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TikTok Shop 101 For Content Creators
Unlock the power of TikTok Shop to grow your e-commerce sales. Learn how TikTok Shop is a fast growing opportunity for brands and creators as well as how creators boost sales and engagement by staying authentic with their collaboration partners. Discover why millions of Americans love TikTok’s new e-commerce feature and how you can maximize your profits.
June 11, 2024
TikTok Shop logo that uses the TikTok logo
In the ever-evolving world of social media and e-commerce, TikTok has revolutionized the way we interact, entertain, and shop. With over 150 million Americans actively using TikTok and 5 million U.S. businesses joining the platform in 2023, TikTok Shop has emerged as a game-changer for content creators and brands alike. Launched in the United States in September 2023, TikTok Shop allows users to purchase products directly within the app, seamlessly blending content consumption and shopping. 
This innovative feature has already captured the attention of millions, proving TikTok is not just a place for viral videos but a burgeoning marketplace that's set to redefine online shopping.
In other words…TikTok is an absolute beast of a platform, and here are some metrics from Capital One to paint the bigger picture.
  • TikTok shops are on track to do $17.5BN in Gross Merchandise Value this year, up nearly 10x from last year. 
  • Americans spend an estimated $7 million per day shopping on TikTok.
  • Americans spent a total of 4.43 billion minutes per day watching TikTok videos in 2023. 
  • Adult users spend an average of 54 minutes per day on TikTok which is 64% more time than the same cohort of Instagram users spend on Instagram. 
  • The Top 5 selling categories on TikTok Shop are beauty and skin care, supplements & vitamins, lip cosmetics, cologne & perfume, and body lotions & treatments. Health & Beauty makes up about 81% of sales.
  • TikTok Shop is already the 14th largest health and beauty e-commerce retailer in the U.S.
  • U.S. brands spent a total of $989.6 million on TikTok influencer marketing in 2023. In 2024 that spend is expected to reach $1.25 billion which would be up 26.7% from 2023.  
  • TikTok influencer marketing spending is expected to grow 82% faster than total influencer spending in 2024.
  • Affiliate links on TikTok Shop have a 5.2% engagement rate, a 160% higher rate than on Instagram.
  • Over 100,000 creators use the TTS affiliate program and over 1,000 major brands have TikTok Business Accounts. 
Ok so now that we have established TTS is a rocket ship , how can we get you a seat on the ride? There are 3 main ways to leverage TikTok Shop: live shopping, shoppable videos, and product showcases.
  • Live shopping provides creators the ability to pin a product on the screen during a livestream that customers can tap to shop for the item easily. While live shopping hasn’t quite taken off yet in the US, users of the Chinese version of the app (Douyin) spent $223 billion during live commerce events in 2022.
  • Shoppable videos allow creators to include a product link in an in-feed video for customers to one-click tap & shop. 
  • Product showcases enable brands to set up a shop within the TikTok app for customers to purchase directly through the business’s profile.
Through each of these features, the Top 5 selling categories in TikTok Shop are facial skin care, supplements & vitamins, lip cosmetics, cologne & perfume, and body lotions & treatments.
Despite incredible growth, it’s been reported that still over a quarter of American TikTok users still have not even heard of TikTok Shop - signaling we’re in the early innings of this massive opportunity for creators and brands.
Recently, TikTok shared some news that significantly reduced the barrier to entry for content creators where previously, you needed 5000 followers to qualify and now you only need 1000. With over 100,000 content creators already on TTS - it’s worth getting started if you haven’t already before the platform gets saturated and more competitive.
As a creator, the steps to becoming an affiliate are pretty simple. To get started, create a TikTok Account, get over 1K followers, and then apply for the TikTok Shop Affiliate Program. (Note that you can apply directly through the TikTok app or via the TikTok Creator Marketplace).
After approval, you will have access to the TikTok Shop Affiliate Dashboard, where you can find products to promote, track your earnings, and manage your affiliate links.
Once a creator makes content that drives a purchase from a brand, they get an affiliate fee which is a fixed percentage of commission set by the merchant/brand. The fee ranges from based on what the brand decides to set, but the average is roughly 10-20% commission fees to be competitive. The lower the fee % and lower the average order value, the lower the commission is and therefore, it will be less attractive to content creators. Conversely, the higher the fee and earning opportunity, the more creators you should expect to promote the product.
As you dive into TikTok Shop, remember that authenticity is your secret weapon. Pick products that truly align with your brand and vibe with your audience. This way, you'll not only boost your sales and commissions but also keep the trust and engagement you've worked so hard to build. Staying true to yourself ensures your followers stay loyal and excited about your content.