Is it time to include TikTok Ads for eCommerce in your store marketing strategy? It may just be – for the right product and market, that is.

TikTok is available in more than 150 countries, with users spending 476 minutes per month on the app, second only to Facebook. TikTok has over 1 billion users worldwide, with 50 million+ active users generating $86.5 million in the US alone.

tik tok user stats US

With self-service ads available in a variety of regions, TikTok campaigns have the potential to reach 100 million people across Europe alone while priming lower CACs and CPAs.

In one case study, fashion brand ZALORA saw a 72% decrease in CPAs and 1.7 conversion rates from their TikTok short-form mobile video and ‘For You’ feed ads.

However, TikTok eCommerce ads aren’t for everyone as the platform has a very specific demographic. TikTok’s core platform reach is Gen Z and millennials, which account for 75% of their user base, with 41% being aged between 16 and 24.

tik tok case study

In a nutshell, if your core target shopper is older, or if you’re not looking for new creative ways to reach younger shoppers, then it’s probably not worth testing TikTok for your store. That’s not to say that the platform isn’t starting to increase popularity with older users in the US and other countries as it becomes more mainstream.

tiktok user demographics

[Source: AdEspresso]

eCommerce TikTok Ads Pros

However, if you have a product or brand that fits perfectly in this demographic, TikTok ads can offer the following:

  1. Less marketing saturation: TikTok Ads are still pretty new, so have far less ad competition than Facebook and Instagram. Additionally, as the platform is best suited for shoppers under 24, fewer brands are testing reach.
  2. Access to new markets: TikTok’s fast-growing global reach means marketing opportunities for international sellers.
  3. Mass audience reach for key demographics: TikTok has a keen understanding of their market and has been able to integrate ads in a way that does not turn off their key users. If you add this to their growing user numbers, it offers mass reach for a core demographic on one platform.

If this applies to your online store, then let’s dig a little deeper into what TikTok ads offer eCommerce brands. In the remainder of this TikTok guide, we will take you through different ads and marketing opportunities available to store owners, and offer some marketing tips for brands testing TikTok ads.

Let’s jump in!

TikTok Ad Types and Marketing Opportunities for eCommerce

TikTok’s marketing is still new and evolving all the time. However, they offer a variety of marketing opportunities that brands can capitalize on.

1. TikTok Creator Marketplace

If you’re looking to expand influencer marketing to TikTok then the Creator Marketplace is a good place to start. Launched by TikTok, it helps brands find popular TikTok influencers to partner with to promote product or store links.

tik tok influencer marketers

2. Brand Takeovers

Brand Takeovers are promotional posts that reach users on the app launch screen. Lasting only a few seconds (three-five seconds for video or three seconds for a static graphic), they are fast and in the face of users. They also show up on users’ For You pages and include either a clickable link or Hashtag Challenge. Although great for awareness, they can be pricey, so they are best suited for more established eCommerce brands with bigger budgets.

3. Branded Effects

Branded Effects TikTok ads offer eCommerce marketers a fun way to build product awareness. It’s where you create branded filters, stickers, effects, or lenses for users to use on their own content, creating a more immersive experience. They are a great way to encourage brand engagement, promote UGC, and have fun with potential shoppers at the awareness stage.

Similar to Instagram AR filters, Branded Effects can stand alone or be integrated into other formats and campaign types such as Branded Hashtag Challenge. Halls had a lot of success building various campaigns around Branded Effects to lift new product awareness by 60.93% and get 17 million video views.

4. TikTok In-Feed Ads

Ideal for growing TikTok brand followers or interacting with new audiences, In-Feed Ads are placed in potential shoppers’ ‘For You’ feeds and can be up to 60 seconds long. These ads can be liked, shared, followed, and commented on by users. Users are also able to use music in these ads to shoot their own videos.

5. TopView TikTok Ads

TopView TikTok ads are full-screen video ads of up to a minute. Placed in front of users as soon as they open the app and then in their newsfeeds, these ads are designed to grab attention and build brand awareness.

tiktok ad example

[Source: Later]

Here’s an example from Pepsi. For this TikTok campaign, they leveraged TikTok’s TopView to create immersive, sound-on experiences that resulted in 5 million+ views, 22.71% engagement rate, and 21% CTRs.

6. Hashtag Challenges

One of the most popular branding options on TikTok are Branded Hashtag Challenges. Designed to boost awareness and drive engagement beyond traditional ad clicks, Hashtag Challenges can be highly effective when used strategically.

With these campaigns, brands invite TikTok users to participate by creating content around your campaign theme. TikTok states that these ads offer an average engagement rate of 8.5% through likes, comments, and shares during the six days of the campaign.

Here’s an example from ASOS that resulted in 488K+ created videos and 1.2 billion video views in just six days.

Bonus: Small Gestures Feature

During the worst of the pandemic in 2020, TikTok launched their Small Gestures feature. Although this is not technically an ad, a lot of brands are using this feature to reward customers. This includes brands such as Pandora, NYX Professional Makeup, Essie, and Fitplan.

tik tok post example

TikTok Ad Marketing Tips for eCommerce

When it comes to creating TikTop Ads, you will want to:

  1. Stay on top of music trends and viral videos. This is a fast-moving social media platform, and you want to stay ahead of content trends to make sure your ad content is always relevant.
  2. Keep videos short to encourage more views. The #ForYou feed algorithm is based on watch time, so the longer viewers stay engaged, the better. Longer videos mean watch time ratios will be lower.
  3. Use TikTok’s Creator Marketplace to find popular influencers in your niche.
  4. Connect Shopify stores to TikTok to use their Shoppable TikTok videos and allow for easier consumer checkout.

Bonus: eCommerce TikTok Account Highlight

Thinking of going all-in with TikTok and looking for account inspiration? Then have a look at Gymshark’s account! With 2.4 million active followers, they are winning TikTok by tapping into their audiences’ content preferences.

ecommerce tik tok example

In a Nutshell

As you can see there are quite a few options when it comes to TikTok ads for eCommerce. With the right strategy, eCommerce brands can really capitalize on awareness and engagement like Gymshark has done. However, like with any new marketing channel, you will want to test TikTok for your specific audience and niche before throwing huge budgets at it.

TikTok ad budgets start at $50 minimum at the campaign level and $20 at the ad group level, and if you are in a region where self-service ads are activated, they are relatively easy to set up. You can click here to get started.