Making Your Brand Pop on TikTok Shop: How to Stand Out and Sell More

Making Your Brand Pop on TikTok Shop: How to Stand Out and Sell More

TikTok is a social platform that transcends borders and breaks down barriers between brands and their customers—more than 1 billion of them.

But why should your brand consider TikTok Shop? 

Simple. It's where your customers are, and they're ready to buy. 

By building a TikTok Shop strategy, you tap into a younger, more engaged audience eager to discover new products and experiences. What's more, TikTok Shop offers a unique chance for your brand to be seen and heard in a way that traditional eCommerce platforms don't. It's about storytelling, authenticity, and connecting on a deeper level.

One of the first challenges you’ll likely face is setting your brand apart from the competition and the noise. In this post, we’ll deeply dive into how embracing TikTok Shop can propel your brand to new heights. (The focus here is on standing out. We've already written on TikTok Tactics for selling more generally.) Then we’ll walk you through four proven strategies brands use today to differentiate themselves and unlock untapped growth potential.

Tackling Skepticism: Understanding the Power of TikTok Shop

Many brands may view TikTok as a social media platform for Gen Z to share dance videos and viral trends, questioning its credibility as a serious eCommerce contender.

In fact, we recently hosted a webinar about the power of TikTok Shop and found that many of those feelings persisted with the attendees. However, this perspective overlooks the profound transformation that TikTok has undergone in recent years, especially with the arrival of TikTok Shop in North America.

Let's tackle some of this (understandable) skepticism head-on:

"TikTok is just for teenagers."

While it's true that TikTok initially gained popularity among younger audiences, its user demographic has significantly diversified. Users aged 20 or older represent the largest user group on TikTok, accounting for roughly 67% of the total user base. Nearly 30% of users fall into the 20-29 age bracket, while over 16% belong to the 30-39 age group. These statistics indicate that TikTok has a much wider reach than just teenagers, providing a diverse customer base for your brand.

Credit: WavemakerGen X is more loyal and engaged on social media and brands are not spending enough to reach them on platforms such as TikTok, Wavemaker finds in a new report.

"TikTok isn't a serious platform for eCommerce."

Contrary to this belief, TikTok has rapidly evolved into a powerful platform for retail sales. A study from Online Dasher reported that 58.2% of TikTok users said they used the platform for shopping inspiration, and 49% of its users admit that TikTok plays a role in shaping their purchasing choices. TikTok will have 33.3 million US social buyers in 2023, and 68% of Gen Z adults in the US are willing to buy on TikTok.

"Our brand won't benefit from being on TikTok Shop."

The numbers tell a different story. TikTok has over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide. Studies show that 39.5 million of those users in the US could become social buyers by 2026. Learn more about the benefits of social commerce here

These aren't just passive scrollers; they're engaged consumers. TikTok is the most engaging social media platform, with an average engagement rate of 4.25%. This translates to roughly 92% of users taking some sort of action after watching a TikTok, such as liking the video, commenting, or sharing it. 

With TikTok Shop, brands can convert this engagement directly into sales.  But with such great potential, tons of brands are getting into the mix. It’s important to make your brand stand out. 

Here are a few tried and true ways to do that. 

Tactics for Standing Out in the Crowded Social Commerce Market

TikTok is its user base. The platform is populated by digital natives looking for authentic, relatable, and engaging content. It's crucial to tailor your content to resonate with this audience.

By understanding your audience, you can create content that grabs their attention and encourages them to interact and engage with your brand. 

Here are a few tactics popular brands have used to stand out from this audience.

Tactic #1: Work with influencers

Influencer marketing has proven to be an effective strategy across various social media platforms, and TikTok is no exception. Through TikTok's affiliate marketplace, brands can collaborate with influencers to help promote their products to a larger audience, driving more visibility and sales on the platform. However, the key to successful influencer collaborations lies in understanding your audience.

By partnering with influencers whose values align with your brand and whose followers mirror your target audience, you can tap into this trust and credibility. This can result in increased brand awareness, improved brand perception, and, ultimately, higher sales.

For example, mid-tier influencers with 50,000 to 250,000 followers achieve a 30% better ROI per dollar and even get 20% better ROI than web celebrities with over a million followers.

To find the right influencers for your brand, start by identifying your target audience's interests and behaviors, as well as the influencers they already follow. Look for influencers who share your brand's values and genuinely connect with their audience.

Once you've identified potential influencers, reach out for collaboration. This could range from product reviews and unboxing videos to sponsored posts or co-creating a product line. Remember, authenticity is key. Collaborations should feel natural and genuine, not forced or overly promotional. On TikTok Shop, social proof must feel legit or it'll be quickly rejected.

For example, Aerie used TikTok influencer marketing to grow their following to roughly 196 thousand followers. They launched the #AerieREALPositivity challenge on TikTok, teaming up with Charli D'Amelio and featuring an original song called "100% Real Love" by PopUpGirl for the campaign. The challenge invited TikTok users to create videos sharing three things they are grateful for during quarantine.

@charlidamelio share what you’re doing to stay positive right now by tagging @aerie and #aerierealpositivity #ad ♬ 100% Real Love - PopUpGirl

The result? Aerie increased digital sales by 75% in a single quarter through the TikTok campaign.

Tactic #2: Engage with your community

To make an impact, brands need to engage with their audience and build a community. Lick, a paint brand, is a prime example of this approach. They mobilized around the hashtag "#LICKTOK," and videos using this hashtag have generated close to 17.6 million views at the time of writing.

@lick Reply to @beeclareuk North facing living room colour combos - pop your questions to Tash in the comments! #homedecor #colouradvice #styleinspo #interiorinspo #colourpalette #learnontiktok ♬ original sound - Lick

When your followers feel like they're part of a community, they're more likely to absorb your content, share it with their own followers, and convert into loyal customers. 

Start by engaging with your audience. As with any social channel, respond to comments, participate in conversations relevant to your brand, and initiate discussions yourself.

Next, create a unique hashtag for your brand, just like Lick did with "#LICKTOK." Encourage your followers to use this hashtag when posting content related to your brand. This increases your brand's visibility and gives your followers a way to feel connected to your brand and each other.

Finally, host challenges or contests using your brand's hashtag. This encourages user-generated content, increases engagement, and strengthens your community.

Staying relevant and relatable to your audience on TikTok involves active participation in trending topics and challenges your audience enjoys. Brands like Delta and McDonald's have mastered this approach, using trends to their advantage while staying true to their brand identity.

Participating in trends shows that you're not just a faceless corporation, but a brand that understands and engages with its customers' interests. This approach can lead to higher engagement rates, increased visibility, and a more personable brand image.

@delta dream team #deltaairlines #avgeek #pilot ♬ Drilla

Firstly, keep an eye on what's trending on TikTok. This could be a viral challenge, a popular song, or a trending hashtag. Once you've identified a trend that aligns with your brand and audience, create content around it.

But don't force your brand into a trend that doesn't feel natural.

Instead, find trends that fit your brand's narrative and resonate with your audience. (Scraping and analyzing TikTok Shop product trends is an art and a science.) This could mean putting a unique spin on a viral challenge or using a trending song to highlight your products or services.

Tactic #4: Exclusive offers and giveaways

Offering exclusive deals, discounts, or giveaways that resonate with your audience can be a game-changer, especially for TikTok Shop users. Exclusive offers and giveaways are potent tools for customer acquisition and retention. They create a sense of urgency and exclusivity which can drive quick sales and increase customer engagement. Moreover, they provide added value to your offerings, making your brand more attractive to potential customers.

Crafting successful exclusive offers or giveaways requires understanding your customers' needs and preferences. Consider what would genuinely excite your audience—a hefty discount, a buy-one-get-one-free deal, or perhaps a free product with every purchase.

Once you've decided on the offer, promote it exclusively on TikTok Shop. Make sure to highlight the exclusivity of the deal to make TikTok users feel special and valued. Use compelling visuals and persuasive language to amplify the appeal of the offer.

Finally, consider tying your offer or giveaway to a specific action. For example, users could receive a discount code in exchange for following your brand, sharing your post, or participating in a challenge.

How Crocs Approaches Giveaways

Brands like Crocs have seen some success with giveaways on TikTok. This generates massive engagement and increases their follower count.

Crocs launched the #ThousandDollarCrocs challenge, inviting fans to unleash their creativity and express their unique style by customizing or enhancing their $1,000 Crocs. This campaign embraced the "come as you are" mindset, rewarding the winner with a coveted pair of $1,000 Crocs. The results were astounding, with a remarkable 18% surge in TikTok followers in 24 hours. This success story highlights the immense potential of TikTok in driving engagement and fostering growth for eCommerce brands.

@brittany_broski y’all can stay mad. Me n Posty stay dressin 😎 #ThousandDollarCrocs @crocs #sponsored ♬ original sound - Brittany

Differentiate Your Brand on TikTok Shop

Standing out from the crowd on TikTok Shop requires creativity, authenticity, and a deep understanding of your target audience. It's not just about figuring out how to sell on TikTok Shop but understanding the interplay between growing your brand and making sales. By staying true to your brand's narrative while incorporating trends and participating in challenges, you can keep your brand relevant and engaging.

Using these tactics, you can amplify your brand's reach, drive sales, and establish a loyal customer base.

And if you're ready to jump in, tools like AfterShip Feed can help take your social commerce to the next level by auto-syncing product and inventory info, protecting revenue, and making order fulfillment hassle-free. Try for free today.