How to Integrate TikTok with Shopify: A Beginner’s Guide

How to Integrate TikTok with Shopify: A Beginner’s Guide

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are no longer the social media behemoths they once were. In fact, their popularity has been waning among Gen Z and millennials who are turning to simpler and more interactive platforms like TikTok.

TikTok saw the largest increase of monthly average users between 2019 and February 2021 — double that of Facebook which only came in fourth place.

TikTok monthly average users statistics

To make things even better, TikTok announced a partnership with Shopify in October 2020. By downloading the TikTok app, Shopify Stores and brands can build their own TikTok channel, manage and optimize it via their Shopify dashboard, and sell products directly with a variety of native TikTok ads or organic TikToks.

However, there are some challenges that may be experienced along the way, especially if you’re new to TikTok. In addition, there are alternatives like TikShop, which have decent functionality but are lacking in a lot of ways.

To learn how to get the most out of TikTok for your Shopify Store and whether or not you should consider a third-party alternative, keep reading this Beginner’s Guide to Integrating TikTok and Shopify. You won’t be disappointed.

Benefits of Using TikTok as A Sales Channel

TikTok is a great marketing and sales channel. Small businesses, large businesses, eCommerce retailers, and creatives of all shapes and sizes can use TikTok for Business to build, maintain, and optimize unique TikTok channels designed for brand growth and expansion.

Benefits of using TikTok as a sales channel

Additionally, TikTok offers many methods of integrating existing and new Shopify Stores into TikTok with the creation of branded TikTok channels, organic videos, user-generated Duets, and native ads that connect directly into the Store. 

Some of the many benefits to using TikTok as a sales channel, including: 

  • Decrease Marketing Costs: TikToks are incredibly inexpensive to create, especially when compared to YouTube videos or online courses. In short, TikShop increases sales while decreasing the variable marketing costs associated with the creation of other types of video content.
  • Reaching Gen-Z: Facebook and Twitter used to be the go-to for reaching young, hip audiences. But now it’s used mostly by old millennials and boomers. Gen Z, on the other hand, is flocking to social networks like Snapchat and TikTok. 
  • Creating Organic, User-Generated Interactive Content: You can create an interactive content strategy for your Shopify Store. Instead of relying on landing pages and bland Facebook posts, TikToks are highly interactive. With the Duet feature, you can to better connect with your audience and allow to transform your content into something their friends and fans will love, growing your brand presence through organic user-generated content.
Use-generated content TikTok
  • Expanding Your Brand: If your brand isn’t on TikTok, now is the perfect time to start. TikTok’s Brand Effects allows you to use AR to highlight your brand’s logo and name on all of the TikToks you create. 
  • Differentiate Your Digital Marketing Mix: TikToks are versatile, which is one of their greatest benefits. You can take them off TikTok and share them on other social networks or even embed them within your emails depending on what email marketing software you use. This is a greay way to differentiate your digital marketing mix and gain market advantages over your competitors.
  • Gain Access to a Suite of eCommerce Tools: TikTok’s integration with Shopify makes it incredibly easy to create TikToks for your Shopify Store. Additionally, TikTok for Business also includes catalog ads that allow Shopify Stores to highlight multiple products in one TikTok as well as Spark Ads that allow brands to sponsor organic user-generated content as a unique form of advertising.
  • Great, Natural Feeling Link Placement: Another benefits of integrating TikTok and Shopify is that you can also place links to products into the TikToks you create and share. This means you can directly promote and highlight a specific product or use subtle product placement to highlight how the product can be used in one’s daily life.

There are a ton of ways to build TikToks for your Shopify Store in a way that reflects your brand culture. And to be honest, I personally think it’s a lot more fun than using Facebook or Instagram.

Challenges of Using TikTok as a Sales Channel

There are many reasons why you should use TikTok as a sales channel; however, there are some challenges you should be aware of. 

The main challenge faced by most users is learning how to use TikTok. However, the developers have worked hard to ensure that its app is extremely easy to install and use. 

While there will be a learning curve for new TikTokers, even those with no experience on the app can master the art of Duets, product placements, and editing TikToks with very little effort.

Unlike many other social networks, TikTok makes it simple to learn how to use their app and make the most out of their features. Their close partnership with Shopify also allows you to access the TikTok for Business dashboard on your Shopify account.

There are other challenges to using TikTok, but they mostly revolve around figuring out how best to best use the various functionalities offered by the app. Some of these include: 

There are other challenges to using TikTok, but they mostly revolve around figuring out how best to best use the various functionalities offered by the app. Some of these include: 

  • Using Brand Effect to effectively highlight your brand
  • Encouraging your viewers to Duet your TikToks
  • Integrating TikToks with compatible themes on your site
  • Learning how to use Catalog, Spark, and other unique TikTok ad formats
  • Finding engaging and natural ways to feature and place products within TikToks
  • Finding out how to get your TikToks featured on the #Foryou page
  • Creating memorable visual content that stands out from others (a graphic design platform can help with this)
  • Using hashtags on your TikToks that can be cross-shared effectively on other social networks

These and other challenges associated with using TikTok require unique solutions. Determining what your target audience is looking for and generating content they want to Duet and share is something that will require time and experimentation.

Once you’ve become used to the TikTok platform and its functionality, however, you’ll quickly discover how easy it is to test out various features and create converts on the app.

Alternatives to Watch Out For

As part of the partnership between TikTok and Shopify, you can download and install the TikTok app directly from the Shopify Store, access the TikTok for Business platform using Shopify, and create highly engaging and interactive TikToks quickly and easily.

However, there are also third-party alternatives. These tools often offer similar functionality, but they don’t really give you everything you get from the direct TikTok integration. Instead, they act as an intermediary between TikTok and your Shopify Store, which is not always desirable. 

For example, TikShop is an easy-to-use tool that allows you to upload TikToks directly on your Shopify Store webpages. This makes it incredibly useful for blog articles, but it lacks much of the native functionality that you’ll find with the TikTok app on Shopify.

Additionally, while TikShop offers a 30-day free trial, it costs $19.99 per month to continue using it. The TikTok app on Shopify is free because, well, using TikTok directly doesn’t cost money for individuals or Shopify Stores. The only cost is paid ads, which are entirely optional. 

While you can use the 30-day trial to test out TikShop and see if its right for you, I’d personally recommend sticking with the TikTok app directly. It’s built by TikTok, free to use, and offers many more features than TikShop or other third-party tools.

Conclusion

Using TikTok is a great sales channel for all digital marketers, but its integration with Shopify makes it even better for brands with Shopify Stores. By installing the app and creating TikToks, you immediately gain access to a marketplace full of young trendsetters who could become your future brand ambassadors.

You can also use alternatives to the TikTok app; however, using third-party tools just doesn’t make sense when TikTok and Shopify have built a partnership to help you better reach Shopify Stores reach new markets on TikTok.

So, my advice: stick with TikTok. Download the app directly from Shopify and experience the wonders that Tik For Business will bring to your Shopify Store.

Are you ready to create your Shopify TikTok store for more engagement on your page? Sound off in the comments!

This is a guest post contribution by Ron Stefanski. Ron is a website entrepreneur and marketing professor who has a passion for helping people create and market their own online business. You can learn more from him by visiting OneHourProfessor.com. You can also connect with him on YouTube or Linkedin.