TikTok has emerged as a powerful platform where creativity meets commerce. The ability to showcase and sell merch directly to a vast and engaged audience on TikTok opens up unprecedented opportunities for creators and entrepreneurs. One avenue to explore in this thriving space is leveraging the convenience and flexibility of print-on-demand services.
Print-on-demand offers a revolutionary approach to merchandise creation, allowing you to design, customize, and sell products without the burden of inventory management. TikTok, with its visually rich and engaging content, provides an ideal stage to showcase and market your unique creations.
In this post, we’ll explore the seamless integration of Printful, a leading print-on-demand service, into the TikTok landscape. From setting up your TikTok business account to creating and promoting your print-on-demand merchandise, this guide aims to equip you with the knowledge and insights needed to turn your creative vision into a thriving online business.
Why Should You Sell Merch on TikTok
TikTok’s rapid ascent to global has transformed it into more than just an entertainment hub. Now, it’s a substantial opportunity space for content creators. The introduction of TikTok Shop offers creators the ability to sell their products directly on the platform. This can eliminate the necessity for an external store or website.
Selling merchandise on TikTok can be a lucrative venture for several reasons, leveraging the platform’s unique features and user base. Here are detailed explanations for each point:
1. Massive User Base and Engagement:
TikTok boasts a massive and diverse user base, with billions of active users globally. The platform’s short-form video content encourages high engagement levels, creating a prime environment for marketing and selling merchandise. In addition, the potential reach of TikTok is substantial. It allows you to tap into a vast audience that might be interested in your products.
2. Visual and Creative Marketing Opportunities:
TikTok is also known for its visually appealing and creative content. Utilizing the platform allows you to showcase your merchandise in innovative and entertaining ways. It will capture the attention of users scrolling through their feeds. Besides, the use of music, filters, and special effects enhances the overall appeal, making your merchandise more memorable and shareable.
3. Innovative Advertising Features:
Besides, TikTok provides various advertising features, including sponsored challenges, branded effects, and in-feed ads. Leveraging these features can help you effectively promote your merchandise to a targeted audience. Sponsored challenges, for example, encourage user participation and can generate a viral buzz around your products, hence increasing visibility and potential sales.
4. Young and Trend-Savvy Demographic:
TikTok’s user base predominantly consists of a younger demographic. They are often more open to trying new trends and making online purchases. If your merchandise aligns with the interests of this demographic, TikTok will then provide an ideal platform to connect with a trend-savvy audience. And, potentially turning them into loyal customers.
5. Direct Link to E-commerce Platforms:
In addition, TikTok allows users to include clickable links in their profiles. This will make it easy to direct viewers to external websites or e-commerce platforms where they can purchase your merchandise. This direct linking feature streamlines the buying process. It reduces friction for potential customers and increases the likelihood of converting views into sales.
6. Community Building and Engagement:
TikTok’s interactive nature enables you to build a community around your brand. Engaging with your audience through comments, duets, and collaborations fosters a sense of connection. A loyal community is more likely to support your merchandise and become brand advocates, promoting your products organically to their own followers.
TikTok heavily relies on hashtags for content discoverability. By creating and utilizing trending and relevant hashtags, your merchandise can then gain visibility beyond your immediate followers. This can also lead to your products appearing in discovery feeds, increasing the chances of reaching a broader audience and driving sales.
Selling merchandise on TikTok provides a unique opportunity to tap into a vast and engaged user base, creatively showcase your products, and leverage the platform’s advertising features. The combination of visual appeal, direct linking, and community building makes TikTok a compelling platform for e-commerce and brand promotion.
Best products to sell on TikTok – Sell Merch on TikTok
The selection of the product category you choose to sell is heavily influenced by your niche. For creators who craft their merchandise or art, particularly small businesses promoted on TikTok, the choice is evident. However, if you’re not creating your own TikTok merch, your decisions should align with your content and audience.
T-shirts are the most common and popular choice for custom merch. Despite the perception of custom t-shirts as a mundane or overly utilized option, they are currently at the pinnacle of popularity in the online world. Google searches for the term “t-shirt” peaked in the summer of 2023, marking the highest point in the past five years.
T-shirts offer ample creative freedom for designing merch, working well for slogans, logos, art, jokes, and patterns. They are wardrobe staples and can be reasonably priced for fans, making them an ideal starting point if you plan to launch your clothing line.
Besides, hoodies emerge as the next best merch option, albeit slightly pricier for your audience. However, they offer durability and the opportunity for special features like sleeve designs. While more seasonal, hoodies maintain sufficient popularity to be sold throughout the year.
Bags, particularly in the accessory category, provide numerous style and design options. While backpacks used to dominate merch bags, tote bags have gained momentum in recent years.
The specific type of bag you offer, from fanny packs to duffle bags, should align with the preferences of your audience. Engaging with your followers by seeking their input can provide valuable insights into their preferences.
Leisurewear, including sweatshirts and sweatpants, has become a consistent wardrobe staple, extending beyond gym attire. Sweatshirts, in particular, stand out as the more popular option over the past five years. This category is particularly suitable if your content is related to fitness or cosy hobbies like reading.
Tech accessories have gained popularity as a means for individuals to express their personalities beyond clothing. Clear phone cases, adorned with photos or stickers, have become common.
Offering custom tech accessories, including earphone cases, laptop sleeves, and mouse pads, provides an avenue for personalized merchandise that resonates with your audience.
How to Sell Merch on TikTok in 7 easy steps
Selling merch may seem daunting, considering how much time, research, investment, and design skills it used to take in the past. But creating and selling merch is now easier than ever. You can make your online store in days with low risk, minimal knowledge, beginner design skills, and almost no investment.
Using services like on-demand production and selling merch on free platforms like TikTok provides a unique advantage: products are only made when they’re ordered, and you can connect your TikTok account directly to your manufacturer. As you sell your merchandise, the orders automatically go to your print-on-demand partner who does the rest of the work for you.
Here’s our step-by-step guide to get you started:
Get an Print-On-demand Fulfillment Partner
Getting an POD partner is a critical step to streamlining your operations and offering a seamless experience to your customers. To find the right on-demand fulfilment partner, start by assessing your business needs and identifying specific requirements. Consider factors such as order volume, shipping destinations, and the range of products you plan to offer. Conduct thorough research on potential fulfilment partners, looking into their track record, reliability, and scalability of their services.
You can use a POD supplier like Printful to supply your product. This POD supplier offers white-label products and they will print your designs on the product once someone purchases it and ships it out for you.
And more important is to get a POD supplier that can integrate seamlessly into TikTok Shop. This is so that when someone makes a purchase, the order will be sent to the POD supplier automatically. This removes the hassle of sending the order manually.
In addition, signing up to a POD supplier like Printful is free. There is no minimum commitment or monthly fee for you to access its product catalogues and start selling.
Setup your TikTok account – Sell Merch on TikTok
To embark on the TikTok journey, start by downloading the TikTok app from either the App Store for iOS or the Google Play Store for Android. Upon launching the app, sign up for a new account using your email, and phone number, or by leveraging third-party platforms such as Facebook or Google for a quicker registration process.
With your account created, proceed to personalize your profile by adding a profile picture, selecting a username, and crafting a bio that effectively represents your brand or personal identity. Once your profile is set up, navigate to account settings to fine-tune privacy preferences, choose between a public or private account, and customise interactions with your content.
Connecting Printful to TikTok – Sell Merch on TikTok
Initiating a connection between Printful and TikTok involves several steps. Begin by creating a Printful account on their website, furnishing the necessary details to establish your account. Then, inside your Printful account, set up your online store by linking it to your TikTok account. Next, choose the products you wish to sell on TikTok within the Printful dashboard, customizing designs and setting appropriate pricing for each item.
To link an account, go to Home -> scroll down to Link an official TikTok account > click Link now.
Next, go to Apps & Services on the left sidebar and select App & Service Store.In the search bar, type Printful, click on it, and press Install.
Set the duration to 1 year (you’ll have to re-authorize the Printful app after one year). Add your email and click Confirm to install. In the next window, press Authorize.
You’ll have to log in to Printful to finish the setup process.
Go to your Printful dashboard > click Stores > TikTok Shop.
Choose The Product You Want To Sell – Sell Merch on TikTok
Printful offers an extensive array of over 350 products spanning diverse categories, providing you with a wide selection to choose from for your e-commerce venture. These products encompass various niches, ranging from apparel and accessories to home goods and promotional items.
Furthermore, Printful provides versatile customization techniques, including printing, embroidery, and sublimation. This will then enable you to infuse your unique brand aesthetic into your merchandise.
Given the abundance of choices, it’s understandable if the selection process feels overwhelming. A practical approach to mitigate this is to begin with something straightforward, such as printed t-shirts.
The simplicity of printed t-shirts not only allows you to ease into the customization process but also serves as a versatile canvas for expressing your brand identity. By starting with a familiar and popular product like a printed t-shirt, you can comfortably establish your brand presence, gaining confidence in the e-commerce landscape.
As your business grows and you become more comfortable with the intricacies of product selection and customization, you can seamlessly expand your product range to include a diverse array of items in the future. The key is to initiate your journey with a manageable focus, allowing for organic growth and evolution as you navigate the world of e-commerce with Printful.
Create The Design for Your Product – Sell Merch on TikTok
You don’t need to be a professional designer to create your design. And you never know which one will go viral. We heard from a lot of successful print-on-demand seller that their simple design actually gets more sales.
And since it’s just a minimal fee to create a new design, you can create more and test it out.
Printful’s Design Maker is also very beginner-friendly, so you don’t need to use any external software. It’s a free built-in design tool with 20K+ pre-made design assets for you to choose from. You can also preview and download free life-like mockups to use in your store listings on the TikTok app.
Order Samples of Your Merch – Sell Merch on TikTok
Ensuring the quality of your products before putting them up for sale is a priority with Printful. In addition, they provide the option to order samples at a discounted rate. After creating a design that satisfies you, take advantage of this opportunity by placing a sample order.
Once the merch arrives, use it personally for a while to evaluate its appearance and durability. This hands-on experience allows you to assess the product’s real-world appeal and make any necessary adjustments before launching it to a broader audience. Additionally, capitalize on this time to capture your own high-quality photos of the merchandise. These images can be utilized not only for your TikTok content but also for promotional posts on other social media platforms, enhancing the visibility of your upcoming launch.
Wearing your own merchandise in videos serves as another effective strategy for promoting and selling on social media platforms. By incorporating your products into your content, you organically showcase them to your audience without explicitly mentioning them. This subtle approach ensures that viewers perceive the merchandise in a natural context rather than as an overt advertisement.
Finally, leveraging this method on TikTok and other platforms allows you to reach your target audience more effortlessly, as individuals are often more receptive to content that feels authentic and less like a traditional advertisement. This dual-pronged approach of personally testing your products and integrating them into your social media content enhances the overall effectiveness of your merchandising strategy.
List Your Products and Start Selling – Sell Merch on TikTok
Once you’ve successfully linked your online store and crafted your merchandise, the important moment arrives to unveil your creations to the world. As you prepare for this exciting phase, your pricing strategy becomes paramount. Striking the right balance between competitiveness and sustainability is crucial, necessitating a thoughtful approach that takes into account production costs, shipping expenses, potential returns, and, of course, your desired profit margin.
To embark on this pricing journey, it’s imperative to comprehend the holistic picture of your business model. Ensuring that your prices align with the costs associated with production and distribution guarantees a foundation for long-term success.
Besides, the competitive aspect requires vigilance, positioning your products attractively within the market while keeping an eye on sustainability. In essence, your pricing strategy should not only entice potential customers but also fortify the financial health of your venture.
Create Fresh Content To Promote Your Merch – Sell Merch on TikTok
When engaging in online product sales, it’s important to cultivate a dynamic presence through video content and maintain a consistent posting schedule to captivate your audience. You can elevate your content by offering an inside look into the entire journey of creating your merchandise, from its inception to completion.
Authenticity plays a pivotal role, so be transparent about your experience in the process—share the challenges, triumphs, and genuine passion behind each creation. In addition, you may also craft promotional videos in a manner consistent with your regular content, ensuring that authenticity remains at the forefront. By presenting your products with the same genuine approach as your videos, you’re more likely to foster a connection with your audience and, subsequently, drive engagement.
The key to effective product sales lies in getting your audience emotionally invested in what you offer. Express genuine pride in your creations, whether it’s a single t-shirt or an entire collection, and let that emotion shine through as you discuss your TikTok merch. In addition, your enthusiasm and authenticity will resonate with viewers, making them more likely to become invested in your products.
Additionally, don’t limit your promotional efforts solely to TikTok. Extend your reach by promoting your launch on other platforms, even if TikTok serves as your primary sales channel. This cross-platform promotion widens your audience reach, ensuring that your merchandise gains exposure to a broader demographic. Utilizing multiple platforms strategically enhances your overall marketing strategy, making your merchandise more accessible and appealing to a diverse audience.
Final Thoughts: How to Sell Merch on TikTok with Print-on-Demand
Throughout this guide, we’ve explored the crucial steps in the process—from setting up a TikTok business account to creating compelling content and integrating Printful into your workflow. The beauty of print-on-demand lies in its ability to democratize e-commerce, allowing anyone with creativity and determination to venture into the world of online business without the constraints of inventory management.
However, the success of selling merch on TikTok with Print-on-Demand hinges on more than just the technical aspects. It’s about building a connection with your audience, showcasing the authenticity of your brand, and infusing passion into every piece of merchandise. The journey doesn’t end with a successful sale. Instead, it’s an ongoing process of engaging with your community, adapting to trends, and continually refining your approach.