TikTok, a short video service, recently began partnering with Shopify, enabling users to shop within the app. Later, the Chinese company also signed an agreement with Square, which processes electronic payments. For now, this form of online shopping is only available to residents of the U.S., U.K. and Canada, but the service promises to expand functionality to several more regions by the end of the year. Inc.com reporter Rebecca Decinski talks about how small businesses are boosting revenue with the new sales channel. Right now, the feature is in beta format, but brands that have tested the format have immediately registered consumer interest in shopping through TikTok. For example, Juno & Co., a skincare brand aimed at zomers, reported a 10-fold increase in sales compared to Instagram and Facebook. According to Jessica Thomson, founder of the eco-friendly store Bee Joyful, her brand's product sold out within the first 24 hours after she decided to use Square on TikTok. She notes that sales of products from the video have increased. Even items that hadn't been sales hits before, including lotions, have been affected.
A few tips to help you sell more effectively in TikTok:
1. focus on product demonstration. It's important not to put too much emphasis on advertising slogans. You need to show the product, not talk about buying it, says Maria Wilkes, founder of Candid Beauté. On her account, which has more than 46,000 subscribers, she often shows how her most popular product, an eyebrow-styling balm, works. Thomson agrees that offering to buy the product "head-on" is unlikely to work. Instead, she often makes educational content in which she explains how viewers can add environmentally more conscious actions to their lives. For example, she shows how you can do a wax "wrap" instead of a plastic wrap.
2. experimentation for maximum coverage You can't know in advance what will become viral on a platform, Thomson notes. "I try to mix what's funny, trendy and informative," she says. More diverse content will work better with the social network's personalized algorithm. That, in turn, will increase sales because different videos will be seen by different users. Brands can also boost sales by participating in trends, Wilkes said, but only until they subside. You need to react quickly to the emergence of popular sounds or editing techniques, the expert says. She also advises subscribing to accounts that are the first to pick up on such trends. Authenticity. Such videos feel more personal or casual, unlike standard commercials. Wilkes, for example, shows her subscribers the process of creating her company's products or talking about her journey in business, while Thomson often takes lip-sync videos to popular tracks. Once the user has his or her attention on the video, the sales process becomes much easier, thanks to a link right in the video.