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TikTok Dropshipping: Pros, Cons, and How To Do It


From its prolific user base to its seamless integration with ecommerce websites, TikTok is a prime place to grow your dropshipping business. However, with steep competition, it’s important to know how to pick the right products and how to market your store, to ensure a stable side hustle income with the potential to grow your business.

What is TikTok dropshipping?

TikTok dropshipping is selling products from third-party suppliers direct to consumers, without the need to maintain any physical inventory, making it a low-cost and flexible entrepreneurial venture. TikTok dropshippers can use the social media app to advertise their products they’re offering and drive traffic to their ecommerce store, making use of TikTok’s paid ads, collaborations with influencers, and original organic content.

Pros & cons of TikTok dropshipping

As one of the largest social media platforms, TikTok is a great place to reach and engage with your target audience, although not without a number of drawbacks. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

✔️ Quickly test the market → with no need to invest heavily in physical inventory, you can swiftly evaluate product viability without having to financially commit to stocking hefty volumes of your chosen product. This agility makes it easier to test different inventories and marketing strategies, so that you can be sure that the products you sell will be popular with your target audience.
✔️ Widen audience reach → while not every TikTok user may convert into a customer, the ready-made traffic of the platform makes it easier to expand your reach. With 23.38 million monthly users in the UK alone, the potential to tap into a wide audience is huge.
✔️ Easily connect with customers → You can seamlessly integrate TikTok into a multi-platform marketing strategy, maximising your outreach and engagement with potential customers. For instance, your customers can access your ecommerce store, and complete their customer journey with minimal friction and without having to leave TikTok,

🔴 High competition → despite the possibility of videos going viral and garnering significant shares, engagement on TikTok doesn’t automatically translate to conversions. The platform’s competitive landscape demands a robust marketing plan to really appeal to customers.
🔴 Limited customer support → based on our research, we found that there’s plenty of negative customer reviews voicing dissatisfaction with TikTok’s customer service. This means that you might be forced to be proactive in resolving issues, find alternative solutions, or resort to other support channels if you have a TikTok dropshipping SOS.

How do I start a TikTok dropshipping shop?

Setting up a TikTok shop isn’t too complicated or technical. These are the essential steps you need to start your dropshipping venture on the social media platform.

  1. Create a TikTok account: begin by setting up your TikTok account, ensuring it mirrors the brand identity of your dropshipping store. Add your business logo as the profile picture, and craft a bio that includes a link to your dropshipping store. This will create a straightforward connection between your TikTok presence and your ecommerce store.
  2. Switch to a business account: you’ll next want to ensure that you have your account set up for TikTok for Business. You can easily do this through your settings on TikTok. A business account will give you access to royalty-free music and Business Suite tools.
  3. Merge with TikTok Ads Manager: integrate your account with TikTok Ads Manager to gain in-depth analytics, such as audience traffic insights. This step is crucial for refining your marketing strategy and optimising your TikTok dropshipping campaign.
  4. Create a dropshipping store: create your dropshipping store using an ecommerce website builder – we recommend using Shopify based on our in-depth research which pointed out its rich range of features and seamless integrations. Fill in your inventory with products you intend to dropship, keeping in mind your target audience and market trends.
  5. Install the TikTok app on Shopify: navigate the Shopify App store and search for TikTok. Install the app and connect it to your TikTok for Business account, alongside your Ad account. Ensure that Pixel is active in TikTok Ads to effectively track your analytics.
  6. Choose the right dropshipping supplier: look for suppliers with international warehouses, fast shipping times, favourable return and payment policies, robust customer support, and a diverse and affordable product range. Consider suppliers supported by automation software for smoother operation.

How does TikTok dropshipping work?

Venturing into TikTok dropshipping involves a strategic process that maximises audience reach and ensures smooth operations. Here’s a breakdown of how the TikTok dropshipping mechanism operates:

  1. Importing products: once you’ve identified a reliable supplier, the first step is to add products to your dropshipping store so customers can browse your site. This can be done manually or automatically. Manual importing involves copying product details from the supplier’s page and pasting them individually into your selling channel. If you opt for the automatic route, your dropshipping software will automatically transfer product information between platforms. Keep in mind that you’ll still need to check for accuracy and optimise your descriptions so they’re SEO-friendly.
  2. Promotion on TikTok: once your dropshipping store is ready for customers’ eyes, you’ll need to start marketing your products on TikTok. You can do this through organic marketing or by running ad campaigns. For organic marketing, we recommend recording yourself using the product and showcasing its features. Alternatively, you can use paid ads to enhance product visibility, making it easier for viewers to access your dropshipping store and make purchases.
  3. Order fulfilment: after securing sales, fulfilling customer orders is the next step. This can also be done manually or automatically. Manual fulfilment involves purchasing items from the supplier’s website, providing customer shipping details, and handling payment methods. However, this method makes you susceptible to human errors, potentially leading to customer complaints. Automatic order fulfilment, supported by suppliers who offer this feature, streamlines the process and reduces the likelihood of mistakes.
  4. Customer communication: open live chats, provide email details, and create ticket submission options through your selling channels. Connecting with your customers not only enhances their experience but also reflects the quality of your customer service.

How does it make money?

Making money through TikTok dropshipping comes down to how savvy you are with pricing strategies. You can negotiate wholesale deals with providers and try to negotiate a lower cost so your profit margin is wider when you set your retail price. While the maths is relatively simple, keep in mind that TikTok is not a quick wealth solution – it takes time to gain traction and secure consistent sales.

What are the best products to sell?

When it comes to TikTok dropshipping, targeting the right audience is key. Firstly, you need to consider that the dominant age bracket of users is 20-29 years old, so you’ll want to find products that are trending amongst Gen Zers.

Here are some products that have recently done well:

  • LED lights, particularly strip lights
  • Beauty products like skincare products and makeup brushes
  • Sunglasses
  • Phone cases
  • Hand butter churners

How do I find good TikTok dropshipping products?

Finding the right products is key to TikTok dropshipping success. Here’s a couple of strategies to help you find the right inventory:

  • Spy on your competition → analyse competitors in your niche. Observe their product offerings, marketing strategies, and customer engagement.
  • Analyse TikTok ads and hashtags → explore what’s trending under hashtags like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt. This reveals current consumer preferences and emerging trends that can guide your product selection.
  • Google Trends → use this tool to understand the search volume and popularity of potential products over time, so that your selection aligns with market demands.
  • Search supplier best-seller sections → navigate supplier websites and explore their best-seller sections. This provides direct insight into products that are already performing well in the market.

Are TikTok ads expensive?

TikTok ads offer a range of options for businesses to promote their content through the Ad Manager. The cost structure is based on a cost per mile metric, where advertisers pay around £9 for every 1,000 views. Setting a budget is flexible, but initiating an advertising campaign on TikTok generally requires a minimum investment of approximately £410. While this might be considered pricey for some, the platform’s vast user base and engaging content could make it a worthwhile investment for businesses looking to reach a younger, more dynamic audience.

Verdict: is TikTok good for dropshipping?

TikTok dropshipping can be a lucrative avenue for rising entrepreneurs who want to expand their reach and engage with a vibrant audience. Although you’ll need to be savvy about how you promote your dropshipping store, either through paid advertising or organic content, with the right products, TikTok dropshipping can become your next successful business venture.


Frequently Asked Questions


  • What are some ways to drive traffic to my TikTok dropshipping store, and measure their effectiveness?

    To boost traffic to your TikTok dropshipping store, leverage popular hashtags, collaborate with influencers, and create engaging content showcasing your products. Measure effectiveness through TikTok Analytics, tracking views, engagement, and conversion rates. Optimise strategies based on performance data to continually enhance your store's visibility and drive sales.

  • What should I look for in an influencer partner?

    Select influencers aligned with your target audience on TikTok, emphasising engagement, authenticity, and a genuine interest in your products. Analyse their follower demographics, engagement rates, and past collaborations. Prioritise influencers who resonate with your brand values to maximise the impact of your partnership and enhance credibility.

  • How can I grow my TikTok store?

    Grow your TikTok store by consistently posting engaging content, leveraging trending hashtags, and collaborating with influencers. Use TikTok Ads strategically to expand reach. Interact with your audience, respond to comments, and offer promotions to boost visibility. Analyse analytics to refine your approach and continually optimise for growth.

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The post TikTok Dropshipping: Pros, Cons, and How To Do It appeared first on Startups.co.uk.

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