Selling Through TikTok Shop vs. Selling Through Your Website

The social commerce revolution is here, and businesses are scrambling to adapt. This raises a crucial question: where should you sell your products? While traditional websites offer established benefits, the rise of TikTok Shop presents an exciting new opportunity. In this article, we look into the pros and cons of each platform, helping you decide which approach best fuels your brand’s growth and maximizes sales in the highly competitive social commerce landscape.

selling through tiktok shop

Benefits of Selling Through TikTok Shop

TikTok Shop is a feature that allows brands to sell to users directly through the app without requiring them to navigate to a separate website or another app. Products can be sold through formats like Shoppable Videos, Live Shopping, or the brands’ own in-app shops, which work like storefronts with product catalogs, facilitating in-app purchases. And thanks to the rich TikTok Shop advertising options, the opportunities for getting your message across and promoting your products are pretty impressive. Launched in 2023, TikTok Shop has seen a tremendous rise and has generated sizeable profits among the brands that adopted it, whose number is constantly growing. 

So, what is it that makes selling through TikTok Shop so profitable for brands? Let’s check it out. 

Frictionless Purchase

The seamless integration of TikTok Shop eliminates the need for users to navigate away from the app. This creates a frictionless purchase experience, where viewers can instantly convert their excitement into a purchase with just a few clicks. 

It’s a well-known fact that website detours can kill momentum. If a journey includes one or more navigational detours, users would have to have a very strong purchase intent to stick with it. The beauty of TikTok Shop lies in its seamless integration, which fuels impulse buys. Users can transition from watching captivating product demonstrations to making a purchase with just a few clicks, all within the app. This eliminates friction, maximizing impulse buys and conversion rates.

Traditional website sales funnels often suffer from drop-off during checkout or cart abandonment. Sometimes, users don’t even make it to checkout at all. TikTok Shop eliminates this hurdle, keeping potential customers engaged and driving sales directly within the thriving TikTok ecosystem.

TikTok Shop Affiliate Program

The TikTok Shop Affiliate program is designed to help influencers and content creators connect with brands, promote their products, and earn a commission on each sale. The program leverages the power of influencer marketing, helping brands reach targeted audiences through trusted voices. Effectively utilized, this program can significantly expand your reach and drive sales organically. The brands only pay a commission for the result of a purchase of their product through TikTok Shop.

When an influencer in the affiliate program displays, reviews, unpacks, or promotes a product in another engaging manner, viewers get to seamlessly purchase it directly from the video. Because the influencer already has significant social capital on the platform and among the target audience, this method fosters trust and increases brand awareness and loyalty. Plus, thanks to the frictionless experience, the hype generated through the influencer video doesn’t get lost because the customer quickly reaches the checkout.

TikTok Live Shopping

Live shopping experiences are exploding in popularity, and TikTok Shop capitalizes on this trend. Live streams allow you to showcase products in real time, interact with viewers, and answer questions directly. This fosters a sense of community and excitement, potentially leading to impulsive purchases and increased brand loyalty.

TikTok Live Shopping goes beyond simple product demonstrations – it is a dynamic and interactive experience. Imagine a makeup artist using your products to create a stunning look live, offering tips and tricks along the way. Viewers can not only see the products in action but also ask questions and receive personalized recommendations in real time. This creates a sense of connection and trust with your brand, fostering not just impulse purchases but brand loyalty and driving sales in the short and long run.

TikTok Shop Sponsored Promotions and Campaigns

The platform provides access to various sponsored promotion options. These options are available during certain promotional events, like Mother’s Day, Back-to-School and Black Friday. They include promotion types like product coupons, product incentives, Buy More, Save More deals, and discounts on shipping fees. Like all promotions, these aim to increase sales by offering attractive deals, but the best part is that the brands don’t even have to cover these expenses – TikTok does.

TikTok Shop offers sponsored campaigns designed for specific occasions, like holidays or product launches. These campaigns provide targeted advertising opportunities to capitalize on seasonal trends and heightened consumer interest. By strategically aligning your campaigns with relevant holidays or events, you can significantly boost brand awareness and sales during peak shopping periods.

Benefits of Selling Through Your Website

TikTok Shop offers a rich range of features designed to boost sales, but it does have certain downsides, which is why some brands prefer selling directly through their website. 

No Platform Fees

While TikTok Shop offers a convenient platform, it charges a commission fee on each sale. Selling directly through your website eliminates these fees, allowing you to potentially offer lower prices or invest more heavily in marketing efforts.

Note that fees for selling through TikTok Shop are not high; in fact, they are comparatively lower than those on other platforms, plus there’s a reduced fee applied for the first period upon setting up shop. Still, a fee is a fee, and if you want to sell directly, it’s a cost that you won’t have to incur. 

Retargeting Website Visitors

Using the analytics tools on your website, you can retarget visitors who express interest in your products but ultimately don’t complete the purchase. This could include users who add items to their cart but change their mind at checkout and don’t complete the purchase. Retargeting campaigns with special offers or reminders can nudge these potential customers toward conversion. In addition, retargeting means more than just cart abandonment recovery – you can send promotions and special deals to customers who’ve bought products in your shop, thus creating a loyal customer base of returning shoppers. 

Cross-Platform Retargeting

Selling through your website opens doors to broader retargeting strategies. Platforms like Meta allow you to target website visitors across their entire network, which includes Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, increasing brand recall and driving them back to your site for purchase. This multi-pronged, holistic approach maximizes your reach and potential conversions. 

The goal of cross-platform retargeting is to always keep your brand in sight of your website visitors, following them wherever they spend time online. It’s a bit like a finely tuned reminder system that gently nudges potential customers who have already interacted with the brand to take the next step. 

Eliminating Competitive Influences

When someone visits your website, their focus is entirely on what you want it to be – your brand and your product catalog. There are no competing items or promotions from other sellers vying for their attention. This controlled environment allows you to fully present your brand story and product value proposition without distractions, controlling the interaction with visitors and their user experience. This reduces the chance of someone choosing the competitors’ products over yours, as sometimes can happen in the TikTok Shop experience. 

Building Your Email List

Your website provides the opportunity to capture valuable customer data, such as email addresses. By offering incentives for signing up for your newsletter, you can build a targeted email list for future marketing initiatives. Email marketing allows for personalized communication, nurturing leads, and converting them into loyal customers through email campaigns and promotions. Email marketing is an affordable, resource-friendly model for driving long-term sales success, and it’s a model you can’t employ by selling through TikTok Shop alone.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, the decision to sell through TikTok Shop or through your website hinges on your specific business goals and target audience. Consider factors like budget, product type, and marketing expertise. Bear in mind that you don’t necessarily have to settle for just one of the two models. In fact, a hybrid approach, which utilizes both TikTok Shop and your own website, is likely the most effective strategy for businesses as it helps you get the most out of both. By carefully weighing the advantages of each platform, you can establish the optimal sales strategy to maximize your reach and revenue in the ever-evolving landscape of social commerce.

At GrowMojo, we are a TikTok Shop Agency and can help you with everything from setting up your TikTok Shop Seller Center, your TikTok Shop Affiliate Program and TikTok advertising campaigns. Whichever avenue you want to pursue in order to grow your sales, we’re here for you. Get in touch and let’s get started on your perfect growth strategy!

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