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TikTok is the current big social media platform taking Gen Z by storm, but it is also a fantastic medium for e-commerce marketing due to its massive 689 million active users worldwide.

With its users spending over $33.6 billion on the Apple App store and $35.7 billion on the Google Play store as of mid-2021 there is significant revenue to be gained from marketing an e-commerce business on TikTok. While its core audience is under 34 years old and is between the ages of 16 and 24, the demographic of adult TikTok users has quintupled in the last 18 months.

This iteration of the app serves primarily a U.S. audience, it is also available to over 155 markets and in 75 languages.

Users spend an average of 52 minutes per day on TikTok, while 90 percent of users visit the app more than once per day. These are all excellent stats that indicate opportunities for you to find your niche on TikTok and begin marketing your e-commerce business to a previously untapped audience.

This guide will give you an idea of what goes into successfully marketing your e-commerce business on TikTok.

Key Takeaways

  • TikTok is a largely entertainment-based social media platform that gained popularity in 2018 that allows users to create and share music clips in a lip-sync fashion.
  • TikTok has a pro mode that gives insights into the statistics and analytics about your followers, engagement, and content performance.
  • TikTok is all about the latest trends and it makes it easy to experiment with using ads within your content by promoting your e-commerce shop within the ad.

What is TikTok?

Young girl and boy (blogger) posing with smart phone and making video content. TIK TOK is a popular social network on the internet
Source: Businesspartnermagazine.com

TikTok is a largely entertainment-based social media platform. It is owned by the Beijing-based company ByteDance and was marketed in 2017 as the Western spin-off of the Chinese app Douyin. The app really gained popularity in 2018 when TikTok merged with Musical.ly, another Chinese app that allows users to create and share music clips in a lip-sync fashion.

Today, many people use TikTok to create and participate in music and dance trends featuring newly released music, old hit music, or even special remixes or “music mashups” that may have become popular because of their use on the platform.However, the app has grown far beyond this purpose, with many marketing businesses and products using TikTok for in-app selling opportunities.

Is TikTok Free for Business Owners?

TikTok is free for business owners. The app has a pro mode that you can turn on to get statistics and analytics about your followers, engagement, and content performance. You can also track details about ads performance and in-app e-commerce metrics, such as Shopify using your TikTok pro mode. If you ever want to change your account back to private mode, you also can do so.

Two girls promoting their products in tiktok
Source: Businessinsider.com

How to Activate TikTok Pro Mode

  1. Go to your profile page
  2. Select the Privacy and Settings Tab
  3. Select ‘Join TikTok Testers’
  4. Enter your mobile phone number to confirm the application
  5. Follow final prompts to complete the process

Analytics in TikTok Pro Mode

  • Profile views and traffic sources
  • Your trending videos, video views, video playtime, likes, comments, shares,
  • 7-day and 28-day follower history
  • Audience demographics according to age, gender, location, etc.
  • Details on other content your audience likes (videos and sounds)

How Do You Develop Your Marketing Strategy?

TikTok - Homepage
Source: TikTok

When developing your marketing strategy on TikTok, you first want to identify your audience. Consider things such as: Will you have a general audience or a niche audience?

Several metrics about your audience are pivotal for you to define, including their age, gender, and location, their interests or career or work industry, their relationship status, and their favorite websites and apps.

Include other details addressing your audience’s motivation to buy your product or service and any buying concerns it might have. Some miscellaneous information might consist of your audience’s education and life stage, among others.

Tools, including TikTok’s Pro mode and the For You page, will help you find these demographics and ensure that you continue reaching your best market.

Keep in mind that no matter your business, your demographic will most likely skew young on TikTok, so you will be catering your marketing strategy to users largely in their teens and 20s.

You will be catering your marketing strategy to their sensibilities, so you’ll excel at marketing on TikTok by using the following tips:

Keep It Short

You want to hook your audience within the first three seconds of your video, letting them know the clip’s theme and why they should keep watching. Shorter clips between 15 and 20 seconds are more likely to be rewatched and shared than longer clips of50 seconds or more, for example.

You can occasionally add longer clips as you become more established, but overall, shorter is better is a general rule.

Make Your Content Funny

Entertaining content is a great way to grab viewers’ attention, and TikTok is primarily known for its funny content. Once you’ve made someone laugh, they might want to learn more about you, your page, and your e-commerce business.

One comedic method you can use is ‘breaking the fourth wall’ by looking at the camera and speaking directly to your audience. It’s a way to connect with your audience as if there’s a joke that only you two know.

Appeal To Emotion

If you’re not making your TikTok content funny or entertaining, you can appeal to people’s emotions by making your content relatable. Perhaps show how the product or service you sell on your e-commerce business solves a problem. Perhaps show content showcasing your product or service in a heartwarming or nostalgic light.

You can try a storytelling technique with this type of video creation. The most important thing with this method is to be authentic.

Follow Trends

TikTok is all about the latest trends. The latest music trends, the latest dance trends, even the latest fashion, diet, or life hack trends. You can incorporate any of these trends into your TikTok content.

The most common type of trend on TikTok is music trends. It is easy to research the latest TikTok music trends, first from the For You Page or from the Discover Section, which will curate videos from accounts you’re not following, and second, from your analytics in your pro mode.

You can find what music and noises are “trending sounds” that you can incorporate into videos.

Source: TikTok

You can similarly research other trend types on TikTok. You can also research and follow trending hashtags, which can be the inspiration for content. Hashtags can similarly be trending due to the time of year, events occurring, or what’s popular on TikTok at the moment.

While trending content is popular within TikTok, viral content has become notable outside of TikTok. It may become popular on other social media channels, which could make it to the news, as well as on to daytime and late-night talk shows.

Staying on top of viral TikTok content early in its popularity cycle can be beneficial. If you create content based on the original viral video, you and your business can get some residual attention from being involved in the craze.

Other Helpful Tips

  • Shoot your videos in vertical mode. Shooting vertically may seem obvious, but studies show that TikTok videos shot in vertical mode have a 25% higher watch-through rate than videos captured in horizontal mode.
  • Invest in the proper filming and editing equipment, including lighting, a microphone you can attach to your phone, and Adobe Premiere editing software.
  • Go live to connect with your audience
  • Connect with your audience in the comments.
  • Use the features included in the TikTok interface, including titles, animated GIF stickers, and the latest filters.
  • Partner with popular creators on videos.
  • Post consistently and have a schedule.
  • Join online communities including TikTok Creators, TikTok Creators Support, and TikTok For Beginners for assistance.

How Do You Get Viewers to Your E-Commerce Platform?

Woman infront the camera promoting her products for Tiktok
Source: Shopify.com

Foremost, if your TikTok page is dedicated to your e-commerce business, you should have your business page linked to your TikTok home page. It will be the first link viewers see when they access your page.

Your content should always include a call to action, such as “Head to the link in bio.” This lets viewers know that you have a dedicated place for them to go to learn more about you and your business.

If they decide to patronize your business, all you have to do after is wait for sales.

Do You Need to Create Ads?

You don’t need to create ads to market your e-commerce business on TikTok, but it is an option you can utilize as part of your marketing strategy.

If you’re just starting or your e-commerce business is still relatively small, ads might not be necessary. If your business is midsize or growing, ads might be something worth considering, depending on how much time and money you’re willing to invest.

Sell on Shopify
Source: Shopify

You may already have your e-commerce business established; however, TikTok has a partnership with Shopify, which allows those wanting to create an in-app marketplace to do so for an average of $79/month.

With this option, TikTok makes it easy to experiment with using ads within your content, and you can link directly to your e-commerce shop within the ad.


TikTok is a great platform to keep up with what’s new and popular. What’s new and popular can include the latest from your e-commerce business. Get out there, get creative, and get lots of sales from your new Gen Z audience.