Success on TikTok: The Top-3 Keys for Your E-Commerce Brand

June 8, 2022
by Ashley R. Cummings

TikTok’s latest What’s Next 2022 Report put its fingers on the pulse of the platform’s growing influence in e-commerce. Their conclusion? TikTok serves one of the most enthusiastic sets of social media shoppers.

TikTok’s report found the following:

  • TikTok builds a personable brand. Compared to other platforms, about 74% of people reported feeling a deeper connection to brands they’d interacted with on TikTok.
  • TikTok users are willing to engage. 67% of people said TikTok inspired them to shop, even when they didn’t log on to the app with the intent to buy.
  • TikTok users love new ideas. When TikTok creator Trinidad Sandoval detailed her daily routine on TikTok, she included Peter Thomas Roth’s Instant Firmx Eye Cream. According to the cosmetics company, it only took a week to sell what they usually sell in six months.

The report shows how TikTok is revolutionizing e-commerce marketing in 2022. But how does that translate to success on TikTok for your e-commerce brand exactly? We’ve distilled it down to three key takeaways.

1. Show Off the Utility of Your Product

TikTok has a reputation as an attention-destroyer, but statistics show the best-performing videos aren’t tiny clips. TikTok videos between 24 and 36 seconds—the so-called “sweet spot”—experience a 280% lift in conversions.

This demonstrates how people are using TikTok not only for entertainment, but to inform their purchases, too. Makeup tutorials, recipes, investment advice, grammar lessons, and hair care tips are classic examples of the types of educational content TikTok users look for.

“TikTok users love How-To videos,” says Ann McFerran, CEO of Glamnetic, a magnetic false eyelash brand. “The videos that show how to use your product will get a lot of views and draw potential customers to your page.”

In the case of the Instant Firmx Eye Cream from Peter Thomas Roth, the brand enlisted the help of TikTok influencer Trinidad Sandoval. Sandoval showed how the eye cream fit in a daily routine, generating more enthusiasm from users than if they had viewed a traditional ad. Seeing how the cream fit into Sandoval’s routine helped display the product’s utility.

Jessica Goodin, Marketing Director for Fuse Lenses, learned this lesson when Fuse had a similar viral experience. 

“Last summer, we had a post randomly go viral on Tik Tok, landing around 2 million views at the time,” says Goodin. “It was simply a walk-through of our lens cutting process. Yet, despite the lack of CTA, we could still attribute about a 300% lift in sales over the next 3 days from that video.”

2. Follow the Community Trends

The TikTok 2022 report showed that creators who keep up-to-date on TikTok trends are more likely to succeed. 

“Why are they so effective?” the report asked. “Put simply, creators live and breathe TikTok, which means they have an innate understanding of their audience, cultural trends and the type of content that resonates with their unique communities.”

Bill Glaser, the CEO of Outstanding Foods, agrees. His plant-based food company always looks out for trending hashtags and TikTok challenges to see how Outstanding Foods can join the fun.

“Follow the trends,” says Glaser. “E-commerce brands can capitalize on trending hashtags and challenges to demonstrate how their products work and highlight customers. When you focus on community building more than advertising, you will find success on TikTok.”

Although useful, hashtags are just one option for identifying trends. The TikTok 2022 report also highlighted some other ways to spot what people are thinking:

  • TikTok “Culture Drivers.” Culture Drivers feature an “A to Z” list of trends that e-commerce brands can use. A, for example, means authenticity. B highlights the success of “Behind the Scenes” videos.
  • Engaging with creators. For example, Pizza Hut was running a #ForYourPizza campaign emphasizing how customers could build their own toppings. They partnered with the influencer Oneya Johnson of Angry Reactions, who created a pizza recipe called Angry Reactions fans could order directly from Pizza Hut.

Identifying community trends works because it helps you keep your finger on the pulse of what’s resonating with customers and dedication to community trends will pay dividends in the response to your videos.

 3.  Humanizing Your Product

In e-commerce, whatever you’re selling isn’t just an object intended to sit on the shelf. Chances are, you’re selling it because it meets a consumer’s need. TikTok offers unique ways to demonstrate the human side of your product, which is especially effective when you can partner with real users who can become advocates for your product and share their positive experiences with their own network of followers.

Consider the Instant Firmx Eye Cream from Peter Thomas Roth. A simple ad for eye cream might not have succeeded. But when the eye cream appeared as part of Trinidad Sandoval’s inside look at a self-care routine, customers couldn’t get enough. They saw the utility of the eye cream and wanted to incorporate it into their routines, too.

The key? That humanizing context. 

The effect is so profound it even extends beyond e-commerce. Jordan Williams, a financial advisor with Cullen Cioffi Capital, sometimes uses his professional TikTok account while preparing for work.

“I release content related to work and some [content that’s] not,” said Williams. “I go live when I get ready for the day which creates questions concerning my wardrobe and where I work.”

According to Williams, TikTok has been a powerful way to generate leads.

Finding Your Keys to Success on TikTok

TikTok is one of the most powerful ways for e-commerce brands to reach out to customers. Products earn more attention when brands demonstrate how they’re intended to be used. And while TikTok provides some of the best entertainment you can find on a phone, you’ll often find that the more useful your content is, the better.

As some experts noted, it’s not always possible to predict which videos will create viral success. But it helps to consistently post videos that adhere to the principles that work best for e-commerce brands. Want to know more about marketing for 2022 and beyond? 
Reach out to us to see the other keys we can discover to unlock your success on TikTok.

About the author: Ashley R. Cummings is a professional freelance writer and content marketing consultant specializing in e-commerce, marketing, and SaaS. Connect with her on Twitter!

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