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.

Order Fulfilment Through the Power of Social Selling

Table of contents

1) What is order fulfilment through social selling?

2) Why should I pay attention to fulfilment through social selling?

3) Social selling with Facebook and Instagram

4) YouTube marketing

5) TikTok marketing

6) Social selling summary


What is order fulfilment through social selling?

Product fulfilment through social selling means directly selling your products through social networks and having the orders fulfilled with 3pl services.

As you know, social media has had a major impact on how we live our lives, from how we get our news, to how we interact with friends and family. Now it’s having a major impact on how we do our shopping. In a new age of social media more consumers are looking to social networks to fast-track their buying decisions. In fact, over 40% of digital consumers use social apps to research products online. Compared to Google, it’s the next best search engine.

Consumers can use Youtube’s own search engine to find thousands of unboxing videos for their favourite products. Facebook and Instagram now offer digital merchant stores where consumers can directly see products from those apps and choose to buy directly from there without having to go to a third-party website. Even Tik Tok, an app that exploded in 2020 with millions of new users (mostly for entertainment value) is adapting its model for business owners. In the third quarter of this year, TikTok will soon alter its platform to help eCommerce businesses profit from brand buying.


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In 2021, 53.6% of the world’s population currently uses social media with an average daily usage of 2 hours and 25 minutes! Those are big numbers that brands simply can’t ignore anymore. A 2020 social media trends report has proven that social media apps inform buying decisions. Younger demographics are particularly keen, which is why so many brands and retailers are targeting them. So, the question is, is your brand making the most of social selling through these eCommerce platforms?


Why should I pay attention to order fulfilment through social selling?

As history has shown, one of the most essential elements of running a successful business is adapting to the times. Innovation inspires new trends and shopping behaviours, leading companies to either explode with growth or imploding with declining sales. Social networks have shaped eCommerce selling in new ways the same way the adaptation of the internet changed traditional shopping. Back then, what many seasoned veterans of retail thought would be a superfluous undertaking (moving from bricks and mortar stores to online) has

proven false. The internet has circumnavigated many antiquated predictions about consumer trends. Simply put, many were wrong about the shifting trend to online shopping. We see much of that same thinking today with companies not quite embracing the power of social media. Two-thirds of companies have yet to create a social media strategy for their sales organisation.


“84% of executives consider their future success to be extremely dependent on innovation”


When Blockbuster and Toys R Us failed to transition online to a digital platform, they both went under, and new companies captured the available market. The internet boom of the last two decades has forced businesses of all sizes to question their marketing strategy. Time and time again modern history has revealed this critical idea of how innovation sparks change, requiring more businesses to be flexible in their model. Having a big picture social media strategy can catapult your business into a new direction of prosperity and profit.

Social media gained 490 million users in 2020, a 13.2% increase from the previous year. The number of users now on social media is estimated at 4.2 billion. Why any business wouldn’t target this volume of potential customers simply does not make statistical sense.

Social Selling with Facebook and Instagram 

Facebook and Instagram are the most popular social media platforms. Social selling products on both platforms makes it easy for customers to interact with your brand and make a purchase. Facebook currently has 2.7 billion users while Instagram has 1.2 billion. As many know, Facebook purchased Instagram in 2012, so promoting on both platforms is easy with a Facebook ad account. Recently Instagram has released the option to advertise on their platform without selling with Facebook, and you simply take some different steps to advertise directly from posts. You can find out how to do that here.

Learning how to market and advertise on these platforms is not an easy “plug and play” option. Online advertising is an art form that takes time to master, but once this process is mastered with effective means of targeting your customers, your brand can highly profit from it. One company that has had major success is Termaza Haute Couture.

This fashion house specialises in handmade evening and bridal dresses. By targeting women 18 – 60 who showed an interest in unique and elegant clothing, they were able to increase sales by 55% in six months, doubling the total company revenue. Utilising Facebooks targeting tools as well as their Lookalike Audience targeting, along with several A/B tests of their own, garnered amazing results.


Social selling

Tips for social selling on Facebook & Instagram


1. Make it personal

Rather than having a picture of your product, have someone physically using the product. If it’s clothing, someone should be wearing it. Someone should be shown applying it if it’s beauty products like face cream.


2.Use High quality images and video only

The quality of your media reflects the quality of your brand.


3.Use effective targeting 

Selling with Instagram and Facebook gives you tools for narrowing your audience. Being more specific than broad is ideal.

For effective Facebook selling, check out this article from Hootsuite.

For effective Instagram selling, check out this article from Instagram.


Advertising on Facebook groups


Another effective sales tool is creating a Facebook group around your brand. Facebook groups centre around sharing useful information about any industry or topic. By creating your own Facebook group around “Beauty products” for example, you could easily promote what you are selling. You can directly discuss relevant topics around the benefits of what you offer to assist with health and beauty. Learn how to about effective on Facebook group selling.


YouTube Marketing

Video content is an effective means of communication when it comes to attracting new customers. YouTube is the second most popular website after Google. People go to YouTube for all sorts of reasons for entertainment, but also for information, even for products. In fact, over 70% of viewers say that YouTube makes them aware of new brands.

The sheer volume of video content has grown exponentially, especially in 2020 with everyone being home. People prefer watching videos than having to read all sorts of information about a product. One survey concluded that 72% of consumers prefer to watch a video to learn about a product or service. More marketers are keenly aware of this which is why video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year.


Below is a great example of brands leveraging social selling with Youtube eCommerce videos

Skincare Tutorial | Skincare Realness with @tashaggreen | Boots X


Your brand can easily stand out from the rest by investing time into video marketing. Buying some equipment and video software is not extremely expensive, and by doing so can take your brand to new heights. Posting on YouTube is free and you can easily link your YouTube videos to your website.


A website is 53 times more likely to reach the front page of Google if it includes video


TikTok Marketing

When most people think of TikTok they typically think of entertaining dance videos. What they may not know is that businesses are thriving on this platform. There is a completely new subculture that has been created, disrupting the social media industry, and attracting new customers. It’s become so addictive that nine out of ten TikTok users use the app multiple times daily.

Much like YouTube, there are helpful videos around everything you can imagine. From mental health to fitness, cooking to entrepreneurship, financial planning to real estate, you name it. No dancing and no twerking whatsoever! Because the largest video you can create on there is only 1 minute, it forces influencers and brands to jam a lot of quality into 60 seconds. People like quick and easily digestible information. This is one of the many reasons why the app has become so popular and why TikTok is the world’s most valuable start-up, currently estimated at 100 billion dollars. It is also offered in 155 countries.

TikTok currently has 689 million users


So, how can you profit from social selling on TikTok?

In October of 2020 TikTok partnered with Shopify. What this partnership means is that TikTok has designed a format for eCommerce businesses and retailers to sell their products directly from their channel – just like Facebook and Instagram. Using TikTok’s API, Shopify users can now connect TikTok to their dashboard and manage their business ads manager from there.

Currently, business owners can advertise on TikTok in the following way.

  1. In-feed Ads
  2. Brand Takeover
  3. Branded Hashtag Challenges
  4. Branded AR/Effects Content

Further innovating, TikTok also wants to offer live stream shopping capabilities whereas users can order directly from the app during a live stream. So, if there is a particular influencer that users like following, that influencer can include a link for the product their showcasing live. It is not available yet but be on the lookout for it.


What should I do in the meantime?

Get on TikTok and start promoting your brand. Develop followers and start creating a public image on this powerful platform.

Social Selling Summary

Embrace the power of Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and TikTok. Social media is strong and it won’t be going away. Get creative with your marketing strategy and work to be on each one of these platforms. Your bottom line will thank you for it. Should you have any questions about order fulfilment through Selazar with these platforms set up a discovery call with us.

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