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Why TikTok Shop is the ‘new shiny object’ to Amazon Sellers

Why TikTok Shop is the ‘new shiny object’ to Amazon Sellers

Distracting Oh Yeah GIF by maddyshine

Because Amazon Sellers are sick of Amazon 🤬 

PPC costs more than my first car and competitors makes us feel like the ‘fat kid’ in gym class…… and it’s not getting any easier.

Fulfilment and storage costs are increasing…. this is the most expensive time to be an Amazon seller.

Sellers are looking at other options and TikTok Shop a #1 on their list.

Who am I?

A disgruntled Amazon seller that is ‘all in’ on TikTok.

But I have done a few things…… 10+ years as an Amazon seller, run 2 Amazon agencies, created 2 Amazon Software platforms, Consultant, worked in aggregators, etc.

We run the #1 TikTok newsletter for Amazon sellers.

‘Cos Amazon sellers are a different breed…… we have the skills to make it rain 💦 

Biggest Differences:


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You WANT NEED Affiliates to promote your product.

Affiliates are the ‘life of the party’ and here is a rule of thumb:

👩‍🦱👩‍🦱👩‍🦱 More Affiliates = More Sales 💰💰💰

TikTok Shop affiliates are nothing like the Amazon affiliates (not to be confused with Amazon attribution).

They will feature your product in one of their posts and they will get the agreed commission percentage for every sale (industry norm is 20%).

Biggest differences:

TikTok Shop Affiliates

Amazon Affiliates

Searchable Database

No database

You set the commission %

You don’t set the commission %

Commission is deducted from the sales price.

Amazon pays the affiliate commission.

You can search for affiliates through the affiliate dashboard (there are 1,000’s) on TikTok Shop.

You can contact them by sending them a personalised message.


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TikTok is still trying to figure this out……

But they don’t make it easy.

When setting up your products, they give this guidance:

And TikTok even give us the keyword rankings:

They even tell us which products are in demand:

I have tried everything to manipulate the keywords and search results (keyword stuffing and even alt text on the images) and I still cannot get the products to index for their keywords.

But TikTok is evolving and I within a few months, keyword research will be imperative.

TikTok Shop Ads

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TikTok Shop Ads are ‘pre-school’ compared to Amazon Sponsored Ads.

You can only target:

  • Interests: Do they like Online Shopping, Beauty products, Sports, etc

  • Gender

  • Age

  • With the typical lookalike and retargeting audience structure.

When creating ads:

  1. Who do you want to target?

    • Gender

    • Age

    • Interests of your ideal customers

  2. What content to use

    • You can either upload videos

    • Or you can use influencer/affiliate posts (Spark Code)

If you can run Amazon Sponsored Ads….. you can run TikTok Shop Ads.


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The main costs are:

  • Samples

  • Affiliate payments

  • Time (the real cost)


  • Lets assume each sample costs $7 in COGS and $6 to ship to an affiliates.

  • Each sample request is $13 ($7 + $6)

  • If you send 10 samples a week, that’s $130 (10 x $13)

  • It’s important to know these metrics beforehand

Samples may seem cheap, but when you start scaling and send 500 samples a week, they become expensive.

Affiliate Payment

The more affiliates you work with, the better. But getting their attention is near impossible.

So to get their attention, you can lead with an upfront payment over and above their Affiliate Commission.

Estimate an additional $200-$300 to pay the affiliates.

Whilst this may appear to be expensive, if their post performs then you will likely have 5x-10x ROI.


Volume is key

The more affiliates you contact, the more ads you run….. the better your chances.

You can do this yourself, but plan at least 4 hours per day to collaborate with affiliates, list your products, run ads, etc.

Your best option is to hire an agency or employee at around $1,200 - $2,000 per month.


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Focus on Affiliates and Ads.

These are the 2 core strategies for any seller….. collaborate with as many affiliates as possible, then boost their content with TikTok Shop Ads.

It may sound easy, but there is more to it:

  1. Search for Affiliates in the TikTok Affiliate Dashboard

  2. Select the affiliates that would be the best fit

  3. Send them a message

  4. Reply to their Message:

  5. Send the sample

  6. Wait for them to post and get the Spark Code (so we can boost the ad in TikTok Shop Ads)

Overall, this is a ton of work. Especially as you need to contact thousands of affiliates and they don’t respond:

To increase the outcomes:

  • Offer to pay affiliates an upfront payment, over and above their commission.

  • Make a very aggressive commission rate, around 40-50%

Focus on this for the first few months and once these strategies are part of your everyday process, then move on.

Problems with TikTok Shop

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It’s a volume issue

You need to work with as many affiliates as possible, but they receive 40-50 messages per day and don’t reply.

So you need to make your outreach message as engaging as possible.


  • That you are a high quality ecom brand

    • affiliates get contacted by drop shippers, you don’t want the affiliate to think you are a drop shipper.

  • That you will boost their content

    • It’s a win-win situation….. they get more views, followers, commission, etc and you get more sales.

  • Their will be paid collaborations in the future

    • You need to create that relationship….. money speaks. Make sure to follow up with them for more content.

‘Chicken and egg’ situation

Affiliates are the keys to success….. but they only want to work with the top selling products.

For example, a typical $100k+ per month affiliate:

  • Has a VA to examine all the offers

  • Will only take products that have 1,000+ sales

  • Only consider products that have 5 star reviews

But if you are a new seller, you cannot get the big Affiliates to reply as you don’t have any sales.

The only option is to have a ridiculously high commission rate or lead with an upfront payment.

Your brand may not be ideal for TikTok Shop

This is hard to hear…. but it’s true.

If affiliates are ignoring you and ads are not converting, then maybe you brand is not ideal for TikTok Shop.

This happens a lot….. I have seen it a ton.

But remember, great content can make a ‘boring’ product sell.

Don’t give up until you have tried tons of different videos and affiliates.

TikTok Shop is Product Awareness Platform

I have some clients that have been on TikTok Shop for 3 months and never made a single sale.

But their Amazon sales are increasing month over month.

A lot of TikTok users may not buy on TikTok Shop, but they will likely search for the brand on Amazon.

The screenshot below is based on the Amazon traffic when we started running TikTok Ads. The brand’s search volume increased ie. more people were search for the brand on Amazon as a result of the TikTok campaigns.

Conclusion: Should Amazon sellers use TikTok Shop?

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TikTok may be banned….. TikTok may not be around for much longer

But the opportunity is there.

All you need is one post to go viral and it will change your business.

But the odds of going viral are not great….. that’s why its a volume game.

The more content you have…..the bigger the chance of going viral.

The top brands on TikTok Shop are obtaining 1,000 pieces of content per week….. and they are making over $3mil per month

What’s next?

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You have two options:

  1. Do it yourself

    • This is the cheapest option, but your ‘learning curve’ may hold your business back because there is so much you don’t know.

    • Time and money are your biggest expenses…. if you have these in abundance, go ahead and crush it 👊

  2. Hire an agency

    • This is the fastest solution….. but not the cheapest.

    • But with an agency you will leave ‘no stone unturned’

    • Send me an email or chat with me if are interested

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