TikTok has exploded in popularity over the last few years, becoming one of the most used social media platforms globally. With over 1 billion monthly active users, it’s an incredibly powerful platform for businesses to leverage.
One of the newest and most exciting features that TikTok has introduced is TikTok Shop – a native shopping experience within the TikTok app. This allows businesses to easily sell products directly through TikTok, targeted at TikTok’s massive engaged user base.
However, to be eligible to use TikTok Shop there are certain requirements sellers need to meet. In this guide, we’ll outline everything you need to know about the requirements to sign up for TikTok Shop.
Why Are There Requirements for TikTok Shop?
TikTok has introduced stringent requirements for TikTok Shop to ensure both sellers and buyers have a smooth, safe and high-quality experience.
Image Source: TikTok
As one of the first major social platforms to offer native shopping capabilities, TikTok wants to get it right from the beginning. They don’t want low-quality sellers flooding the platform and undermining trust from users.
Additionally, managing purchases, returns, customer support and fulfillment seamlessly requires TikTok Shop sellers to meet certain standards and capabilities.
By enforcing clear requirements upfront, TikTok can prevent many issues down the track and create a thriving ecosystem for e-commerce on their platform.
Overall, while the requirements may exclude some smaller sellers initially, they ultimately provide a range of benefits:
- Improved trust – Strict standards help ensure only legitimate, reliable sellers use TikTok Shop
- Higher quality experience – Sellers have systems in place to manage orders, returns, etc smoothly
- Better protections – Policies must be in place to safeguard buyers on TikTok Shop
- Future opportunities – More sellers can join once TikTok has refined the onboarding process
So while you may have to put in additional effort as a seller to meet the current TikTok Shop requirements, this helps set up TikTok Shop for long-term, sustainable success.
Image Source: TikTok
Overview of TikTok Shop Requirements for Sellers
Here is a summary of the key requirements to join TikTok Shop as a seller:
Location & Accounts
- Store must be located in the United States
- Valid address displayed in Shopify Locations settings
- Must have TikTok for Business account connected
- Must have existing online store on platform like Shopify
- Return policy must be published on online store
- All products must comply with TikTok product policies
- Complete TikTok ID verification steps
- Provide necessary business documentation
- Accept TikTok Shop Merchant Terms of Service
We’ll explore each of these requirements in more detail throughout this guide.
List of TikTok Shop Requirements for Sellers
Let’s take a closer look at what exactly you need to do under each requirement category above to be eligible for TikTok Shop.
Location & Accounts
Firstly, TikTok Shop is currently only available to sellers located in the United States. So your business must be registered in the US to apply.
Within your ecommerce platform settings, you need to display a valid US address to confirm your business location.
For example, in Shopify you need to set up your business address under Locations:
Additionally, you need to have an existing TikTok for Business account connected to use TikTok Shop. This allows you to manage your TikTok Shop directly through this account.
If you don’t already have one, you can easily sign up for a TikTok for Business account here.
To join TikTok Shop you need to have an existing online store through a platform like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce etc.
TikTok Shop integrates with these ecommerce platforms to manage product listings, inventory syncing, order management and more.
Your online store is still the main way customers will checkout when making purchases through TikTok Shop. TikTok’s native shopping capabilities direct users back to your online store to complete transactions.
As part of this, TikTok requires that you have a published return policy on your online store. This displays your rules, processes and policies around product returns and refunds.
During the TikTok Shop signup process, you’ll need to enter the URL showing your published return policy.
This ensures buyers understand what to expect if they need to return an order made through TikTok Shop.
TikTok has strict guidelines around appropriate products and content to protect their community. All products listed through TikTok Shop must comply with TikTok’s product policies.
Some key aspects of TikTok’s product policies include:
- Weapons, explosives, firearms etc
- Illegal drugs
- Unsafe health products
- Endangered animals
- Hacking equipment
- CBD products
- Events & Experiences
- Financial Services
- Adult content
- Body parts or fluids
- Multi-level marketing products
You can see the full details in TikTok’s product policy guidelines here.
Carefully review these to ensure none of the products you plan to list violate any of these policies. This is essential to get approval to access TikTok Shop.
Once your business meets the location, account, online store and product compliance requirements outlined above, you’re ready begin the TikTok Shop signup process.
This involves connecting your TikTok for Business account, verifying your business identity and accepting TikTok’s Merchant Terms of Service.
Here is an overview of the step-by-step signup process:
- Connect TikTok for Business account: First, you’ll connect your TikTok for Business account to your online store. This connects your product catalog, inventory counts, order management and enables creation of your TikTok Shop.
- Verify business information: TikTok will automatically pull in information like your business name, address etc from your online store. You may need to manually enter some additional details.
- Upload identification documents: To verify business identity, you’ll need to upload documents like business licenses, articles of incorporation etc.
- Accept Merchant Terms: Carefully review and accept TikTok’s Merchant Terms of Service to use TikTok Shop legally.
- List products: Once approved, you can now list products in your TikTok Shop catalog and start selling!
TikTok Shop Signup Troubleshooting
The TikTok Shop signup and approval process can sometimes encounter issues that delay your access. Here are some common challenges and fixes.
Can’t Connect TikTok for Business Account
Issue: When trying to connect your TikTok for Business Account an error message appears saying connection unsuccessful.
Fix: Double check your account is already set up properly under the ‘For Business’ plan. Use the email associated with this account and retry connecting.
Issue: Connects successfully but later get error ‘Merchant registration unsuccessful’.
Fix: Your TikTok account may still not be fully approved for TikTok for Business features. Follow troubleshooting steps in the TikTok app to resolve this.
Verification Documents Rejected
Issue: TikTok says your ID documents like business license, tax certificates etc cannot be accepted.
Fix: Ensure you have high quality scans/photos of recent documents. Remove any sensitive financial details. Resubmit clear versions of the requested verification files.
Can’t Find TikTok Sales Channel
Issue: When trying to set up TikTok Shop you can’t locate the TikTok Sales Channel in your ecommerce platform (e.g. Shopify).
Fix: The TikTok Sales Channel is usually found in the App Store/App section within your platforms admin. Ensure your store meets eligibility criteria first.
Error During Documentation Upload
Issue: You encounter technical issues when trying to upload verification documents
Fix: Try uploading the files individually instead of bulk upload. For large files use a file compressor app to reduce size. Double check your internet connection is stable throughout.
TikTok Shop brings huge potential for merchants to tap into TikTok’s engaged userbase. But sellers need to meet certain requirements covering location, accounts, online store setup, product compliance and business verification to join.
While the requirements seem strict, they power a smooth, sustainable platform where both sellers and buyers can confidently transact.
Use this guide to understand the must-haves to qualify for TikTok Shop. Reach out for any troubleshooting help as you work through the signup process. With the right strategic approach, TikTok Shop can become an invaluable sales channel!