TikTok for business: A complete guide in 2021

Today we discuss TikTok for business and want to give you a complete guide in 2021. Recently we did a special blog on social selling for order fulfilment. In the article, we discuss the power of selling your products through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and briefly on TikTok. However, we felt it was important to take a deeper dive into TikTok as this eCommerce giant is likely to see explosive growth in 2021 for e -retailers.


Table of contents

1) What is TikTok

2) Why selling on TikTok is important

3) How to get started on TikTok for business

4) How to use TikTok for eCommerce marketing

5) How to create ads on TikTok

6) How can 3pl services help me with TikTok for business order fulfilment?

7) Conclusion


Though it is growing in popularity by users, I believe it is being underutilised by the eCommerce industry. TikTok seems to be one of the most misunderstood platforms for eCommerce business owners; another one of the reasons I felt it necessary to write about it. Many simply think of it as a place for the kids to socialise and interact, whereas it is an emerging medium for large brands and eCommerce marketers to thrive.

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The largest audience on the app is the 16 – 24 demographic. This is a huge target market for fashion, cosmetics, technology, and lifestyle brands. Customers in this age range spend 88 minutes of their day on average.

To put that figure into more colloquial terminology, that is #bonkers. This is largely due to the uniqueness and playful spirit of the platform, from the user options to how TikTok displays advertising.

61% of TikTok users feel ads on TikTok are unique, compared with other platforms

Business owners need to start developing this emerging market. In this article I will lay out the most essential reasons why more eCommerce businesses need to pay better attention to this popular platform, and how to leverage it for sales.

As of June 2021, TikTok currently has over 800 million global active users. It was the most downloaded app in the world in 2020 and is now available in more than 200 countries. We want to show you how order fulfilment through this platform will go from niche to standard, such as it did with Facebook and Instagram.

What is TikTok

Whether you know a little bit about TikTok or know nothing, let’s start with the most basic question. What is TikTok?

The primary use of TikTok is for creating and sharing short videos, starting at 15 seconds up to a maximum string of 60 seconds. The mission of the company is to “capture and present the world’s creativity, knowledge, and precious life moments, directly from the mobile phone.” It’s all about creativity, fun, and positivity. The ease of use and hype generated by the short time frame has kept the attention of their young audience.

TikTok enables users to be more creative with dancing, singing, and showing off their talents. The ability to express themselves while under lockdown was one of the main reasons it has expanded so well with a younger demographic. This tends to scare away the “older and less hip” crowd. Users can also add snippets of songs, special effects, and numerous filters to further amplify their videos. Duets make sharing and good content viral in minutes.

However, since its inception, TikTok users have seemed to branch out ideas in their own distinct way. As the older demographic have downloaded the TikTok App increasingly, a large subculture of new how-to videos, video blogs, and general brand awareness have seen explosive growth. What started as a means for fun quickly evolved into a general platform to be on for information, much like what YouTube offers. But with much less attention needed for consumption.

Here is a notable example of a brand offering basic creative videos to sell products. They are the CROC company.


Snap that strap back. Adventure-ready Crocs just landed.

♬ original sound – Crocs


This simple video has almost 150,000 views with over 10,000 likes, and the company currently has 367,000 followers. Not bad for a brand that joined in late 2019.

Why selling on TikTok is important

As any smart marketer knows you must engage audiences where they are, whether it is TV, billboards, paper publications, or email marketing. Tapping into target markets offers a lucrative opportunity for brands and online sellers.

By getting familiar with TikTok and its range of content, you can open new gateways for your brand, especially with Gen Z’ers and millennials. They may be your audience now, or they may be your audience in 5 years. The point to remember is that this is where they are spending a large majority of their time. Hello brand, meet future customer!

Your brand can leverage millions of users worldwide. Now TikTok has merged with many eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, making it even easier to sell to users.

75% of Gen Z and millennials shop online via their smartphone


How to get started on TikTok for business

As with any new platform you must immerse yourself in it and start “learning the ropes.” It’s time to open the hood and look inside. Understanding how to properly engage your audience can only be done properly by seeing what type of content is already on there, what is working, then discovering the best ways to leverage your own brand and/or products.

First step

Create a free account and get started. Make sure you choose the option for a business account.

Click the 3 dots on the top right of the screen –> Manage account –> Switch to business account

Second step

Fill out all your personal brand information and upload your profile picture. Along with this make sure you use the TikTok bio to introduce your brand and products to your future audience. The bio is the first thing users will see, so make a solid first impression.

Third step

Third, you want to follow other popular brands in your industry and see what they are doing. Things such as:

1) What type of posts are they doing?

2) What popular hashtags are they using?

3) How do they sell their products?

By doing your homework and jumping in feet first you will naturally learn what to do for your first couple of posts. You can gain natural organic traffic this way without spending any money. Because TikTok is still a relatively new platform, the organic traffic on TikTok outperforms organic traffic when compared to Instagram and Facebook.

For more free ways to leverage TikTok for eCommerce, see the proven and effective strategies of TikTok for business.


How to use TikTok for eCommerce marketing

Here are the basic features of TikTok for marketing your brand.

1) External links

Each user profile allows external links. This could be to anywhere including your website, Instagram, or YouTube Channel. The CTA’s (call to action) should tell users exactly what to do next so you can increase conversions.

2) eCommerce store promotion

Make sure to promote your TikTok feed on your personal website. This is another terrific way for your customers to interact with your products in a fun way before deciding to commit to a sale. It will also build your fan base on TikTok, leading to the potential for future sales. This is as valuable as gathering an email address.

3) Shop now buttons

To compete with Instagram, TikTok has been testing a new “shop now” button on its platform. Instagram currently offers users to buy products directly from the app, which is where TikTok wants to go as well, making it available to all eCommerce stores. Now it is only available to select advertisers and influencers, but the market is predicted to be available soon to all business accounts. Therefore, keep checking!

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How to create ads on TikTok

You can set up a business manager account with TikTok just like Facebook. You can register by going here.


TikTok for business Ad campaign types

1. Hashtag Challenges

Using hashtags just like you would on Twitter or Instagram, TikTok raises the bar by allowing your brand to gain more awareness with “hashtag challenges.” What users do is record themselves doing a specific action or “challenge,” and encourages audiences to reinvent their own version. After that, they name it whatever they want (#whatevertheywant).

For example, the fashion brand GUESS created a hashtag challenge with TikTok influencers where users simply showed how they wear their Guess Jeans. It was dubbed #inmydenim challenge. Through this promotion, they reached more than 40 million views.


TikTok estimates over 35% of its users participate in hashtag challenges.


2. Top view ads

These types of targeted ads appear when a TikTok user first opens the app. The ad can go for 60 seconds and appears on their main feed. Just like YouTube, they have the option to skip after a few seconds. See here.


3. In-feed ads

While users are going through their feed of videos for accounts they follow, these ads will appear in this process. It’s like scrolling down the page on Facebook and seeing sponsored posts. See here.


4. Brand Takeovers

Brand takeover ads are similar to the Top View ads as they are the first thing a user sees when they open the app. These ads however only last a few seconds. See here.


5. Branded effects

Branded effects are a creative way for brands to add different stickers, filters, lenses, and effects. This interactive approach speaks to an audience with an affinity for new ways of being expressive through visual imagery, emojis, and more. See here.

eCommerce fulfilment

How can 3pl services help me with TikTok for business order fulfilment?

It is easy to connect your eCommerce store with Selazar. You can easily integrate your Shopify or WooCommerce store with our fulfilment software API, manage orders, and we will house and distribute your stock for you. Any sales that come from TikTok update these stores and our system automatically. At this point, we pick and pack your items and release them for dispatch the same day if it is before 7 pm. Simple, easy, effective solutions.


The speed and intensity that TikTok has grown over the last few years are astonishing. They are only getting bigger and better. If you have an eCommerce store and sell products on there, heed my warning: Do not ignore this platform. TikTok for business brings a level of certainty and marketing opportunity to a social media world that is ever-evolving. Ecommerce owners are already seeing the benefits. Make sure you join TikTok today.

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