TikTok’s Patrick Nommensen spoke to Chris Dawson of InternetRetailing sister title ChannelX (formerly Tamebay) about what works for brands selling on the social media platform. Nommensen, senior director, ecommerce operations, at TikTok, is a keynote speaker at the first ChannelX World, to be held in London on October 13. In his keynote he’ll be looking at new ways of shopping – and why it’s vital to engage audiences through the channels they want to use.
Register to attend ChannelX World to book your seat at Patrick Nommensen’s keynote and read Chris’ Q&A with Patrick below for a flavour of what to expect.
Chris Dawson, ChannelX: Can any product go viral – is it the product or the marketing?
Patrick Nommensen, senior director, ecommerce operations, TikTok: Any product can go viral on TikTok. While it certainly doesn’t hurt to have an outstanding product, what really matters on TikTok is engaging, authentic and relatable content. The most successful shopping videos on TikTok are the ones that feel native to the platform. They’re also entertaining – 75% of people come to TikTok to be entertained.
That’s why collaborating with creators can play such an integral role in creating shopping experiences that people will love. @Amelia0livia is one of our top beauty creators who has built a captive audience of over 800k followers, enthralled by her make-up tutorials and transformations. She’s had huge success for both her live shopping events and on TikTok Shop, selling her top recommendations through her videos. She’s already worked with a number of brands, including Paula’s Choice and Lookfantastic, and helped them reach a new audience of consumers on TikTok.
CD: What are the pre-requisites for getting started with selling on TikTok?
PN: We’ve created a Seller Knowledge Hub full of helpful tips and advice on how to get started on TikTok Shop. Sellers can set themselves up as either an Individual Seller or Corporate Seller, which requires different documentation. It then goes through our verification process which usually takes only a few days before sellers are all ready to go and start listing on TikTok Shop – new merchants can sign up here.
CD: Are there different strategies for well-known brands compared to independent brands?
PN: Strategies may vary depending on a brand’s commercial objectives. For newcomers, TikTok Shop is a way of putting their products on the map, while for larger brands, it may be more about challenging misconceptions or getting their products into the hands of a new audience of consumers.
A lot of the same principles for selling on TikTok still apply though – TikTok is an entertainment platform first and foremost which means that the way brands exhibit and promote their products on TikTok Shop should be as entertaining as your favourite cat video. We always encourage sellers to adopt a ‘TikTok-first’ mindset – thinking about how they can create bespoke content that feels native to the platform. We’ve seen that this usually gives sellers the best opportunity to succeed on TikTok Shop.
One great example is Solve Collectibles, a football trading card business founded by Luke Ambler in August 2020. He launched a TikTok Shop account and began creating fun and light-hearted content that quickly went viral. He saw an immediate impact, with sales from his website increasing 400% by January 2021 and he now has over 673,000 followers enjoying his content on TikTok.
CD: What are your top tips for selecting an influencer?
PN: Creators play a vital role in the success of community commerce: they can boost product discovery, educate and inform and inspire their audiences to try new products. Here are a few tips to help sellers choose the right creator for them.
• Collaborate with a creator who is genuinely passionate about your product – TikTok is all about authenticity and our Community will be able to easily spot if a creator doesn’t fit with a product.
• Make sure the creator appeals to the audience you’re trying to reach – creators will be able to give you a good understanding about the demographics of people who follow their accounts and engage with their content.
• Don’t always assume the creator with the biggest followers is right for you – some creators may have a smaller, but more loyal following, so make sure to look at a number of different metrics, and not just raw follower count.
• Finally, our TikTok shop team is here to help and are more than happy to help sellers connect with talented TikTok creators.
CD: You are presenting at ChannelX World in October, what can retailers expect to learn?
PN: How to get the most out of TikTok Shop and where we see the future of Community Commerce going. I know that for some sellers this will be a whole new frontier, collaborating with creators and selling during live events, so I’m hoping to demystify all of that and help merchants both small and large tap into this new way of shopping.