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TikTok Dropshipping: The Only Guide You Need To Make Money On TikTok In 2023

January 22, 2023

It's the sixth most used social platform in the world. And while TikTok may be the new kid on the block, it's never been easier to launch a new dropshipping store with a new product and start making money. But how do you get started with TikTok dropshipping? And where can you find the best products to sell? 

In this article, we'll show you how to set up your TikTok account and connect it to your Shopify store. But we'll also cover topics like how to make more money. The types of ads to use and why you need a marketing strategy. Also, why starting a local lead generation business is a more viable option to make money in 2023.

What Is TikTok?

TikTok is a video-sharing app that allows you to post videos and soundtracks with Snapchat-style filters. TikTok was also the most downloaded app of 2021. So as this social media trend explodes, its growth continues to escalate.

In fact, TikTok is expected to reach 1.5 billion users by the end of 2023. And because the app loves fresh content, new creators now have a platform—a place to find their voice and build a brand. Plus, it gives dropshippers a chance to take advantage of the 656 million yearly downloads. And sell profitable products from their Shopify dropshipping store. 

Pros & Cons Of TikTok Dropshipping

It's been dubbed the hottest social media platform in 2023. So why not capitalize on a colossal opportunity and start TikTok dropshipping? You don't need a ton of cash to start, and you don't need to own any inventory. But, of course, like any online business, there are benefits and drawbacks. A few pros and cons include things like:

Pros

Minimal advertising costs. (At least compared to platforms like Facebook or YouTube).

Access to a massive online market. (An average of 650,000 new users join daily).

Insane engagement rates. (Plus, 67% of users say they are inspired to shop on TikTok). 

Cons

You can only target mobile users as the platform isn't compatible with desktops. 

Minimal to no customer support.

TikTok has a history of removing ads for no apparent reason.

Why You Should Start TikTok Dropshipping

You should start TikTok dropshipping because it's hot right now. Dropshipping is a macrotrend that has attracted a ton of people. But within dropshipping, there are lots of smaller trends. And right now, TikTok is the trend. Consider that the dropshipping business model is constantly changing and adapting. It offers windows of opportunity that open and close quickly.

However, it's a window that won't always be open. And you never know how long it will be until a new trend emerges. But people are on TikTok and spending money now. In fact, consumer spending increased by 77% in 2021, with over $2.3 billion spent on the app. Plus, TikTok dropshipping is pretty easy right now. But as the competition increases, it will become more challenging. So you need to move quickly and stay ahead of the curve. Then you can make money with the trends. 

Where To Find Best-Selling Products

If you want a successful dropshipping store, you need to have a winning product. So you need the proper compass to navigate and find the right dropshipping products to sell on TikTok. The key is to do your product research and look for items that fit criteria like:

  • 3X markup minimum with a great margin
  • It needs to shock the audience-WOW factor
  • It's exclusive (is it being sold on big players like Amazon, AliExpress, etc.)?
  • Broad enough to sell to the masses. (A lot of people need to want to buy this product) 
  • Easy to market and make videos. (For example, jewelry or wireless hair curlers, so avoid things like personal saunas)

You have a couple of options on where to look to find the best products, including:

Google Trends-is there a product or niche generating a ton of interest online?
TikTok Creative Center-You can scroll through and look for cool products. Then find one you like and click it to see a list of recommendations.

You can also use the TikTok platform filter for precise seeking. Here you can view the most viral videos of all time for your product (or similar). Or find product reviews and testimonials and see which ones are going viral. (So you can employ organic traffic). But you want a product that can basically sell itself. So use the hashtag method and use hashtags like:

  • TikTok Made Me Buy It
  • Amazon Finds
  • Unboxing

Then leverage a third-party spy tool like Minea or PiPiAds to pull ads actively running on TikTok. Or look at a Facebook ad or even Pinterest. Set your filter for ecom platform Shopify, date, and country location and access things like:

Product Research Questions

  • Do they have active ads running right now?

  • Are they selling well?

  • Options for good creatives?

  • How long have they been running?

  • Is this a product with longevity?

  • Is it still selling well or scaling on Facebook?

But you need to test and test quickly. Scale what works and shift gears fast when things don't.

Pro Tips: If you can find a product on an alternate platform that isn't being sold on TikTok, you can make a ton of cash. Also, consider the long term. For example, are you choosing a product that will allow you to introduce add-ons or frequently bought-together items?

Where To Find Stellar Suppliers

Dropshipping suppliers take care of all of your order fulfillment. So you need one that offers high-quality inventory and fast shipping times. But, in 2023, Chinese suppliers won't cut it. Shipping times are too long, and prices are too high. Plus, there's no room for negotiation. So you need a US dropshipping supplier. A few top contenders include the following:

  • Megagoods
  • Sunrise Wholesale
  • SaleHoo
  • Spocket

You want more than one supplier so you always have access to inventory. But you also need to vet your dropshipping supplier and look for things like:

TikTok Dropshipping Supplier Checklist

  • Customer Reviews
  • Return & Refund Policy
  • Hidden Fees Or Associated Costs
  • Platform Integration Options

You can contact suppliers directly with a Google search. Or even spy on another dropshipper and see who they're using by doing a Google or reverse image search. 

Pro Tip: You can use a tool like DSers to import the AliExpress listing and connect with multiple suppliers who can source this product or have it in-house now.

How To Create A TikTok Account For Dropshipping

TikTok is entirely free to join and any person can do it. You just need to download the app from the App Store or Google Play onto your mobile device. Then follow these instructions:

Open the TikTok app and choose how to sign up.

Enter your birthday. You need to be 13 years old or older to create an account.

Create a password if you use a phone number or email address to create a TikTok account.

Pick your username

Then you can add and update your profile with: a profile photo, bio and your name

Pro Tip:

You can link your YouTube and Instagram accounts by tapping the 'Edit Profile'.

From here, you can opt to switch to a TikTok Pro Account with the following steps:

  • Log in to your profile
  • Go to the 'Privacy Settings & Settings'
  • Tap' Manage my Account'
  • Click the button called 'Switch To Pro Account' and press 'Continue'

Then follow the prompts to complete your account set-up, and you're all set. 

How To Set Up TikTok On Your Shopify Store

TikTok is all about the top of the sales funnel. So you need to take advantage of this market by connecting your Shopify store to your TikTok account. 

You can set this up by following a few easy steps:

  • Add an account from your profile by clicking your name at the top of TikTok

  • Go to your Shopify and click on Apps-then hit the 'Apps & Sales Channels' button

  • Then click 'Customize Your Store'

  • Type in TikTok (add TikTok Made By TikTok)
  • Click the 'Set Up Now' button

    This will take you to a screen that says Set Up For Marketing, and from there, you can press the 'Connect TikTok For Business' button.

  • Enter your TikTok login information 

    Pro Tip: 

    If you're having trouble connecting, log in to your TikTok account in a new tab on your desktop browser and hit refresh. Then go back to Shopify and retry the link to TikTok. 

  • Agree with terms of service

  • Create a Business Account for TikTok. Or if you have one, you can go ahead and link that now and press 'Confirm'

    Answer the basic questions and fill out as much information as you can.

    Press the 'Create' button

  • Create an 'Ad Account'-fill out the basic information (Be sure to go to the bottom of the page and click the agree to terms of service button).

    From here, TikTok will ask you to set up a payment option and create an ad. 

Go back to Shopify and press the 'Connect' button. Then you're taken to a data-sharing page where you can decide what or how much data you share with TikTok. But remember, you're investing your marketing dollars, and you want the best customers possible.

So give TikTok all of your information. But make sure that your privacy policies are up to date, so you're protected. (Your TikTok pixel and tracking are set up automatically if you set up your account as per these instructions). Now just finish the setup, and you can start making money with TikTok dropshipping.

Pro Tip:

Make sure that you have a Business Account set up. This is the only way you can set up the TikTok pixel. (You need it to track your ROIs, retarget website visitors and followers, and create more targeted campaigns).

Why Use A TikTok Pixel?

The TikTok pixel is the code you can install on your website to track specific events on the platform and what ads are getting the most sales. There are 15 types of TikTok pixel events. Each one corresponds with an action a potential customer might take on your Shopify website. TikTok events include:

  1. Add Payment Info
  2. Add To Cart
  3. Add To Wish List
  4. Click Button
  5. Complete Payment
  6. Complete Registration
  7. Contact
  8. Download
  9. Initiate Checkout
  10. Place An Order
  11. Search
  12. Submit Form
  13. Subscribe
  14. View Content
  15. Custom

TikTok also offers a TikTok Pixel Helper tool. It's a Chrome extension that can test your pixel and ensure it's working. Here's how it's done:

  • Add the TikTok Pixel Chrome Extension
  • Open a new tab in your browser
  • Here you paste your tracking link followed by: ?dbgrmrktng

Now the TikTok Pixel Helper can track the status of your pixels and verify that your events are receiving data. 

Pro Tip: 

You can optimize your pixel to gather data on your followers or see how far they go in your sales funnel with things like location, demographics, interests, etc. But stay on brand and incorporate trending sound and interactive add-ons to engage your viewer and drive traffic to your online store.

Types Of TikTok Ads To Scale Your Dropshipping Business

The platform provides a self-serve TikTok advertising platform to create 15-60 second videos and get more eyeballs on your dropshipping product. TikTok ad costs start at $10 per CPM (cost per 1000 views). You need a minimum budget of $20/day, and a total spend of at least $500 to get started with TikTok paid ads. But you have quite a few options when it comes to the type of ad you want to create. TikTok ads include:

In Feed Ads Video

Native news feed for TikTok users listed on the 'For You' page

Brand Takeover

Your message takes over the screen for a few seconds before turning into an in feed video ad

Spark Ads

You can sponsor popular organic content for your profitable products

Image Ads

Place image ads in videos that appear via TikTok's news feed apps: BuzzVideo Or TopBuzz 

Video Ads

Full-screen videos of 5 to 60 seconds that show up in a user's 'For You' feed

Pangle Ads

Can be integrated with TikTok's native and banner ads

Carousel Ads

Include up to 10 images and appear in TikTok's news feed apps

Branded AR Content

Can also occur as branded stickers, lenses, and other types of AR content so TikTok users can use them in their videos

Hashtag Challenge

Found in the 'Discovery' section of the app and is perfect for interactive and user participation

Sponsored Influencer Content

Uses sponsored content from influencers

Pro Tip: Keep your content a little raw and unpolished. (It doesn’t need to be perfect). Consider that the platform is fast-paced, and viewers want new content now. Plus, the more you post on TikTok, and the better you highlight your product's solution (in action), the more you increase your brand awareness.

Plus, the more chance you have of your TikTok video going viral. Consider working with a TikTok influencer or partnering with creators. (This trick can boost your view rates by 193%). You should also pay attention to these stats when considering your style and ad type to fully capitalize on the platform and achieve the highest ROIs for your ad spend:

  • Ads with an emotional element on TikTok comprise 50% of the best-running ads on the platform in .
  • Vertical ads see a 25% higher watch-through rate.
  • TikTok Feta Effect: the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt amassed over 7.4 billion views in 2021.
  • "56% of users and 67% of creators feel closer to brands they see on TikTok – particularly when they publish human, unpolished content".~ (Bryan Thoensen, Head of Content Partnerships at TikTok).

How To Create A TikTok Ad Campaign (Why You A TikTok Marketing Strategy)

TikTok is the top app for consumer spending. In fact, the app saw an increase of 1157% in global users from 2018-2022. But to make money with TikTok dropshipping, you need to leverage the platform with paid ads. To start running ads, you first need to create a TikTok Ad Campaign following these easy steps:

TikTok Ad Campaign Set Up Process:

Choose your campaign objective (you have three options: awareness, consideration, or conversion). For example, 

  • What are your business goals?
  • Do you want more conversions? Website traffic? 
  • Is your goal to promote your video content?

Once you determine your objective, you need to set your campaign budget, and this is done in your TikTok Ads Manager account:

Go to create an ad, click Campaign> Create:

Next, set up a Campaign Name & Budget: here, you have two options: 

  • No Limit: so there won't be any restrictions on your ad delivery at the campaign level
  • Daily Budget/Lifetime Budget: limits the daily spend or total spend of all the ads within your Campaign

From here, you create an Ad Group that allows you to choose:

Ad Placements-automatic or manual 

Ad Details-Promotion Type: app install or website

Display Name: brand name or app name 

Profile Image: shown with your ad

Category: pick the best one for your promotion

Ad Tags: you can add up to 20 tags (keywords) to get in front of your target audience

User Comment: you can turn it on or off

Video Download: viewers won't be able to download your short video ads if it's off

Target Audiences-you can create or exclude custom and lookalike audiences and narrow your audience by demographics, age, device, gender, carrier, interests, etc.

Budgets & Schedules-a minimum $20/day budget, continuous or timed ad schedule

Goals & Bids- you can pick your bidding and optimization opt-ins, including the use of third-party tracking tools like PipiAds to monitor ad performance for each ad group 

best dropshipping niches

You can also have a single ad or multiple ads within each ad group. (So you can compare the delivery of various ads). See what's working on getting customer orders and scale. And the ads that aren't, you can ditch or redo.

The goal is to get as many people to see your ads as possible. So not only do you need to have a great product with an even better offer. But you need to optimize your TikTok dropshipping ads for maximum exposure with things like:

How To Maximize Your ROIs With TikTok Ads:

  • Use high-resolution images & videos
  • Have a clear call to action
  • Become an expert in short & concise ad copy (you only have 80 characters)
  • Unleash your creative flair & use of elements and hashtags

But you don't have to reinvent the wheel. Instead, find competitor ads that are doing well and emulate what they're doing. You can search the platform using a free Chrome extension called Sort for TikTok that filters by the top videos. Again, don't copy but model their technique, including their hashtags.

And niche up, not down. The secret to running successful TikTok ads is to focus on a broad audience instead of a specific one. So the more your ad appeals to the masses, the more chances you get to connect with potential customers that can result in viable leads. 

Why Local Lead Generation Is A More Viable Way To Make Money In 2023

TikTok is hot right now and is a way to make some fast cash. Not as competitive as Facebook, it's the ideal place for dropshippers to test their products and sell online. But there are a ton of unknowns with TikTok. Between parental rage and threats of bans, the platform is constantly undergoing new changes.

Exciting but a little stressful if you're counting on its users for your cash flow. Plus, most GenZrs and Millennials aren't on TikTok to shop. Instead, they want to be entertained. So unless you have a product that can shock them mid-scroll, or you know how to create an ad that goes viral, you're going to need to be willing to do some hard work. 

Tree Care Lead Gen Site

You need to be ready to test and fail and test again. But with the lead generation business model, you provide a service people actively search for every day. You build sites like the one above that you rank in Google searches. So you're front and center for a target audience armed with buyer intent.

Then you can sell your leads to small business owners for a profit. And there's no limit to how many sites you build or where you build them. Plus, once your site is at the top of the SERPs, it's pretty hands-off. So it generates a passive income stream and gives you time freedom. 

Conclusion

TikTok dropshipping is all the rage. So get in now and take advantage of the trend, and you could make some serious coin. But you need to move fast. Plus, you need a product that appeals to the platform's users. But like any trend, it won't last, unlike our local lead generation coaching program that's been around since 2014. So it's a proven concept. (And one that's still working). But this guide gives you a detailed roadmap on how to set yourself up for success. And make money with TikTok dropshipping in 2023.

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Ippei Kanehara
Founder/CEO

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses

Ippei.com is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2023, is to build your own lead generation business.

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