Practical Guide: How to Set Up a TikTok Shop to Grow Sales

Could one app generate billions of dollars in sales? 🤔 If the app in question is TikTok, the answer is YES! 💯

Stefan Afrăsinei

by Stefan Afrăsinei

· 10 min read
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Could one app generate billions of dollars in sales? 🤔 If the app in question is TikTok, the answer is YES! 💯

And we’re NOT talking about revenue generated from ads on TikTok–we’re talking about purchases made on TikTok itself through the TikTok shopping feature.

If you’re wondering how to set up a TikTok shop for your brand, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll walk you through the setup and provide tips for driving traffic to your shop once it’s live.

And if you feel like you’ve been #underarock and don’t know what TikTok shop is, don’t worry! We've got you covered there, too! 🙌

What is a TikTok shop?

Imagine scrolling through your For You page and spot an influencer using an AMAZING-looking serum you’re interested in trying yourself.

PTS (pre-TikTok shop), you’d have to find the name of the serum, Google it, and buy it on the company’s website or Amazon. You might’ve decided you were having too much fun watching videos and tucked the idea away for later… And then, I never bought the serum.

Now, TikTok has solved this problem of missed opportunities with TikTok shopping.

When you sign up for TikTok shop, you’ll have a dedicated “Shopping” tab on your profile, where people can find and buy your products without leaving the app. (You can always redirect them to your website if you’re more comfortable processing their payment that way).

TALK ABOUT REDUCING FRICTION. It’s no wonder this is one of the hottest topics in social marketing & commerce right now. Did you ever think we’d get to the point where people could see your product on TikTok and buy it 5 seconds later?

Why should your brand have a TikTok shop

The better question is: Why shouldn’t your brand have a TikTok shop?

eMarketer predicts that US retail social commerce sales (the category where products sold on TikTok shops fall) will reach over $79 BILLION in 2025. TikTok will probably have a large part of that market share since they’re predicted to reach over $67 billion in sales THIS YEAR.

That’s quite the jump, considering they only made 56 billion in 2023. However, they are rolling TikTok shops out to all their business users, so they will likely reach or exceed those predictions.

Those are MIND-BLOWING numbers. 20% growth in one year? Amazing market share?

If you’re not convinced to jump on the TikTok shop trend by now, I’m not sure what more we can say–it’s new, it’s popular, and there are a LOT of people using it to buy stuff every single day. If you want to make more sales, TikTok shop is the place to be!

Is TikTok Shopping available to everyone?

Yes, it’s available to everyone–although it hasn’t always been.

When TikTok first announced they were rolling out TikTok shopping, it was only available for a few users in the US and UK. Now that they’ve worked out the bugs, it’s available to all brands in all countries. You can host live events featuring your products or link to the products being used in videos on your profile.

If you make most of your sales via Shopify, no worries—you can link to your Shopify store on your TikTok shop!

TikTok plans to add even more integrations in the future, so you can expect the experience to only get better from here. 😃

Do you need a TikTok account to set up a TikTok shop?

Yes–you’ll need a TikTok business account to have the option to set up a TikTok shop. If you don’t have a TikTok account already, head to the app and make sure you sign up for a business account. From there, you can follow the instructions in the NEXT section of this article to set up your shop! 😉

If you plan to link your Shopify store to your TikTok shop, do yourself a favor and download the TikTok for Shopify App, too. It’ll make the experience seamless.

How to set up a TikTok shop step by step

Here’s how to set up a shop on TikTok:

  1. Go to the TikTok Seller Hub.
  2. Add the required documents for your business. If you’re a sole proprietor, expect to need to upload your ID or proof of address. If you’re a corporation, expect to be asked to upload your business license. Of course, the type of business you own and the documents you’ll have to include will vary based on where you live–but it’s pretty standard stuff you should have access to already. Super easy. ✅
  3. Next, add products to your TikTok shop. You’ll need to include product names and descriptions, prices, product images, variants, and SKUs–so have all those details ready!
  4. Then, they’ll ask you to add and verify your bank account–the name on your account, the routing number, the bank name, etc. Again, this is standard procedure anywhere you get paid online.
  5. After that, you’ll need to provide information about shipping and returns. Where should customers send returns if they have them? This will be your warehouse or return center address.
  6. Finally, once you’ve filled all this out, send it off to TikTok and wait for their approval. The approval process takes 2-5 days, so be prepared to practice some patience!

While waiting, you can also check out the TikTok Shop Academy. You’ll learn a ton about operating your new shop, and you can reach out to them if you have any questions.

Once TikTok approves your shop, you can manage inventory, orders, promotions, creator partnerships, and customer service in their Seller Center–everything is right in one place, which is fantastic!

Oh–and congrats on becoming a new TikTok shop owner!

How to increase sales on your TikTok shop

You probably don’t need us to tell you this, but opening a TikTok shop won’t magically bring you a million sales overnight. You will need to do a few things to market and promote it.

Let’s talk about how to set up a TikTok shop and optimize it to get more sweet, sweet sales:

Optimize your TikTok profile and product catalog

First things first: Let’s optimize your shop for sales. Here are some best practices for how to set up a TikTok shop and profile:

  • Profile: Make sure your profile is clean, with a short, relevant bio and a link to your other social media profiles, website, and TikTok account.
  • Profile: Keep posting fresh content. We know this can be hard, but you can collaborate with influencers on gifted content to get affordable TikTok content. It’s like $20 per piece (at least when you collaborate with our influencers!).
  • Shop: Use only high-quality, stylish product images in your shop.
  • Shop: Keep your product titles under 34 characters.

Run ads

This one isn’t a huge surprise, but one of the BEST ways to start driving traffic to your TikTok shop is to run paid ads for it. This might sound intimidating, but again, getting inexpensive content from influencers makes it MUCH cheaper and easier, even if you’re a small brand.

Why don’t you try running an ad campaign to your TikTok shop and see if the conversion rates are better than regular TikTok ads?

Partner with influencers to drive traffic

TikTok is an influencer heaven, so there are a LOT of opportunities to partner with influencers on the app and promote your TikTok shop. Not to toot our own horn, but Social Cat makes this super easy:

  • You can use Social Cat to quickly discover TikTok influencers who will be excellent at promoting your brand and shop.
  • We have thousands of TikTok influencers, and we specialize in gifted and paid collaborations–which means there are influencers on our platform for every budget.
  • You don’t have to do standard collaborations with influencers where they promote your TikTok shop on their profile–you can also hire them to create affordable UGC to post on your profile!
  • Working with influencers is a hack that sends more traffic to your TikTok shop and grows your TikTok following! 🎉

Host live shopping experiences

Speaking of influencers, if you find one you LOVE working with on Social Cat, consider inviting them to host a live shopping experience.

Live shopping is HOT right now, and it’s a fantastic way to provide entertaining content that brings attention to your products. Try it with an influencer or one of your employees–we bet you’ll make sales!

Our thoughts

Knowing how to set up a TikTok shop is the easy part. If you already run a business, it’s a simple task of loading everything up to another platform that makes it easier for customers to access.

While the opportunity to make a lot of sales is definitely there, know that it may take some time for them to start rolling in.

If you’re going to set up a TikTok shop, we’d encourage you not to set it up and forget it–start taking small steps right away to make it a great experience and drive traffic to it.

This will take some time, but with some effort and advertising, you can make the TikTok shop work for you!

If your budget’s tight, we suggest starting with gifted collaborations with influencers to get the ball rolling–you can always run ads or pay influencers to host live shopping events later. To make it even easier, you can start a free trial of Social Cat today to connect with influencers on gifted, paid, and even affiliate campaigns. 😄

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