A Seller’s Guide to the TikTok Shop Affiliate Program

Whether you’re brand new to TikTok Shop or you’re already selling on the platform but looking for ways to boost your sales by leveraging creator influence, you’re in the right place. TikTok Shop Affiliate Program is the perfect avenue for finding the right creators to promote your products through their content, skyrocketing your reach, engaging new audiences and driving sales while only paying for results. 

Why the TikTok Shop Affiliate Program is important for brands? 

TikTok Shop Affiliate Program is a program designed to connect businesses selling on TikTok Shop with content creators who can promote those products through their Short Videos or LIVE sessions as TikTok Shop Affiliates. It’s essentially a form of affiliate marketing specific to the TikTok Shop platform. It offers specific features for the two collaborating sides – sellers and creators.

For Sellers: TikTok Shop Affiliate Program helps businesses leverage a pool of creators to advertise their products.  The platform provides an affiliate marketplace on TikTok where creators can browse products and choose the ones they want to promote. You set a commission rate, and whenever a creator makes a sale through their videos, they earn that commission.

For Creators: Creators get access to a selection of products and can promote them in their videos. If viewers click through the affiliate link and buy the product, creators earn a commission on the sale.

In short, TikTok Shop Affiliates offers a way for businesses to expand their reach through influencers and for creators to monetize their content by promoting products, and it’s the seller side of collaboration we’ll be focusing on in this article.

The main benefit of TikTok Shop Affiliate Marketing is if you’re a brand it helps reach wider audiences, and helps you highlight your best products in an efficient manner while establishing your TikTok Shop storefront to potential customers. Reputable TikTok creators with a high follower count can help bring in audiences previously unfamiliar with your brand but who trust those creators and the trust passes over to your brand and your products listed in your TikTok Shop Storefront. 

How Does TikTok Shop Affiliate Work? 

For brands, the journey towards setting up and successfully using the TikTok Shop Affiliate program starts in their TikTok Seller Center. After logging in, you can choose to set a commission rate that is either a percentage of a sale that a TikTok affiliate drives for you through TikTok Shop or a flat fee commission.

Before creating a plan, brands need to decide which route they want to take. There are two options available – Target Collaboration and Open Collaboration (formerly known as Target Plan and Open Plan). 

Target Collaboration vs Open Collaboration

TikTok Shop Affiliate Target Collaboration (previously known as Target Plan) is designed for brands that already have a specific creator or creators they want to work with. 

It works like this: the business chooses the Target Collaboration in the TikTok Seller Center and selects the creator(s) they want to work with, for the commissions they define. The commissions can be variable for different products. The product listing is sent to the creators’ inbox, and if they want to collaborate, they add it to their showcase or incorporate it into their content, prompting viewers to purchase them. For each product sold this way, the creators get a commission. 

TikTok Shop Affiliate Open Collaboration or Open Plan allows businesses to showcase their brand and products to interested creators who can then apply for collaboration and promote products. Open plan is suitable for businesses who are just starting to build their presence on the platform and on TikTok Shop, as well as for seasoned TikTok Shop businesses who never ventured into the TikTok’s affiliate program. 

In this plan, businesses select and add their products to the TikTok Shop Affiliate network. All creators within the affiliate network will be able to see them in the Product Marketplace and select the ones they want to promote. For each product sold through their content, the commission is deducted automatically. 

The two types of collaboration are accessible from theTikTok Shop Affiliate Center, under the Collaboration menu.

Starting a Target Collaboration 

For Target Collaboration, go to Affiliate Marketing>Affiliate Center>Collaboration. Now select Target Collaboration from the menu. 

The first step is to find the creators to work with. Since opting for this plan means a business already knows the creators they want to work with, the next step is to find them by navigating to Find Creators and searching by the creator’s username. Alternatively, they can browse the list of creators divided into industries and categories, as well as filters regarding the followers, frequent posting and reliability with samples, among other things. 

There’s also the option of saving the favorite creators by clicking on the heart icon. These will appear under Saved creators and can be bulk-invited to collaborate. Invitations can also be sent from Creator cards, which contain all of the essential info about the creator, complete with performance data. 

Another way to invite creators is by clicking on the Invite to collaborate button on the Target collaboration screen. The first step is selecting the creators using their User ID or Username or adding from Saved creators. 

After selecting the creators, it’s time to add the products using the Choose products option. Click on Add products, check the ones you want and click on Add. Make sure to check on stock status of products before adding them. 

The next step is setting the commission for each product, which will automatically calculate the estimated commission value. 

Now it’s time to enable free samples by toggling the button under Set up free samples. For each product that includes free samples, it will be displayed to creators under “Benefits” in the invitation they receive. 

Sample requests can be approved manually or automatically. If you opt for the manual approval, all requests will be listed in one place where you can approve or deny them. 

Finally, before sending the invite, it needs to be finalized by completing Notes (which includes Invitation Name and Valid Until), Contact Info and Message.

Once the collaboration is set up, its performance can be tracked by clicking on the name of the collaboration. The information includes collaboration details, creator details and product details, as well as created videos for products. 

Starting an Open Collaboration

With the Open Collaboration plan, the first step is again to navigate to the Affiliate Center and choose Open Collaboration in the Collaboration menu. 

Now it’s time to add the products. For businesses setting up TikTok Shop Affiliate for the first time, this is best done manually. For those who previously had products under the Shop plan, the products can be added automatically. 

There are two tabs under Open collaboration for adding products: Products added to affiliate, with an overview of the products in the shop currently available to creators to promote, and Products not added to affiliate. Head to the second one to add your first products. 

There will be a list of all products available for affiliate, which can be added in bulk, by clicking on Batch add to affiliate, or one by one, by clicking on Add to affiliate next to each product. 

After a product (or products) has been added to the program, a popup will appear prompting you to set up collaboration details. Here you will set up the Commission rate (each seller decides this on their own, but the platform does provide some suggestions), Require approval which allows sellers to deny or approve creators who want to promote the product, and Set up free sample. After clicking on Apply to products you will see a screen showing how many products have been added to the collaboration. 

If you have a lot of creators applying for samples, you may want to filter them and create the ideal selection of creators to work with and send free samples to. Navigate to Sample requests and click on Filter. The criteria is divided into Creators, Followers, Performance and Sample requests

Under Creators, you can filter according to the product category that generated revenue, follower and content type, agency and past collaborations. Under Followers, the available filters are age and gender, while the Performance tab includes filters like GMV generated by the creator in the past 30 days, average views per video and average views per LIVE. Finally, the Sample requests lets you filter the received requests based on their expiry date. 

Product Performance and Insights

Affiliate Insights are accessed through the TikTok Shop Affiliate Center dashboard, by navigating to the Insights tab in the left-hand menu. This feature currently offers two options: Product Analytics and Creator Analytics. These insights cover all products and creators within both collaboration types in one place. 

For Product Analytics, key data includes Revenue (total without refunds), Estimated Commission, Sales Creator (total number of creators that generated GMV), Items Sold, Sales Products (total number of products that generated GMV), Refund Item Sold and Refund Revenue. 

TikTok Shop Sellers can also check the Product List, which includes data on all products sold through affiliate collaborations, which includes product info (name and ID), number of samples sent for each product, sales per creator and number of videos created for the specific product. Plus, there’s additional info under Product Details next to each product. 

Sellers can also check Creator Analytics which, when opened from the TikTok Shop Affiliate Center dashboard, takes them to the Creator Analysis on Data Compass in the Seller Center. First-time users will be prompted to create their first Affiliate Collaboration listing. 

Guidelines for Finding TikTok Creators for your Affiliate Program

To effectively collaborate with creators for your business, first identify the target customers for your products and then identify the affiliates that you think would be the best at affiliate marketing on TikTok to that customer audience. Focus on maximizing ROI with a limited budget by carefully managing costs such as product expenses and creator commissions to drive increased product sales.

When looking for creators to partner up with, it’s a good idea to keep these goals in mind and then use filters and categories to find the right partner. In the TikTok Affiliate Marketplace you will find a section called Main Categories that aggregates the most popular ones. Each of them includes a range of subcategories for fine-tuning the search. 

Another important indicator is the number of followers. For sales promotion, the number of followers should be based on criteria like the size of your target audience, price range, etc. Regardless, it’s generally best to look at creators with at least 10,000 followers. Followers age and gender are also important factors that you want to tailor your search by, and they should match the demographics of your brand’s target audience. 

Other criteria include High Response (how often they post), Frequent Posts and Timely Compliance, which refers to sample fulfillment. 

There are also a couple of metrics that can help you estimate creator promotion efficiency. On a Creator Details page you can view short video GPM and LIVE GPM which are defined as total sales per 1,000 impressions over the past 30 days. A higher GPM means higher efficiency in promoting the products agreed upon. However, since specific sales volume is related to the actual unit price of the product, make sure to estimate GPM keeping in mind the unit price for the related category. 

Also in the Video section, you can check for creator activeness, engagement and popularity, all of which refer to their videos and livestreams. 

Wrapping It Up

Now that you know what TikTok Shop Affiliate is and how it works, it’s time to put it into action! The benefits are clear and impressive – from enhanced brand visibility to increased sales and customer engagement, this program offers unparalleled growth opportunities. 

Not sure how to get started? No problem! GrowMojo is an official TikTok Shop Partner, we specialize in leveraging the potential of TikTok Shop Affiliate to elevate your brand presence and drive conversions. Let our seasoned experts handle everything from shop setup to affiliate management, while you focus on scaling your business. Reach out to us today and embark on a journey towards success with TikTok Shop Affiliates.

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