How to Use TikTok to Grow Your Dropshipping Store in 2024

The clock is ticking for brands that aren’t on the world’s sixth most popular social media platform. What was once a small app where you shared lip-sync videos with friends has exploded into one of the fastest-growing social media platforms of all time: TikTok. But what makes this platform so remarkable and how can it help ecommerce businesses promote their online stores? In this guide, we’ll show you why you should be using the TikTok app to promote your dropshipping products. We’ll also provide you with helpful tips on how to create, edit and publish viral video content.

How to use TikTok to grow your ecommerce business

In recent years, TikTok has turned its attention to ecommerce. There are multiple ways that businesses can use TikTok beyond simple social media marketing. But before you can start using TikTok for your business, create a free TikTok business account. It gives you access to tools that can help you build creative ad campaigns, find creative partners or influencers, crowdsource ad content, create branded effects and even get the top view - the first video that a user sees when they open the app. 

With a TikTok business account, you'll gain access to the TikTok Business Center, a centralised workplace that enables collaboration across your organisation, allows you to create and share campaign assets, and track your performance. They have tools to measure your video performance, followers and conversions. They have automation tools to help maximise efficiency in your campaigns, plan your budget, time your posts and combine assets into new ads. They offer insights that you can filter by audience, industry, location and even holidays. They also offer resources for every size of business, from small local businesses to global agencies. There are courses, infographics, blogs, downloadable content, interactive presentations and much more, all to help you create videos and grow your business on TikTok. Business accounts also gain access to the Commercial Music Library (CML) where they can find songs to use in their videos without paying copyright fees.

Here are some other reasons you should use TikTok for Business.

Popularity among young audiences

Although Gen X buyers are still the most relevant customer group when it comes to ecommerce, the younger generations are catching up. Millennials have the highest adoption rate when it comes to social shopping, with around 60 per cent of people aged 25-41 making purchases on a social media platform now. With Gen Z now coming of age, they are predicted to dominate 40 per cent of all consumer shopping in just a couple of years. 95 per cent of Gen Z shoppers own a smartphone and spend nearly 10 hours or more on it per day, meaning they are twice as likely to shop on mobile devices than Millennials. 85 per cent of Gen Z use social media platforms to learn about new products, and research shows that they are increasingly using TikTok over Google for search engine queries. If you want to capture a generation predicted to have $44 billion in buying power, you need to be on TikTok.

High daily user engagement

With median brands earning an average engagement rate of 5.7 per cent per follower, TikTok is one of the most engaging channels online, overtaking both Instagram and Facebook. Micro-influencers have the highest engagement rates, with the average sitting at 15.2 per cent for influencers with 1k-10k followers. TikTok users are on the app an average of 55.8 minutes a day (8.3 minutes longer than YouTube), while 16 per cent of teen users say they use TikTok almost constantly. TikTok experiences more consistent engagement than its competitors, suggesting users are more immersed in the platform.

TikTok users are on the app an average of 55.8 minutes a day, suggesting users are more immersed in the platform.

Broad reach

Thanks to the platform’s range of hyper-relevant content, TikTok attracts a wide audience. Unlike other popular social media platforms where creators need a large following to have their content seen, the nature of the TikTok algorithm means that smaller creators can have their content seen by anyone - as long as the content is relevant. For brands, this means you can easily reach your target audience and new customers without having to build a large follower base. With over 1.5 billion active users globally, brands have the potential to reach international virality. While current demographics skew towards Millennials and Gen Z, older generations are taking notice of the app as well. It’s theorised that older users and creators are turning to TikTok due to an increase in educational content that provides value to their generation, such as home improvement tutorials or parenting advice.

Understanding the TikTok algorithm to achieve organic growth

The app's algorithm plays a crucial role in its success, as it uses machine learning to analyse user preferences and provide a personalised content feed. Unlike algorithms on other platforms such as YouTube and Instagram, the TikTok feed shows users a mix of new and familiar content through its ‘For You Page’ (FYP). This blend of content encourages users to scroll for longer, and the feed becomes more tailored and accurate over time. This meticulous curation has led to the creation of highly specialised niche communities that form around social movements, hobbies, pop culture trends, hashtags and academic subjects. A TikTok community can have a direct impact on commerce. For example, #BookTok’s influence on the publishing industry has catapulted the romance/fantasy genre to fame and helped 59 per cent of Gen Z users develop a passion for reading.

To determine what will appear on an FYP, TikTok will analyse data such as a video’s engagement rate, what individual users are searching for, whether the video was created on TikTok, and user’s device and account settings such as location, language preferences, and device type. The algorithm focuses on relevance over creator popularity. This means that even smaller creators can reach a significant audience and increase brand awareness by using relevant keywords and trending hashtags, incorporating trending audio, adding captions to their videos and embracing TikTok’s native features.

Creating your businesses’ TikTok content strategy

It’s time to create your new TikTok content strategy to catapult your brand awareness. To increase your chances of success, here are some tips to create content that improves your reach, hacks the TikTok algorithm and encourages engagement.

Understand your audience

The first step to any great content strategy is knowing your target audience. You need to understand what type of content they engage with, what motivates them, and what they look for in their favourite brands. The best way to do this is through market research and audience segmentation. With tools such as TikTok Insights, you’ll find information directly from the platform itself about how the community connects with brands and impacts businesses. For more tools that will help you perform market research and identify your target demographic, check out our blog “Best Dropshipping Tools in 2024 For Business Growth”.

A screenshot of the TikTok Insights webpage which can offer a better understanding of a user's audience.

Think TikTok first

TikTok has a wide variety of unique, platform-specific features that make the platform’s content unique. A notable feature is their Effect library, which allows users to apply filters, play games, apply creative film techniques, and interact with animated assets. TikTok also features recognisable AI voiceovers, test overlays, green screen capabilities, Duets and Stitches. Brands need to make note of these trending tools and use them liberally when creating content for the platform. Other details to make an ad feel at home on the For You page include using a 9:16 aspect ratio, shooting hi-res, lo-fi, and heavily featuring people over products. Ads created with TikTok-first in mind are more likely to catch the attention of 74 per cent of viewers and drive 3.3x more engagement. TikTok native videos are also more likely to be picked up by the algorithm, helping you reach more FYPs.

Shoot your content vertically

Although many of us are accustomed to the horizontal format of television, cinema and long-form YouTube content, vertical full-screen videos are taking over as the preferred format for social media video viewing. We naturally hold our devices vertically, so it makes sense for the content we view to follow. Although you can notionally crop horizontal content for a vertical platform, it is much easier to film your content vertically - this minimises editing time and logistical issues.

Stay up to date with trends and subcultures

TikTok runs on trends and cultural movements. Whether it’s a trending sound, a dance, a hashtag or a topic, it’s important to know what your target audience is currently sharing and what aligns with your brand personality. Luckily, you don’t need to constantly dive into market research - the app makes it easy to find trending topics using the Discover tab. From here you can see what’s trending, what type of content it is, the number of videos that have used this asset, and example videos. You can even click on the trending category and add it to a favourites list, or instantly join in on the action with a “Join this hashtag”, “Use this sound” or “Try this effect” prompt. The Effects and Sounds libraries also contain trending and viral categories, so you can find trending assets on the go. Finally, you can visit the Trends tab in the TikTok Creative Center.

Post consistently

TikTok’s algorithm relies on a consistent stream of engaging videos to keep users addicted to their FYP. Your brand has to produce content that keeps up to speed, or you’ll be sentenced to obscurity. A consistent posting schedule is not only good for the algorithm, but it is vital to your success. While this may seem daunting, don’t forget that TikTok content doesn’t need to be a high-budget production - as long as it has value for the viewer. TikTok even provides analytical data for the best times to post, so you can ensure your ad gets seen by your audience at the perfect time. To help with scheduling, TikTok has partnered with the social media management platform Later, which allows you to schedule content in advance, pin and reply to comments directly from the platform, and use even more analytics data to determine the right post times for you and your audience. 

TikTok has partnered with social scheduling platform Later to help users reach their targeted audiences at the perfect time.

Collaborate with other creators

Influencers are not the only way to collaborate with TikTok creators. The Duet function allows you to play a video side-by-side with another creator, while the Stitch function allows you to combine another creator’s video with your own videos. These can be used to react to another creator, respond to or add additional context to videos, or join a chain reaction of responses. Note: in order to Stitch and Duet with other creators, you have to open your privacy settings, which means they can do the same with you. However, you can still disable Stitches or Duets on individual videos.

Encourage and share user-generated content (UCG)

Influencer collabs and paid advertising can increase your TikTok presence, but success is not guarenteed. Sharing user-generated content is free, organic, and provided by customers or target audience members. Because the messaging is uncontrolled and often produced by non-influencers, it is seen as relatable, authentic and down-to-earth. also provides social proof, which is important for brand recognition. Branded hashtag challenges, giveaways, Duets and tutorials can all pave the way for a UGC campaign. For maximum reach, UGC campaigns can be combined with influencer marketing. For example, Chipotle’s #ChipotleLidFlip challenge challenged users to flip a burrito bowl lid, and it reached millions of views in only a matter of weeks. Chipotle collaborated with YouTube star David Dobrik to spread awareness of a free delivery offer on digital orders for Cinco de Mayo, and the campaign led to record-breaking Chipotle app downloads and deliveries. The challenge was fun and easy to accomplish - as long as you had a genuine Chipotle burrito bowl.

Optimise your video for sound-off viewing

63 per cent of people have their phones on mute, and 75 per cent will keep them on mute even while watching a video. While this number varies between generations, the majority of consumers will scroll through social media with sound off. Some of this behaviour can be attributed to changes in consumer behaviour, with more users scrolling through social media in quiet places - in public, at work or school, with family or in bed. But that doesn’t mean they’re not watching videos - when silent autoplay is the default, 85 per cent of videos are still watched. Although sound is an important element of successful TikTok videos, there are many ways to produce trending videos that don’t rely solely on audio. Captions are an easy way to not only cater to silent watchers but also increase the effectiveness of your campaign. Simply adding captions can increase ad recall by 8 per cent, ad memory quality by 10 per cent, and brand linkage by 13 per cent. It also raises completion rates by 80 per cent, and 37 per cent of viewers will turn the sound on if the captions spark their interest. Captions also make your videos more accessible for people with disabilities and help with SEO. You can add captions to videos yourself, or use automated closed captioning software.

75% of survey respondents say they keep their phone on mute, even when watching a video.

Use TikTok’s third-party integrations

TikTok has a wide variety of integrations available for businesses to connect their online stores, sync their product catalogue, directly upload videos to TikTok from creative platforms, embed TikTok posts on their website, and much more. TikTok’s third-party integrations can help you enhance your strategy and provide you with tools and insights to optimise your presence and engage with your audiences effectively. Businesses can use apps (such as Shopify’s TikTok app) to connect their store and enhance the user experience, or they can use TikTok for Developers to access specialised developer kits and TikTok APIs. 

Utilising influencers and partnerships for growth on TikTok

Influencer marketing is the key to success on TikTok. Influencers dominate the marketing sphere on and off the app. 72 per cent of Gen Z and Millennials follow influencers on social media, and they are used by 1 in 4 marketers. It’s no surprise then that 82 per cent of consumers say they’re likely to follow the recommendation of an influencer they follow. Furthermore, in an era where consumers are sensitive to advertising, 37 per cent of consumers feel if influencer content is authentic, it negates the fact that it is sponsored content. Influencers on TikTok see the highest engagement rates, which has been attributed to the ease with which influencers create a connection with their audience on the app. TikTok makes it easy to find and work with trending micro-influencers, whether you’re searching for them organically using hashtags or through the Creator Marketplace.

The Creator Marketplace is the official platform for brand and creator collaborations on TikTok. It allows brands and agencies to connect with thousands of qualified creators across the world who will deliver engaging content according to your needs. You can view a creator’s historical performance and audience over time to determine whether they are the right fit for your brand. Search for creators by industry, performance or video data. The marketplace includes a Campaign Management tool that helps you to keep track of each collaboration and track and optimise your campaign’s performance. Overall, the TikTok Creator Marketplace streamlines the collaboration process and makes it easy to find high-performing influencers to enhance your marketing strategy.

TikTok's ad platform & analytics

TikTok Ads Manager is TikTok’s main ad platform. It allows businesses to launch, monitor and optimise their marketing campaigns. Let’s take a closer look at how this platform works. 

Ad platform & ad unit options

TikTok’s ads are divided into three levels: Campaigns, Ad Groups and Ads.


Your first step to making TikTok ads is to create a campaign. Here, you will determine your campaign objectives, set a budget, and create your Ad Groups. 

Ad Groups

Ad Groups are collections of ads that you will show to specific audiences. You can include up to 999 Ad Groups per campaign. Your Ad Groups can be automatically placed, meaning their delivery is optimised by TikTok, or they can be placed manually. You can choose to target a custom audience based on particular demographics, or a lookalike audience. You can set a specific budget for either Lifetime or Daily spending. Finally, TikTok offers four bidding methods available based on cost per thousand views (CPV), cost per thousand impressions (CPM), optimised cost per thousand impressions (oCPM) or cost per click (CPC). 


Each ad group is made of individual Ads. To create an ad, you simply need to upload your video or images and use TikTok Ads Manager’s creative tools to design and edit your piece. There are a variety of ad types to choose from depending on your business and budget:

  • TopView Ads: Appear immediately after a user opens their app for the first time that day.

  • In-feed Ads: Appear on a user’s FYP page. They may include a CTA link directly to a landing page or app install.

  • Spark Ads: Spark Ads are connected to a brand and creator’s organic accounts. Instead of leading to a landing page, they lead to a TikTok account page. This can be used to increase followers and brand presence on the platform.

  • Branded Hashtags: Encourage users to create UGC around a brand-related hashtag. Brands using this format have exclusive access to the hashtag.

  • Brand Takeover Ads: The platform features a single business per day across all ad formats. 

  • Branded Effects: Brands create stickers, filters or other AR effects that creators can use in their content. 

There are a variety of TikTok ad types such as TopView Ads and In-feed Ads, that can target audiences at different stages of their TikTok usage.

Using TikTok analytics

Business accounts on TikTok have access to analytics that can be used to inform your marketing campaigns. TikTok groups analytics into four categories, Overview, Content, Followers and LIVE.


This tab shows data over a set period. You can see data between 7-60 days or set a custom date range. It shows data such as:

  • The number of views on all content posted during the selected time.

  • The increase or decrease of views.

  • Your total followers.

  • The number of followers gained or lost.

  • The number of visitors on your profile and whether it has increased or decreased.


The content tab shows how many videos you have uploaded during a specified period and how many of those videos are trending.


This tab gives you information about your followers. It shows data such as:

  • Demographics including gender, location and age range.

  • Your account’s growth rate.

  • How many hours your followers have watched your content.

  • Which days get the most views.

  • Videos followers are watching and sounds they are listening to. 


The LIVE tab is only available for creators with LIVE access and shows various analytics across a specified period such as:

  • Total views.

  • Total new followers.

  • Total live time.

  • Total Diamonds earned.

  • Total unique viewers.

Source trending products on Dropshipzone

Dropshipzone makes it easy to connect with Australian suppliers and find trending products that are high-quality, ship fast, and suit any niche. For budding entrepreneurs, dropshipping is a low-risk, high-reward solution to start your own small business, with few barriers to entry and little starting capital required. For established businesses, dropshipping can be a great way of testing new markets, expanding your product lines and capitalising on the latest trends. As Australia’s leading B2B2C marketplace, Dropshipzone facilitates communication across the supply chain, making it easy for retailers to find reliable suppliers without the guesswork. With no minimum order quantities and no joining fees, you’ll be able to invest where it matters. Make ship happen and sign up today.


TikTook is highly compatible with dropshipping, from its ease of use to its incredible reach. It is changing not only how we consume content, but how brands engage with their audience in a more authentic and relevant way. As TikTok continues to evolve the platform, we will see more integration with ecommerce features, potentially making it more conducive to dropshipping. This could involve improved shopping functionalities, easier product discovery, and seamless transactions within the app. We should also see more consistency as TikTok Shop and other features roll out internationally. As it is, with so many features available to marketers in terms of analytics, video production, market research and more, there’s no reason your ecommerce brand should not be on TikTok.  


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