Over the years, I dropshipped on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. I will share with you what I know about the TikTok process, and also give you some pointers on how to succeed on the platform.
We will cover the following topics:
- How to dropship on TikTok
- Pros and cons of dropshipping on TikTok
- Advertising on TikTok
- How to properly market on TikTok
- The three ways you can promote on Tiktok is ads, influencers, and growing your following.
- You can create a TikTok dropshipping store easily
- It is important to know that your niche or product selection is critical to your success on TikTok
Ready? Let us start!
How to Dropship on Tiktok Shop
Our founder, Nawras, an 8-figure dropshipper, teaches you how to effectively dropship and generate profits using TikTok Shop in the Youtube video below. Don't miss this valuable learning opportunity!
What is TikTok Dropshipping?
TikTok dropshipping is a process where you market your products on TikTok, but you still need to operate a separate dropshipping store.
The other method to dropship on TikTok is to build a TikTok shop and upload your products on TikTok. However, this second method is a lot more difficult because, unlike Facebook, you cannot create a TikTok shop so easily.
If you choose to build a TikTok shop, you need to have at least 1,000 followers before this option even becomes available. Once you meet this requirement and TikTok approves your account, you can now integrate your TikTok shop with Shopify, Ecwid, etc.
TikTok dropshipping simply means that you upload your products in your dropshipping store, and then build a social media following on TikTok. It is similar to what you would do on Instagram, where you convince your followers to buy your merch.
Is TikTok A Good Place Dropship?
Yes, TikTok is now the best social media to dropship. TikTok is no longer a place for silly videos and challenges.
TikTok is currently the hottest platform for e-commerce. There is even a viral hashtag, #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, which shows videos of people who bought products on TikTok. This hashtag has over 60 billion views, and many marketers are jumping on the TikTok bandwagon.
Here are some important statistics about TikTok:
- The app has more than 1 billion monthly active users
- 20% of all internet users worldwide have TikTok
- TikTok is available in 141 countries as of the time of this writing
- 90% of TikTokers use the app daily
- 30% of TikTok users are adults (40+ years old)
The one thing that will make you succeed on TikTok is to market with entertainment, not a sales pitch. TikTok users do not come to the app to look for items to buy—they look for something entertaining.
Here is an example of a TikTok dropshipper who is making a lot of money:
Based on our sales tracker tool, this company made $190,000 in the last 12 months. What’s interesting about this company is that they sell only 21 print-on-demand products. What makes them successful is their marketing approach, which I will talk about in detail later.
Steps to Dropship on TikTok
1. Choose a niche/product
The first step to building a successful TikTok dropshipping store is to choose a niche or a winning product. A niche is an area of specialization. For example, sports equipment is a niche. As such, your store will only sell sports equipment and nothing else.
A niche is better than a general store. Not that I am trying to burst your bubble, but building a store like Amazon or Walmart is difficult. It takes a lot of time, money, and effort, to make a functional general dropshipping store.
Here is an example niche store I found on Tiktok:
Based on our sales tracker, this store called Inked Gaming made $237,000 in the last 12 months. Their niche is mousepads, playmats, and other printable items for gamers.
Here is their sales revenue:
With a niche, you can fill your store with related products and immediately proceed to marketing. Below are the benefits of choosing a niche:
- Authority and Trustworthiness – shoppers will view you as an authority in an industry.
- Less Competition – if you build a niche store, you are only competing against stores of the same niche. If you build a general store, you are competing with practically everybody.
- Passion and Expertise – ideally, you must choose a niche that you understand and care about. As a result, you can answer all your customers’ inquiries, and give them advice. You can also write blog posts that provide real value to your readers.
- Trends – focusing on a niche allows you to be on top of trends. With a general store, you may find it overwhelming to keep up with the changing landscape of different industries.
- Followers and Market – choosing a niche makes it easier to reach the right people. These are people who share the same interests, particularly in your products. With a niche, you can even build a community of followers in your TikTok account.
One thing that scares most dropshippers is that a niche may reduce their opportunities to expand. If you feel the same way, my advice is to choose a broad niche, with an option to expand later.
For example, you can start with women’s fashion. As a start, you can focus on selling high-heel shoes. Later on, you can start adding more products like rubber shoes, flats, blouses, jackets, etc.
However, I suggest that if you sell apparel, you must only sell that and nothing else. Do not mix apparel with cosmetics because you will become a generic women’s store.
2. Create a dropshipping store
The next step is to build a dropshipping store. There are many store platforms you can use, and below are a few.
The best one that I recommend is to build your dropshipping store with Shopify. The founders of Shopify built the platform for one purpose: e-commerce.
What is Shopify? Shopify is an all-in-one e-commerce platform. Everything you need to run an online store is easily accessible. However, they do not offer a free account—the Basic Plan is $25 per month (prices vary according to your region).
Here are some pointers when building a dropshipping store:
- Simplicity – use white spaces a lot, and do not fill up your website with anything that does not belong there. Do not clutter your website. You want site visitors to focus their attention on your products, not with ads or anything irrelevant.
- Ease of Use – you must take the time to think about user experience. The website must be easy to navigate both on desktop and mobile. To do this, I suggest that you visit some of the top-performing stores that belong to your niche. Take down notes and try to get best practices from their web design.
- Marketing – use marketing apps that will increase your conversion rate or average order value. Some examples are upsells, bundles, and discount apps. However, do not clutter your website with pop-ups and offers. Nothing annoys a customer more than unsolicited messages.
Overall, I recommend Shopify because it is easy to use. In addition, Shopify is so big that there are companies that dedicate their efforts to Shopify stores only.
With Shopify, you can take advantage of the best sales tracker tools and the best Shopify spy tools. All these tools can give you data, which can help you make better and more informed business decisions.
3. TikTok Sign-up and Dropshipping Integration
Signing up for a TikTok account is straightforward. The two account options are Personal and Business. Choose the business account and sign up through TikTok Business.
It is alright if you sign up with a personal account. Like Instagram, you can switch between personal and business accounts in TikTok. However, it is best that you do it right the first time.
Here are the benefits of a TikTok Business account:
- Access to the music library – like the music library of YouTube, all songs here are free from copyright
- Post scheduler – you can upload posts today and schedule them for release ten days later.
- Link – you can add your link to your dropshipping store on your TikTok profile; personal accounts do not have this privilege
- Email – you can add your email address for people to see
- Analytics – like Facebook and Google, you will have access to a business analytics page where you can see your growth
A TikTok business account also allows you to access the Business Creative Hub. It is a platform within TikTok that makes it possible for you to create videos, which you can also use for your ads.
Once you have a business account, you can apply for a TikTok shop. If this option is not available in your business profile, it simply means you do not qualify—yet. You need at least 1,000 followers to qualify for the TikTok Shop program.
The last step is to integrate your TikTok Shop with your Shopify account. Do this and you can manage your TikTok shop from your Shopify dashboard. The setup process is the same with other integrations—you will find the setup buttons under the Sales Channel section of your Shopify dashboard.
Marketing Your TikTok Dropshipping Products on TikTok
Marketing is not as simple as putting together a video and launching it on TikTok. What you need is a strategy, which we will cover in this section.
1. Use TikTok Ads
One of the fastest ways to sell your dropshipping products on TikTok is through ads. Like Facebook, advertising on TikTok is a pretty straightforward activity.
From my experience, I can say that creating and managing ads on TikTok is easier than on Facebook. The TikTok ads manager provides you with a guide—step-by-step—during the ad creation process.
The question is this: What ads are effective on TikTok?
The best ad is a video that entertains the user. It is not advisable to advertise as you would on television (too formal), as this style is no longer popular. You must create an ad that looks like it is entertainment content.
If you are not in a position to create something entertaining, you must at least create a video that shows how your product works, and what benefits the users will get.
Here is an example:
This company sells a special kind of bag that prevents suits from wrinkling. The target market is professionals who have to travel and attend formal events.
If you watch the ad, you can say that it is not entertaining. However, it provides the viewers with useful information, such as:
- Space enough for 5 days
- It is a garment duffel bag
- The suits do not wrinkle
- It has two shoe pockets
- The bag is water-resistant
The ad is only 16 seconds long, but it manages to convey every reason for a viewer to buy it. As far as performance goes, the ad has:
- 6,000 likes
- 62 comments
- 956 shares
This ad is in the top 20% of TikTok ads when it comes to CTR. You and I both know that a high CTR correlates with high conversion. So, I went to my Dropship.IO sales tracker to investigate the sales number of this company.
Here is what I got:
The sales data is for about a month. As you can see, this store only has eight unique products sold, but they managed to sell more than 6,000 units!
2. TikTok Influencers
The second method by which you can market your dropshipping products on TikTok is with influencers. This method, however, is costly. You have to pay for the services of the influencer and send the influencer a sample of your product.
Think of influencers as television models. They have a massive following, and the people who follow them are likely to buy products that the influencer recommended.
There is no standard cost for what they charge. Influencers charge money based on their potential reach. An influencer who has 100,000 followers would charge less than one who has a million followers.
Here are some pointers when working with influencers:
- Watch their videos and ensure that they have an influence
- Find a way to contact them and ask for their rates
- Be clear on expectations
For the first point, you must check their engagement rate, comments, and other factors that will validate their authenticity. You need to watch many videos to see if their fans are engaging, or if the influencer is merely buying likes from social media farms.
About the expectations, be clear about what you want the influencer to do. If possible, provide the influencers with a script. Do not allow the influencer to bully you into deciding what to do—you are the client, so the final word must be yours.
3. Growing Your Followers
The last method to market on TikTok is to build a brand and a following. You can do this by creating content that people would love to watch.
Earlier, I said something about the Dumb Club. By far, this is one of the best companies I have seen on TikTok when it comes to what we call guerilla advertising.
Dumb Club uses the print-on-demand business model, and they sell hoodies. They only have 21 products, and yet they made $190,000 in the last 12 months.
On TikTok, the Dumb Club has over 100 videos, and the guy in the video is always wearing Dumb Club’s iconic hoodie.
In these videos, the Dumb Club guy approaches random people and asks them questions that an elementary student could answer, like “Name two countries that start with the letter Z.” Sometimes, he would play a part of a song and if the participant guessed the song title correctly, the participant would receive a free hoodie.
This type of content is somehow patterned after Jimmy Kimmel’s show segment called Man on the Street. Dumb Club’s content is so viral that the company now has 1.2 million followers on TikTok. They also have 39.8 million likes.
Depending on your niche, I suggest that you do the same. Create and upload videos on TikTok that are either entertaining, amusing, or helpful.
Pros of Dropshipping on TikTok
TikTok audiences are highly social compared to other platforms. Although Facebook has more users, the demographics are not the same as TikTok’s.
TikTok has a younger audience than Facebook. Because of this, they are more likely to respond positively to the content and ads that they see. On Facebook, most people no longer care—they merely look at their feed and move on.
Studies also show that TikTok drives greater audience engagement. Based on this study, TikTok audiences have a 15% stronger engagement rate than the leading social media platforms.
I can attest to this, as I advertised in the past on both Facebook and TikTok. I have better ad performance on the latter, such as longer view times and outbound clicks.
Affordable Advertising Cost
Some would say that TikTok advertising is expensive because it requires a minimum budget of $20 per day (at least in my experience).
However, you should not look at ad costs based on what you pay alone. You have to consider the performance of the ad. Some studies show that TikTok has less CPM and CTR than Facebook. Some studies will say otherwise.
Here is the thing: your TikTok ad will not perform if you are selling the wrong thing. TikTok is not a place where you can sell just about any product. The demographic of the platform is young. As such, your ads will only work if you sell products appropriate for TikTok users.
Cons of Dropshipping on TikTok
The biggest drawback for me on TikTok is the coverage of the platform. If you do not know it yet, TikTok divided its regions, which means you cannot advertise in the US if you are not from the US.
These divisions are a major problem. If you are from Asia, like Singapore, you cannot advertise to US customers. Pretty much, you can only advertise in neighboring countries. The same rule applies to US TikTokers.
Why is this rule in place?
Well, blame politicians. TikTok is a Chinese company, and certain governments are wary of the Chinese government taking and keeping data. So, many governments allowed TikTok to operate in their countries, provided that TikTok would operate in the country and keep all servers and data in the same country.
Is there an alternative to this?
Yes, the alternative is to ask someone to create a TikTok business account for you—and this person must live in your target country.
For example, if you are from Asia and you want to advertise in the US, you must ask someone in the United States to create a TikTok Business Account and Ad Account for you.
This person will supply TikTok with a US address and all that. Then, this person will give you the login credentials AFTER he verifies the TikTok business account.
From here, you can log in to that ad account no matter where you are and publish ads.
Since TikTok is the freshest and hottest social media, expect tough competition. Most creative people recently moved to TikTok already, so you will be competing against them.
Remember, your TikTok video is the key to your success. You want to consistently create valuable content that will:
- Increase your follower count
- Increase engagement
- Convince people to take action
TikTok is so hot that even YouTube and Facebook are changing their processes to compete against it. There was a time when YouTube did not allow short videos. Now, YouTube has what they all Shorts.
Advertising on TikTok
We will not discuss how to create an ad account or how to launch ads. These are pretty self-explanatory once you have a TikTok ad account. Instead, let us talk about how to create successful ads on TikTok.
1. Follow the TikTok Format
TikTok has a different format than other social media. While most share a vertical video, TikTok is widely popular for its video captions and subtitles.
This ad only has 51 likes for now, but it belongs to the top ads with the highest CTR. As you can see, there is a caption at the top that tells the viewer what the “hand” is trying to do.
At the bottom of the video is a call-to-action, which you must also do if you advertise. Without a CTA, your viewer would think that this is just another video, not a product for sale.
The mindset for TikTok video ads is mobile-first. Because of this, you want to create a video ad that serves this principle. One good practice is to use TikTok’s video creation kit, which you can find in your ad account.
2. Be on Top of Trends
Trends come and go, and TikTok users easily get tired of old trends. As an advertiser, you want to catch up with trends to spark interest in your brand and product.
Trends are content styles, such as:
- Interviews with random people
- Short-form learning
- Shocking videos
- User-generated type of content
- Novelty items
Here is an example of an ad that shows a novelty product:
The product is an LED strip, which is easy to use. As you can see, the ad has 25,000 likes and it is in the top 18% of TikTok ads with the highest CTR.
What about the sales?
I checked our product database and here is what I got:
The particular product, Banda Decorativa, sold 31 units with a total revenue of $563. I was wondering if that revenue is worth it, considering that the company spent money on advertising.
It is worth it. The capital price of the product in AliExpress is $1.12. The company that advertised on TikTok is selling it for $13.99!
3. Create Ad Copy That Works – hook, body, and close
Third, you must create ad copy that works, and this does not only refer to the text of the ad. You must also ensure that your video convinces the viewer to take action.
Your ad copy must:
- Show the problem
- Exaggerate the problem
- Offer a solution
- Contain call-to-action
Advertising is a tough ordeal, and it is why big companies hire advertising companies to do it for them. I am not saying that we dropshippers will not succeed. However, dropshippers must take the time to craft a video that attracts attention.
I would advise you to avoid cookie-cutter types of ads showing discounts. You must create videos that compel the buyer to make a decision.
4. Be Human as Possible and Entertain
TikTok audiences love authenticity. Because of this, they want to see videos of things that happen to normal people. TikTokers do not want inauthentic content. This is why one of the most popular ad formats on the platform is user-generated content or UGC.
When advertising on TikTok, do not forget about entertainment value. People on TikTok want something fun and creative. Do not be afraid to try new things—be silly, be funny, and connect with real people.
FAQ: TikTok Dropshipping:
How Do I Set Up TikTok Dropshipping?
Build a Shopify store and create a TikTok account. From here, create a business account on TikTok so you can advertise on the platform.
How Do You Go Viral on TikTok Dropshipping?
There is no secret to going viral. Going viral is also not your goal. The right mindset is to create content that consistently gets views, not one-off viral content.
Is TikTok good for dropshipping?
Yes, TikTok is good for dropshipping because it has over a billion users per month.
How do I use TikTok to find dropshipping products?
Go to the Ads Library of TikTok and search for ads. From here, can see which ads have the most likes, shares, etc.
How do I get a TikTok shop?
You must create a business TikTok account and apply for a shop. TikTok must approve your shop before you can get one. If TikTok denied your application, there is nothing you can do.
Summary: TikTok Dropshipping:
Building a TikTok store is an excellent idea to earn money. However, you must do it right. It takes time and effort to investigate whether a niche will work for you or not.
As such, the next step now is to try our dropshipping tool. Dropship.IO is the best tool you can use to search for winning products, spy on sales data, and spy on competitors on Shopify.
We offer a 7-day free trial that allows you to explore our system. Sign up now and see the difference!