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TECH NEWS

TikTok Shop: What is it and how does it work?

TikTok has updated its application to better integrate e-commerce to support creators and sellers using their platform. How does TikTok Shop work?

Update:
TikTok has updated its application to better integrate e-commerce to support creators and sellers using their platform. How does TikTok Shop work?
DADO RUVICREUTERS

TikTok made me buy” is a common refrain in videos posted on the platform as users share their opinions on a wide variety of viral products. Now, the sellers and influencers that convince you to click ‘buy’ could see their paychecks increase with TikTok Shop.

The social media giant is updating the platform to integrate e-commerce into user experience. Those interested in learning more about a product will no longer need to exit the platform and navigate to a business’ website or Etsy shop. Instead, the purchases will be made directly in the app. For TikTok, this will help keep users on the app because they can get back to scrolling after a purchase.

What does TikTok shop look like?

There are two ways in which a store can be integrated into a TikTok profile. The first is through adding a store tab, where sellers can keep an updated catalog of their products. TikTok has partnered with Shopify to ensure that the stores created are safe, secure, and easy to navigate.

The second is an integrated shop that will appear when the profile is clicked. These popup shops will often be replicas of the third-party shop where the product is sold. For instance, a fashion influencer has a deal with a brand: now, they can point people to their profile, where the company’s website will appear.

How does TikTok shop work?

On the business side of TikTok Shop, there are four user groups: sellers, creators, partners, and affiliates.

Who is a seller or creator?

Sellers can integrate their shop into their TikTok profile, whether it is an Esty or personal website. Creators, or what many may recognize as influencers, can use TikTok Shop to point their followers towards certain products. For instance, a beauty influencer who has a partnership with a makeup brand could integrate the website for that brand into their profile and earn a commission if buyers purchase through that portal. These users will also be able to create clickable ads that they can post during live feeds to encourage viewers to buy the product being promoted.

Integrating affiliate links and codes

Affiliates are sellers and creators who use codes and links to make these commissions. For sellers, TikTok claims that “commission is automatically paid as a percentage of sales.”

What is a Partner?

Partners, according to TikTok, “help sellers grow their businesses and get the most out of TikTok Shop.” These users may not have their products or affiliate links and instead promote brands and businesses that TikTok identifies.