TikTok as a social media platform has been thriving since late 2019. In Malaysia, it particularly saw a surge of new users during the worldwide pandemic lockdowns in 2020. New content creators and brands have thus popped up amidst videos of dancing teenagers and memes. Then in April 2022, the app debuted its social commerce feature TikTok Shop and thousands of Malaysian sellers jumped in.
How did TikTok Shop fare against other social commerce e.g. Meta’s Instagram?
It’s fair to say that TikTok Shop is doing better than Meta’s shopping platform. Part of the app’s charm is its intuitive navigability and in-feed videos embedded with product links (just click on the yellow bag!) that is done in a very non-intrusive way. Sellers and buyers also love its live streaming feature. Sellers are incentivised to give away promos and coupons during live streams and buyers can interact in real-time through live comments.
Perhaps the biggest wow-factor for TikTok Shop is its #fyp (for you page) feature. Before this, whether on Instagram or YouTube live channels, you can only rely on existing followers or subscribers to view your live streams.
But TikTok changes the game when it allows anyone to watch, whether they follow your account or even heard of you before. Theoretically, the more frequent a seller does live streams, the more likely they will get new customers. It has been a game-changer for the industry.
Knowing that their competitors will play copycat again sooner or later, TikTok Malaysia plans to double down the support for local sellers with even more incentives and live stream promos. There is also a TikTok Shop Academy that shares helpful tips for entrepreneurs, from marketing, fulfilment, to customer service and even entertainment.
With all the ingenious features of TikTok Shop, it’s little wonder why more and more sellers are setting up a digital storefront in the app. If you’re looking to set up your own shop on TikTok, saddle up. In this post, we'll guide you through the process and how you can get a headstart.
How to Set Up a TikTok Shop?
1. Create a Business Account
If you have a registered business in Malaysia, you can apply to be a Partner or Affiliate on TikTok Shop. Creating an account is fairly standard; you need to provide an email address and phone number. Navigate to the seller registration portal and fill out the application. Upload the necessary documents such as IC, proof of business ownership and residency then link to your bank account.
2. Enable TikTok Shop
It will take a few days after your application to be approved by TikTok. If all your papers are in order and approved, you should be able to use the app’s shopping features. Once approved, link your TikTok account to your TikTok Shop. You can then add products and set up your content and details.
3. Connect Your Shop to e-Commerce Platform
Once you enable your TikTok Shop, connect the account to your e-commerce platform. TikTok has partnered with a select number of trusted e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and Ecwid. With Shopify for example, you can connect to TikTok via the Shopify App Store. From there, you can create ads, install TikTok Pixel to measure ad performance and manage your followers.
Download Now: e-Commerce Platform Comparison for Malaysian Business
4. Create & Upload Videos
Now comes the exciting part! Get creative with your product descriptions, upload high-quality product images or videos, and set the right prices. Avoid copy-pasting the same videos that you have used on Meta platforms. TikTok audience appreciates brands who aren’t too hard-selling. Thus, try to create videos that are more humorous and casual instead of overtly trying to showcase your products or services.
5. Promote Your TikTok Shop
TikTok is unlike any other social media platforms. The app rewards engagement more than just views and impressions, while the trends and themes change at breakneck speed. Therefore, to promote on TikTok, it’s smart to plan it uniquely from other platforms.
Sellers can make use of TikTok's built-in promotional features like shoppable ads and product stickers. Other than that, you can encourage product reviews via user generated content (UGC). While KOL might work in some context, the TikTok audience values opinions from everyday consumers like them. So encourage and engage with review videos, both favourable or otherwise.
Ways to Promote on TikTok Shop
- Live Stream
To Live Stream, simply click on the Live button on the top left corner on the app. Put in the relevant descriptions (promos, best part about the live etc) and start streaming. You should engage with commenters, highlight your promos, and don’t be afraid to be off-script and casual.
- TikTok Ads
When you have published your TikTok videos, you can boost your best ones as ads. The best TikTok ads are witty, entertaining, and don’t take themselves too seriously. You can highlight your products and services but try not to make it sound like a sales pitch.
- #Foryoupage Feed
Getting into a user’s ‘For You’ page is how many brands online get discovered and feed into TikTok’s viral element. So, you want to optimise your content so that it gets into For You. There are many ways to do it; from using the #fyp, to consistent postings and content quality and value.
- Build a Community
One of the best ways to go viral on TikTok is when people start talking about your page. So don’t ignore your followers, comments, and community. You may work with influencers, but a better way could be to encourage consumer reviews, reposting their user-generated content and be honest about the feedback. This is because there is more trust in honest reviews by everyday consumers, something TikTok has often done better than most social media platforms.
Setting up a TikTok Shop opens up exciting possibilities for entrepreneurs and content creators alike. It's the perfect way to monetise your creativity and passion. Remember, starting a successful business takes time and effort, but with TikTok's vast audience and user-friendly features, you're well-positioned to make your mark. So, why not give it a shot? Start exploring the world of TikTok Shops today and may you go viral for all the right reason.