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How to Start a TikTok Shop

By Madison Hess, J.D. | Last updated on

Beauty brands are trending this spooky season, especially on TikTok. Using catchy hashtags like #halloweenmakeup helped companies like Rimmel London increase sales and brand awareness across social media platforms this Halloween. Collaborating with influencers during holidays like Halloween and New Year's Eve is a great strategy to reach different potential customers, as is offering in-app purchases. But in a crowded marketplace like TikTok, how do you get started?

TikTok exploded onto the social media scene a few years ago, captivating everyone from Gen Z to the Baby Boomers. And its eCommerce platform, TikTok Shop, is driven by content creators looking to sell products (instead of sharing videos of themselves doing funny dances). If you're hoping to build a business empire like Rimmel London, consider opening your own TikTok Shop.

Create a TikTok Profile

If you want to use TikTok, you're going to need a strong TikTok profile to get started. Begin by setting up a TikTok business account. Through your business account, you will have access to tools that help you market your products. Business accounts have special features designed for people and companies trying to grow their brands. Be sure to choose an available name for your business to avoid potential trademark issues.

To profitably use TikTok for business, you will need to leverage your social media platform for success. Get posting about your products now. Make your profile ripe for discovery by posting videos that TikTok's algorithm will favor. Create content now so that when you set up your shop, your profile will already have followers interested in buying your products.

Set Up Your TikTok Shop

For your small business to take advantage of TikTok's online shopping component, you'll need to set up your shop in the TikTok app. This will allow your followers to access shopping features associated with your profile in the shopping tab. To begin the process of setting up your shop, go to your profile and click on the three lines in the upper right-hand corner. Next, select creator tools and open the tab that says “TikTok Shop for Seller."

To set up your TikTok Shop, you will need to provide TikTok with certain information when you register, such as where your store is located. Whether you're a seller in the United States, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, or the United Kingdom, you will need to provide your shop's location. If you're selling your product in multiple states (or other countries), familiarize yourself with the legal requirements in other jurisdictions. For example, some states require out-of-state businesses to register as a foreign LLC or corporation to conduct business.

Create a Marketing Plan

Now that your shop is set up, it's time for you to make a TikTok marketing plan. TikTok has many different opportunities for marketing, so carefully choose the best path for your brand. Think of your profile as your storefront and use the videos you post to create your aesthetic. Get to know the market and your target demographic and discover the types of TikTok content they are watching. Explore the profiles of stores that are similar to yours and take note of how they're marketing their brands.

If you want a successful TikTok store, be an active TikTok user. Your marketing plan should include a posting schedule with frequent updates to your page. To design your marketing plan, you should:

  • Establish a method for tracking trends to optimize the popularity of your TikTok videos.
  • Set up a schedule for advertising products in a live stream where you can communicate with your viewers in real time.
  • Research other TikTok creators for potential partnerships and collaborations.
  • Map out a plan for creating shoppable videos and remember every watcher is a potential customer.
  • Generate ideas for how you'll use TikTok's hashtags to drive users to your products.

Set Up Your TikTok Shop Business

Now that you know how to open a TikTok Shop, you're ready to legally form your business and start making sales. Explore options for the legal structure of your business like a sole proprietorship, corporation, or limited liability company (LLC). Your selection will impact your taxes and your protection from personal liability.

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