To better compete in the social atmosphere, the fast-growing app TikTok has been making strides towards increasing their eCommerce options. As users have increased their daily TikTok usage since the app launched in 2016, brands and small businesses have profited largely from viral trends. According to an annual report of 2020 taken by App Annie, “US consumers spent an average of 21.5 hours per month on TikTok”, which is 70% more time than previous years. In 2020 alone, there was an 85.3% increase in US TikTok users, bringing the total US number to 65.9 million users. There is no question that the popularity of the app will continue to grow in both consumer and brand participation. Thus, the volume of TikTok advertising opportunities is also exponentially increasing.

TikTok recently published a new page on their website called TikTok Shop: Seller University, which introduced new ecommerce features for advertisers. With TikTok Shop, third-party sellers and brands can now set up their own virtual stores, accept payments and complete transactions without making customers leave the app. TikTok is starting out with a commission rate of 2%. TikTok started testing their eCommerce possibilities with Shopify and Walmart and has since then partnered with them. The Seller Shop is currently only testing in Indonesia, however, the educational portal is open for anyone to register or to learn more about what is to come.

How Can Brands Sell on TikTok Shop?

There are two ways brands can sell on TikTok Shop:

  • Directly promote and sell products themselves: Brands can display products via live streaming or short videos with product links embedded within the posts. If a consumer clicks on the product, they will be routed to a product detail page. With this option, brands will be responsible for creating and releasing their own content.
  • Through the TikTok Affiliate program: If a brand chooses to participate in the affiliate program, they can create promotion plans and invite TikTok creators to promote the products for them with a certain commission fee. The program will make it easier for influencers to earn commission directly from the sales they facilitate.

These new ecommerce features aim to create a more seamless purchasing experience for consumers and brands, but another benefit is to keep close ties with large influencers. A major speculation of the downfall of the similar app Vine was that many of the major influencers left to pursue other major platforms, like YouTube, that offers more defined monetization methods. TikTok wants to create a seamless connection between brands and influencers to ensure continued success and growth for the app.

Mindgruve has TikTok Advertising Auction access. For more information on how TikTok ads can help you, contact us.


TikTok – Merchant Terms of Service for TikTik Shop
Modern Retail – TikTok is testing out a seller marketplace
Tech Crunch – App stores saw record 218 billion downloads in 2020, consumer spend of $143 billion