Whenever a new social platform is on the rise and amasses large online traffic, what usually follows is a wave of creators and businesses keen on tapping into a fresh set of audience to woo fans and eventually convert into paying customers. While Instagram took many years to take social commerce and influencer commerce seriously, TikTok has been quick to make a splash into space by testing several shopping features to allow businesses to instantly monetize. In this article, we discuss the different ways you can make money on TikTok.
1. TikTok Shop Now
Since April 2020, TikTok has been testing a direct call-to-action button that creators can add to their posts. The purchases made through this “Shop Now” allows a revenue-share split between the brand and the creator promoting the product. This changes the usual dynamic where profit is a direct exchange between influencers and campaigning brands, possibly revolutionizing the influencer economy (and social commerce) once the beta-tested feature is open to the public.
Due to the currently closed group testing phase, only a few brands have been able to access this feature. However, the result from one of the first brands to try the “Shop Now” button, Levi’s, has been quite satisfactory. Levi’s reported that watch time for the campaign videos is twice as long as the platform average on TikTok and their denim product page views have more than doubled.
2. TikTok Shopping Cart
TikTok has been testing its e-commerce capability since 2019 by allowing users to add a tap-able shopping cart on sponsored content. This button will take viewers to an e-commerce product page of the product promoted on the post. This feature has been used by many brands and endorsing influencers to promote products. What’s interesting about this feature is that it adds the shoppable component to a hashtag. This means when users click on the hashtag of a campaign, they would be able to shop for the items in the discover section of the hashtag page.
A popular example of the successful use of the Shopping Cart is a campaign launched by Kroger, a leading household name in US groceries. Their campaign, targeted to a young audience, is highlighted by the hashtag #TransformUrDorm which has received 896.9 million views. This campaign was also optimized by posts from influencers such as Joey Klaasen, Cosette Rinab, Mia Finney, and Victoria Bachlet.
3. TikTok Live Shows
Are you a musician, entertainer, or a brand hosting an event? TikTok allows users to buy coins that can be used to send stickers during live sessions. The coins usually cost $1 for 100 coins, but the price dynamically fluctuates according to supply and demand. These coins are then used to buy stickers that will be sent to brands or creators that perform on TikTok Live Shows.
TikTok currently allows creators that are at least 16 years old with 1,000 followers or more to host live streams, meanwhile in order to buy coins users need to be at least 18 years old. As of Q4 in 2019, TikTok’s In-App Purchases (IAP) has reached $50 million which is an increase of over 300% within a year according to research by Apptopia.