TikTok Dropshipping: A Complete Guide for Beginners (2023)
With more than 1 billion active users, TikTok is quickly becoming one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. In fact, TikTok has seen massive growth over the last few years and it’s expected to continue to grow at record speeds.
While mostly for sharing funny short videos, TikTok is also becoming a leading platform for advertising online. It’s particularly effective for driving sales to an ecommerce or dropshipping business as videos instantly capture the attention of consumers.
In this guide, you will learn everything there is to know about TikTok dropshipping including how it works and how to get started with it the easy way.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a fast-growing social media platform that allows users to create, edit and post short-form videos online. Typically, TikTok users record and upload videos through the TikTok app using a mobile device. However, TikTok can also be accessed directly through the website.
The company was founded in 2016 and has quickly grown into a social media giant with more than 1 billion active users. It’s smaller than some of its competitors such as Facebook, but it’s one of the fastest-growing social media platforms of all time.
What is TikTok dropshipping?
TikTok dropshipping is when you sell physical products using the TikTok platform and source them directly from a wholesaler or manufacturer, rather than holding any stock. When a sale is generated, the wholesaler or manufacturer will send the product directly to the customer.
TikTok dropshipping is a very low-risk business model that does not require a large upfront investment as you won’t need to buy products in bulk. In fact, you will only need to purchase a product from your supplier when a sale has been generated. Please refer to this guide for more information on how the dropshipping business model works.
How to start dropshipping with TikTok
Now that you have a better understanding of how TikTok dropshipping works, it’s time to get started with it. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to use TikTok to build a profitable and successful online business with dropshipping.
1. Find winning dropshipping products
The first step towards building a dropshipping business using TikTok is to find winning products to sell. It’s important to find products that are already trending on TikTok and have high engagement scores. These are the items that will generate quick sales and profits.
To do this, it’s recommended to use a dropshipping research tool. Most dropshipping research tools provide a curated database of winning items that are already performing well on platforms like TikTok. Typically, the products will include links to suppliers and live videos on TikTok.
Alternatively, you can find winning dropshipping products by manually searching on TikTok. Simply search for keywords such as ‘dog toy’ or ‘baby toy’ to instantly find a list of the most popular TikTok videos. To help you get started, please refer to our list of the best dropshipping ad examples on platforms like TikTok and Facebook.
You should find at least 3 or 4 winning products to start with. These can be products in a variety of categories or one specific niche depending on your preferences. Typically, it’s recommended to focus on a specific niche such as pet supplies or kids toys.
2. Search for reliable dropshipping suppliers
Once you have a few winning products that you want to start dropshipping using TikTok, you need to find a reliable supplier to source them from. Typically, the most successful dropshippers source products from AliExpress as it has millions of items for wholesale prices.
However, you can also source products from other sites such as Banggood, CJ Dropshipping, and Alibaba. Most of these are China-based dropshipping suppliers with warehouses in the US, UK, and Europe. Using them will allow you to offer your customers low prices and fast shipping.
3. Build a Shopify dropshipping store
Now that you have some winning products to start dropshipping, it’s time to build your store. Although you can sell products directly through TikTok using TikTok shops, this feature is only available in certain countries as it’s very new.
Therefore, the best option is to build your own ecommerce store. Shopify is the ultimate platform for building an ecommerce store as it’s beginner-friendly and easy to use. In fact, you can design and launch a dropshipping store using Shopify in only a few hours, even if you have no previous experience with web design.
Simply head over to the Shopify website and sign up for the 14-day free trial. After the 2 weeks, Shopify costs only $29/month for unlimited products and orders with hosting. It’s one of the most budget-friendly ecommerce solutions on the internet.
When it comes to designing your Shopify store, make sure you install a professional theme that is bright and inviting. Shopify has more than 100 unique themes to choose from including 11 free themes. Take your time to find one that is most suitable for your brand.
It’s also important to create essential pages to display your shipping policy, payment policy, and refund policy, as well as a contact and about page.
4. Install a Shopify dropshipping app
At this stage, you should have a list of some winning products to sell and a Shopify store, as well as a preferred supplier. The next step is to install a dropshipping app on your store.
Most Shopify dropshipping apps allow you to quickly import winning products to your store from major suppliers like AliExpress, Alibaba, CJ Dropshipping, and Banggood. This is typically done using a Chrome browser extension or online software.
Plus, the majority of dropshipping apps will monitor your Shopify listings and automatically update stock and prices to prevent over-selling. In some cases, you can even automate order fulfillment and tracking info uploads. It just depends on the app you decide to use and its features.
There are a number of powerful Shopify dropshipping apps on the market, each compatible with different suppliers. Therefore, it’s simply a case of finding one that is compatible with your supplier and within your budget. Most are either very inexpensive or completely free to use.
As an example, if you’re going to be sourcing products from AliExpress, you will need to use a Shopify dropshipping app that is compatible with the AliExpress website. If you want to source the products from another supplier such as Alibaba, Banggood, or CJ Dropshipping, you will need to find a dropshipping app that works with them.
For more information, please see our article on the best Shopify dropshipping apps. Here you will find a list of the most popular apps on the market.
5. Create a free account on TikTok
By now, you should have a Shopify dropshipping store with some winning products. Next, you need to create a free account on TikTok. Simply download the TikTok app on your mobile device or visit the TikTok website to sign up. If you prefer, you can log in with Google or Facebook.
When creating an account, make sure you choose a suitable username. You should make this your business name. You should also add a link to your Shopify dropshipping store within the bio section on your TikTok profile. Keep in mind, your TikTok username can be changed every 30 days.
6. Start posting videos on TikTok
After joining TikTok and configuring your profile, you can start creating and posting product videos. The goal is to get as many views as possible to drive traffic to your Shopify dropshipping store. There are a number of ways you can get product videos for sharing on TikTok.
Create your own product videos
Creating your own product videos is the most budget-friendly way to kick-start your dropshipping business and generate traffic through TikTok. Simply ask your supplier to send you a free sample of the product and record videos directly through the TikTok app on your mobile. Keep in mind, you can edit product videos and add music directly through the TikTok platform.
Purchase product videos
If you don’t want to make your own videos, you can purchase product videos for use on TikTok. In fact, there are many providers of dropshipping video ads for use on sites like TikTok and Facebook. Alternatively, you can hire a freelancer on websites like Fiverr or PeoplePerHour to create a professional product video for you.
A few tips to consider when adding videos to TikTok:
- Keep your videos between 10-15 seconds in duration
- Use high-quality footage, background music, and effects
- Add keywords to the description and include hashtags
- Make sure the video is set to ‘public’ for maximum views
- Enable comments on the video to increase engagements
- Add text to the video to instruct buyers to visit your site
If you’re creating your own videos using product samples, you will have much more flexibility and creative control. You can make several videos of the same product and upload them to TikTok. You can also enlist the help of family and friends to create original and unique videos.
7. Advertise or promote your TikTok videos
If you want to build a full-time income with dropshipping, advertising and promoting your videos on TikTok is essential. In fact, all of the most successful dropshippers run paid ads or promote their videos on TikTok. It’s the most effective way to rapidly increase views and exposure.
Promote your TikTok videos
One of the quickest ways to increase views and engagements for your TikTok videos is to promote them. Simply navigate to your TikTok profile on the mobile app or website, click the 3-line icon at the top of the page, and click on creator tools > promote.
Here you will be able to promote any of the videos you have shared n TikTok. You will have full control over your daily budget, as well as your target audience. You can also add a button to your promoted videos and drive targeted traffic directly to your dropshipping store.
Create and run ads on TikTok
Another proven way to quickly increase your views and engagements on TikTok, as well as drive traffic to your Shopify dropshipping store is by running paid ads. Unlike promoted videos, you have much more flexibility and control when running paid ads on TikTok.
To get started with TikTok ads, you need to create a TikTok business account. You will then be able to create ads on the platform. Again, you will have full control over your budget and target audience.
Partner with TikTok influencers
While promoting your videos and running ads on TikTok is a powerful marketing strategy, partnering with influencers is also highly effective. This is when you pay an influencer on TikTok to post your video on their own TikTok account.
All you need to do is search for influencers in your niche and reach out to them directly. You can provide them with a video to promote your products or you can ask them to create their own unique video. Just be sure to find influencers with a large existing following on TikTok.
8. Keep posting more videos on TikTok
When using TikTok to drive traffic to your dropshipping store, it’s important to keep posting and sharing videos regularly. The more videos you share on TikTok, the more views and traffic you will get. Also, the more chance that one of your videos will go viral.
If you have samples of the products that you’re selling, you can make and publish as many videos as you like. Try to be creative and think outside of the box. You can also look to other influencers to spark some ideas on how to create an engaging and trending video.
9. Grow your store and product range
Aside from posting more videos on TikTok, you should also keep growing your store and product range. To do this, list more winning products and optimize your store to increase your conversion rate. There are tons of free Shopify apps you can use to quickly boost traffic and sales.
Keep in mind, you don’t need to publish videos for every product in your store. Instead, you can promote upsells and cross-sells to the users that visit your website from TikTok.
10. Get active on other social platforms
TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media websites on the planet. However, it’s not the only place to promote your dropshipping products and share videos. Make sure you create pages on other popular websites including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
If you’re posting videos on TikTok, you can most certainly also publish them on Facebook. In fact, there are tons of free apps you can use to integrate your Shopify store with Facebook, Twitter, and more. The goal should be to build a strong social media following across all channels.
11. Manage orders and customer support
When you start to receive orders through your Shopify store, it’s important to process them with your supplier as soon as possible. This will ensure quick delivery to the customer. You should also mark the orders as dispatched and add tracking information in your Shopify dashboard.
Quite often, customers will ask questions about your products by leaving comments on your TikTok videos. To keep them happy, make sure you respond in a timely manner as this will show that you provide good customer support. You can also use this opportunity to direct the customer to your TikTok profile where they will find the link to your Shopify store.
Another way to keep your customers happy is by dealing with problem orders swiftly. If your customer wants to return an item, forward them a return label or return address. If the item has not arrived, contact your supplier for a replacement to be dispatched.
Good customer service is the key to building a repeat customer base. It’s also a good way to build positive feedback and reviews for your products or brand. Always go the extra mile to make your customers feel appreciated and respected.
12. Track profits and expenses
Tracking your profits and expenses is another essential part of running a dropshipping business. You should keep a record of all your sales and how much you spend on sourcing the products, as well as how much you spend on advertising on TikTok.
You can do this using a basic spreadsheet or you can use accounting software to streamline the process. Even if you’re completely new to dropshipping, it’s important to monitor your sales and profits as it will make it easier to grow the business.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The frequently asked questions below cover everything related to TikTok dropshipping and how it works. If you have any additional questions, make sure you refer to our other guides and tutorials. We have a ton of resources on ecommerce and dropshipping.
Is TikTok good for dropshipping?
Yes, TikTok is good for dropshipping as it has more than 1 billion users and has been downloaded over 200 million times in the US alone. In fact, TikTok is one of the best places to sell and promote dropshipping products as you can quickly reach a highly targeted audience using videos.
Plus, you have many options when it comes to promoting, advertising, and generating sales for your dropshipping business on TikTok. This includes promoting your videos, running ads, and collaborating with top influencers in various niches.
Can anyone start dropshipping using TikTok?
Yes, anyone can start dropshipping using TikTok. Simply create an online store using Shopify and make or buy product videos for TikTok. You can then post the videos on TikTok to drive traffic to your dropshipping store and generate sales.
You don’t need any special skills or experience to start a dropshipping business using TikTok. You also won’t need to buy any products upfront or hold inventory. It’s very easy to create videos for advertising your products on TikTok and even easier to outsource this process.
What are the benefits of using TikTok for dropshipping?
As previously mentioned, TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms on the planet with more than 1 billion active users. It’s perfect for driving traffic to a dropshipping or ecommerce store as it’s specifically designed for sharing short-form videos.
It’s no secret that video marketing is the most effective way to advertise an ecommerce or dropshipping business. This is because you can physically demonstrate a product and highlight its key features within the first 5-10 seconds of a video.
With TikTok, you can share videos of your products and drive a huge amount of free traffic to your dropshipping store. In fact, some dropshippers have managed to post videos that have gone viral on TikTok and received millions of views and likes.
How do I find winning TikTok dropshipping products?
To find winning TikTok dropshipping products, it’s recommended to use a dropshipping research tool or search for trending videos on TikTok manually. By using a dropshipping research tool, you will be able to quickly locate top-selling products that are already hot on TikTok.
In fact, most dropshipping research tools feature a handpicked database of winning products with links to suppliers, competitors, and live video ads on TikTok. This allows you to spy on other dropshippers and find items that are generating the most profits.
How do I promote my TikTok dropshipping business?
There are a number of ways you can promote your dropshipping business on TikTok. The easiest way is to promote your existing videos to increase views and engagements. In turn, this will drive more traffic to your dropshipping store and products.
Another option is to partner with TikTok influencers to promote your dropshipping products and videos on their TikTok accounts. Simply find and reach out to TikTok influencers in your niche and ask them if they allow sponsored videos or collaborations.
Finally, you can run paid ads on TikTok to drive instant traffic to your dropshipping products. By running ads, you will have more control over your daily budget and target audience. You can also include a call-to-action button on your TikTok ads.
Can I link my Shopify dropshipping store to TikTok?
Yes, you can link your Shopify dropshipping store to TikTok using the TikTok Shopify app. After connecting your Shopify store to TikTok using the free app, you can effortlessly create engaging product videos and start promoting them on TikTok right away,
By using the TikTok app for Shopify, you will also be able to install the TikTok pixel on your store in just one-click. This will allow you to accurately track performance, conversions, and sales, without the need to hire a developer or learn to code.
Can I sell dropshipping products directly on TikTok?
Yes, you can sell dropshipping products directly on TikTok with your own TikTok shop. However, it’s important to note that this feature is very new and only available to users in the UK and China. TikTok shops are expected to launch in other countries including the US in the near future.
Currently, the best option is to create your own Shopify dropshipping store and use TikTok to drive traffic to your products and generate sales. Shopify is the most popular platform for building a dropshipping website and it’s very easy to use.
How do I find suppliers for dropshipping using TikTok?
Most sellers that use TikTok for dropshipping source their products from popular China-based suppliers such as AliExpress, Alibaba, CJ Dropshipping, and Banggood. This is because you can use these sites to purchase trending and best-selling items for factory-direct prices.
However, you have a number of options when it comes to finding suppliers for dropshipping using TikTok. You can use a dropshipping directory or marketplace to quickly locate reputable suppliers with real wholesale prices. You can also search for suppliers manually on Google.
Keep in mind, if you have a Shopify dropshipping store, you can install and use a dropshipping app that will allow you to source products from multiple suppliers using a single platform.
Is dropshipping using TikTok allowed?
Yes, dropshipping using TikTok is allowed as it’s a legitimate and established ecommerce business model. Most sellers use TikTok to drive traffic to a Shopify dropshipping store and sell products. There are no rules or policies that prevent you from doing this on TikTok.
Also, posting videos on TikTok to promote a product or service is allowed. Some of the most popular and trending TikTok videos are demonstrations of hot-selling products that get millions of views. You can also promote videos of your products or use TikTok ads to increase views and engagements.
What are some alternatives to using TikTok for dropshipping?
Although TikTok is a great platform for driving traffic and customers to your dropshipping store, it’s not the only option. In fact, many people are having huge success advertising on other popular social media channels including Facebook and Instagram.
Ideally, you should try advertising on different social media channels to find out what works best for your business. You may find that you have better success posting videos on Facebook or uploading images to Instagram. Snapchat is another platform that is great for advertising products and driving traffic to your dropshipping store.