retail brands on TikTok

How can retail brands on TikTok stand out?

Ever heard the phrase “TikTok made me buy it?” 

From books to fashion and cosmetics, retail brands on TikTok help people find products they want to buy. Whether it’s from an influencer wearing something from the back of their wardrobe (and creating a viral moment that takes the brand by surprise, as we saw with #gaphoodie), or from a planned brand campaign, TikTok really is driving sales for retailers. 

In our second post in this series, we’ll take a look at four ways that retail brands on TikTok can stand out. 

1.   Work with creators to engage and sell

Walmart has a great variety of content on its TikTok page, but some of its most popular posts are ones where it partners with influencers, brands and celebrities.

It partnered with Olay and parenting influencer Kat Stickler to celebrate Mother’s Day recently:


All moms are 🦸🏼‍♀️🦸🏿‍♀️, & we’re pampering them this #MothersDay with @Olay 🎁 🎁 🎁 to help support EveryMotherCounts. @Kat

♬ original sound – Walmart

It’s also worked with the Jonas Brothers to advertise their popcorn brand, Rob’s Backstage Popcorn:


🏃 , don’t walk, to Walmart to pick up the @Jonas Brothers fav backstage snack @robspopcorn. Or 👉🏼 #LinkInBio #FoodTalk

♬ original sound – Walmart

We love Walmart’s willingness to be experimental with TikTok content. It’s willing to take risks by being the first to do something, as we’ve seen with its live stream shopping events

It’s also becoming famous for realizing the potential influence of its employees. Walmart works with its own employees who want to post to their personal TikToks while they’re at work – why just rely on the main brand account when you can have an army of microinfluencers?

The most effective content on TikTok is specific to TikTok, and features creators. For inspiration, see our post on How brands can successfully collaborate with TikTok creators.

2.   Retail brands on TikTok need to get involved with communities

We don’t advocate blundering into a thriving TikTok community, but getting involved in them in an organic way can work brilliantly if the community is a natural fit for your brand.

Large booksellers like Waterstones create content aimed at #BookTok, but so do smaller, independent book shops. The teen daughters of the owners of Bookbugs and Dragon Tales in Norwich started posting #BookTok content about the family shop – and the business saw an increase in sales as a result.

What communities are natural fits for your brand? Take a look back at my post on TikTok communities if you’re looking for some inspiration.

3.   Retail brands on TikTok should create content people find useful

While UK supermarket, Morrisons, also does collaborations and takes part in relevant communities like #FoodTok, what really drives its TikTok engagement is the way the retailer helps the customer.

It partnered with chef and TikTok influencer, Poppy O’Toole, sharing a video of her cooking her recipe using ingredients from Morrisons:


Check out this Hake recipe from @Poppy O’Toole 😍 #Morrisons #Hake #FoodTikTok

♬ original sound – Morrisons

Over Christmas 2021, it shared a recipe for a vegan Christmas dinner from influencer @vegfoodenthusiast:


A vegan feast by @vegfoodenthusiast with The Best Vegan Wellington and Sicilian Lemon and Raspberry Semifreddo. Wellington in store from 20th December

♬ original sound – Morrisons

And it shares affordable recipes for people to try:


@PoppyCooks Easy-PEAsy Alfredo Greens Pasta makes the perfect mid-week meal #budgetrecipe #affordablemeals

♬ original sound – Morrisons

With more consumers starting to cut back on spending, retailers are in a perfect position to help them make the most of their money. Creating inspirational and informative content is one way that retailers can show people they understand their concerns and that they are working on ways to help.

4.   Use TikTok’s engaging format to make campaigns POP!

TikTok’s combination of sound, memes, and video provides retailers with a powerful way to create engaging content. As TikTok says: “The brands that see massive results on TikTok don’t just show up when they have something to sell.” They build regular and creative engagement. 

Last year, online retailer, Very, ran the #OurHouse2021 campaign using the 1980s hit song by Madness. It encouraged regular TikTok users to get involved.


Join in the fun with #OurHouse2021 challenge for a chance to win £500 to spend at 💗#OurHouse2021

♬ Our House – Madness

It worked with musician Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Suggs from Madness to launch the campaign, which Internet Retailing says resulted in more than 1.7 million videos created by more than one million people.   

It’s a great example of what’s possible on the platform. For more information and inspiration, see our series on how brands can stand out on TikTok.

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