How brands can accelerate themselves through the up-and-coming shopping features on TikTok?

The joy of TikTok for brands is that versus other common social media platforms the audience is pretty vast. Unlike Facebook and Instagram, which have pretty solidified age demographics – Tiktok is pretty flat across the board. So this is a great opportunity to reach audiences of all ages in one place, (unheard of with previous platforms). 


Accelerate your brand through TikTok shopping.

So you’ve got your audience, and you know that out of the 1 billion users that regularly use TikTok, there are almost certainly going to be customers who are interested in the brand. One of the ways that brands can accelerate themselves through the up-and-coming shopping features on TikTok is by taking advantage of the platform’s tools alongside their marketing plans. 

What are TikTok’s shopping features? 

First off,  let’s pull it back to what actually is on offer within TikTok’s shopping features:

  • In-App Shopping: TikTok’s in-app shopping feature allows brands to add links to their products directly in their videos. Users can click on the link to visit the product page and make a purchase without leaving the app.
  • Hashtag Challenge Plus: Hashtag Challenge Plus is a shopping feature that allows brands to add a shopping cart icon to their sponsored hashtag challenge. When users click on the icon, they can view and purchase the featured products directly within the app.
  • Branded Effects: Branded Effects is a feature that allows brands to create their own AR filters and effects for users to incorporate into their videos. Brands can include a link to their products within the effect, which users can click on to make a purchase.
  • Live Streaming: TikTok’s Live Streaming feature allows brands to interact with their audience in real time and showcase their products. Brands can use the Live Streaming feature to launch new products, offer exclusive discounts, and answer questions from their audience.

Overall, all of these shopping features on TikTok can help brands drive sales and engagement, and provide a seamless shopping experience for users.

How can brands use TikTok’s shopping features? 

Create engaging videos.

This is key to all social media. If your content is not engaging, or well-tailored to your target audience, then it is almost useless. Brands should create short and engaging videos that showcase their products in an interesting and entertaining way. The least pushy, and sales-focused the content seems, the more likely consumers will be to engage. Consumers are so overstimulated by advertising, that it has to be as subtle as possible to drive to that final purchase.  Including links to products/services within the video will make this as easy as possible for consumers to click through and make that vital purchase.

Look at the likes of Gymshark, Red Bull and RyanAir. All completely different brands, with completely different audiences, price tags, and products/services – they are all absolutely thriving on TikTok by creating authentic, light-hearted content that allows the consumer to relate and trust the brand. If you have the users trust on your side, you are almost guaranteed to be front of mind when they want to make that purchase. 


Collaborate with influencers.

Albeit a somewhat oversaturated marketing in some people’s eyes, they do work. There are so many influencers to choose from, brands are more than likely to find an influencer they can collaborate. The key is to make sure the influencers aligns with their business values and have a following that matches their target audience. This is the perfect authentic way for brands to reach their audiences, in a secure and trusted way.

Let’s say the brand has chosen an influencer to create your advert. They’ve promoted the product and linked it within their video utilising the in-app purchase feature. The consumer (obviously) loves the content, and clicks through. That’s it. They’re on the brand’s product page already without opening onto a new browser, only a few clicks away from the final purchase. The drop off points are so few and far between, that it’s almost guaranteed to be creating purchase, and positive ROI. 


Hashtag challenge.

Brands can launch a sponsored hashtag challenge that encourages users to create videos featuring their products. They can add a shopping cart icon to the challenge, which allows users to view and purchase the featured products directly within the app.


Offer exclusive discounts. 

Brands can offer exclusive discounts to users who purchase their products on TikTok. They can promote these discounts through their videos and encourage users to make a purchase.


Raise Awareness & Hype.

One of the most common success stories for brands on TikTok, is the build up to a launch. You see this across all types of accounts, from new song releases to new product launches. The key is playing on consumers’ FOMO (fear of missing out) in advance of releases, the idea that there’s something they don’t know, tends to lead to a larger audience watching and waiting for new product releases. 


The key of all of this is within the question, ‘How brands can accelerate themselves,’ it’s not a question of whether it can or can’t happen. Utilising TikTok, and its features, brands can almost guarantee to produce positive ROI. The key is for brands to plan ahead, know their (achievable) objectives, their audience and fundamentally utilise every feature available to them. TikTok wants to work with its users, not against, so as long as users are ticking all of its boxes, it will favour that user and in this case, brand. 



Author: Laura Bruce, Senior Social Media Manager