Small businesses can find it hard to compete against the big brands, however, social media has helped to level the playing field, giving small businesses the opportunity to connect with their customers in a meaningful and personal way. TikTok is a great example of this, with its natural, genuine videos that appeal to their audience due to their real, and person-centric content. These videos are a world apart from traditional sales videos and are accessible to anyone with a good eye, a smartphone, and a video editing app.
Why TikTok Shop Attracts SMEs?
Where SMEs have the advantage over big companies, is their personal touch, and their ability to respond quickly to changes or trends. TikTok with its natural, engaging videos and its trending hashtags is the perfect platform for SMEs. Many SMEs build their brand personality on their founders, and indeed many consumers are more likely to trust a person than a corporation. For engaging with your customers on a human level, TikTok is the ideal platform. Video used to be seen as a big budget marketing spend, but a fun and engaging TikTok video can be easily filmed on a smartphone, without the need for a professional videographer, or expensive equipment.
Advantages of TikTok Shop for Small Businesses
Small businesses generally don’t have large marketing budgets, so they need a marketing plan that doesn’t require a big spend. Social media is ideal for marketing small businesses and TikTok, when compared to other social platforms, gives small businesses a good chance of reaching potential customers. TikTok’s algorithm shows users content based on their browsing history, not just the content that they already follow, this gives a small store just as much chance as being followed organically by a TikTok user as a large business. The set-up costs and running costs of a TikTok shop are low, and if you just market your business organically, the marketing spend can be relatively low cost.
Building a Brand Presence on TikTok
As with all social platform, and TikTok is no different, building your brand image and online presence is vital. You need to have a distinctive voice, with a message, beliefs, and a strong idea of the demographic of your customers. Consistency is key for building engagement and traction on TikTok.
Challenges and Considerations
Trends can come and go quickly on TikTok. As a small enterprise, you can be agile and respond to rising trends, but be aware that these can quickly fade. Don’t base future business decisions on current trends or fads, for example, buying vast stocks of a currently trending item could be risky if the trend passes. Make the most of these opportunities when they arise, but keep your core business stable. TikTok’s users can be quite price-driven, so be aware of competitors and their offers, as their behaviour may have a detrimental effect on your business.
Is it Easy to Sell on TikTok Shop?
TikTok has recently improved the e-commerce functionality of its shop. Users can shop from a business without needing to leave TikTok, which makes it very easy for people to buy. Removing barriers to purchasing improves the conversion rate. However, the most important step is to get the audience engaging with your videos, so that they are receptive and well-placed to buy.
How Long Does it Take to Get Paid from TikTok Shop?
After you sell an item on TikTok, it can take up to 14 days before you receive these funds. This time may vary according to how your customer paid, but the time period should be laid out in the settlement terms in TikTok’s terms and conditions. It is important to be aware of these timeframes, as they may affect your cash flow, which can be problematic, especially in the early days of your business. 14 days however is not excessive and is not dis-similar to Amazon’s fortnightly settlement process.
How Many TikTok Shops Can You Have?
In your business centre on TikTok, you can link one shop to each person that is part of that business centre. So one person cannot have multiple shops running through the same business centre. You would need to link the new shop to another person connected to your business centre. Generally, it is simpler to have one shop for your business, as multiple shops can be confusing to your customers.
Is TikTok Online Shop Safe?
As a purchaser, you are only protected if you make a purchase on the TikTok app. If you are looking to buy any item from TikTok, then beware of being taken off the app to complete the purchase. As always, do your own research, check out seller reviews and shop with a credit card, rather than a debit card for added protection.
Build Your Small Business Through Social Media
TikTok can be a major asset for small businesses, giving them a new and engaging platform to target a whole new sector of potential customers. We would always advise that you promote your business across different platforms so that you are not reliant upon one platform for your whole business. But including TikTok as part of your marketing and sales strategy could be incredibly beneficial. Here at Elver E-Commerce, we are experienced e-commerce business specialists and can help you to optimise and grow your online business presence in a consistent and sustainable way.