upload
After opening the shop, the next step is to upload the products that TikTok users may potentially purchase. It’s important to remember that all the products listed on TikTok Shop must adhere to the app’s policies and community guidelines, so it’s advisable to review those guidelines before proceeding.
- Manually: This process may take some time, but you have the option to add products to the store one by one.
- Connect with your current online store: If you already sell products on platforms such as Shopify, Amazon, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce, you can link those platforms with TikTok Shop. The step-by-step guides for this integration can be found in the TikTok Shop Seller Center.
- Utilize the Seller Center app: For individuals who prefer using phones and tablets, there is an option to upload products directly from a mobile device.
- Bulk upload: Sellers can use a template provided by TikTok to upload products in bulk. The process involves selecting a product category, downloading the template, entering product information, and uploading the template to the TikTok Shop Seller Center.
When adding products, sellers should aim for clear images and concise product descriptions to attract shoppers. After adding the products, it’s important to remember to link the shop to a TikTok account.
Step 3: Sell
The last step is to sell products through live streaming, shoppable videos, or product showcases. Sellers can also explore posting a Shop ad, spreading the word on other social platforms, and encouraging buyers to leave reviews.
Collaborating with TikTok creators through the affiliate program is another method to expand reach and sell products.
There are three types of affiliate plans that sellers can choose from:
- Shop plan: Provides creators with a fixed commission rate for each product. Creators can rely on a consistent and transparent commission structure, giving them peace of mind and stability in their earnings.
- Open plan: Allows sellers to create customized plans for individual products. Sellers can tailor their offerings to meet the specific needs and preferences of their customers. This flexibility enables them to provide a more personalized and targeted shopping experience, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Targeted plan: Enables sellers to invite particular creators to endorse specific products.Once endorsed, creators can share their authentic experiences with the products, reaching a wider audience and potentially increasing sales. This platform allows for a more targeted and personalized approach to influencer marketing, creating mutually beneficial partnerships between sellers and creators.
How to join TikTok Shop as a creator
If you don’t have products to sell, becoming an affiliate might be the most effective way to earn money on TikTok Shop. The affiliate program is designed for content creators who wish to collaborate with brands and earn commissions by promoting products. To qualify as a TikTok creator, you need to be at least 18 years old and have more than 5,000 followers.
To begin as a creator in the affiliate program, start by applying through TikTok Shop within the TikTok app. After your application is approved, browse TikTok Shop to identify products you’d like to promote. Then, contact sellers to obtain permission to promote their products. Subsequently, add the products and your contact information to your showcase. Finally, request samples and sell the products to your audience.
Safety of TikTok Shop
On its website, TikTok states that it collaborates with reputable third-party platforms to handle customer payments and offer a secure checkout process for TikTok Shop. However, if you’re worried about safety, it’s advisable to employ the same online safety practices you would use with any other account, such as regularly changing your passwords and enabling two-step verification for login.
TikTok Shop is just one of the various methods to earn money in our digitally-focused society. Just make sure you comprehend the process and guidelines before making a commitment.
Hi, I am Nikesh Mehta, owner and writer of this site. I’m an analytics professional and also love writing on finance and related industry. I’ve done online course in Financial Markets and Investment Strategy from Indian School of Business. I can be reached at [email protected].