TikTok Video Shopping Ads: Supercharged Shopping Experience

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Carolyn Howell

Last Updated: Mar 19, 2024

TikTok 101

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TikTok takes online shopping to another level with TikTok Video Shopping Ads or VSA. How do shoppable videos work? How are they different from other types of TikTok shoppable ads? 

We’ll answer these questions and more in this comprehensive TikTok VSA guide.

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What Are TikTok Video Shopping Ads?

VSAs are one of three types of TikTok shopping ads. The other two are LIVE Shopping Ads and Product Shopping Ads. VSAs allow sellers to create shoppable, in-feed videos. Sellers with a TikTok Shop can create a VSA to let viewers shop directly from the video through the product anchor link.

Here are the key features of VSAs:

  • VSAs allow sellers to create shoppable in-feed videos. 
  • You can tailor in-feed shoppable videos as you would regular For You videos to target customers based on their interests. 
  • VSAs allow buyers to discover, browse, and buy products via the product anchor link or card. 
  • VSAs link to your product catalog via your TikTok Shop or Product Catalog. 

What Are the Benefits of VSAs? 

How do VSAs help maximize traffic and sales? Here’s a quick rundown of the benefits of VSAs. 

  • VSAs are TikTok’s all-in-one “e-commerce advertising solution to supercharge sales on your website.”
  • They allow sellers to promote products on For You Pages (FYPs). 
  • They leverage the targeting power of interest-driven For You recommendations. 
  • VSAs offer convenient solutions to drive year-round sales through seasonal and evergreen campaigns. 
  • According to TikTok business insights, 56% of TikTok users say TikTok ads help them discover new products and brands. 
  • The same source reports that compared to other platform users, TikTok users are 1.5% more likely to discover new products and brands while on the platform. 
  • Purchasing is easier through TikTok ads, according to 70% of users. 
  • The first round of the VSA beta test reveals that VSA campaigns can deliver 4% higher returns on ad spend (ROAS) and 15% more conversions.

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Who Can Create VSA?

To create a VSA, you need a TikTok Shop or Product Catalog to link to. 

Sellers can set up a TikTok Shop to make their products available via in-feed videos, LIVEs, and the Product Showcase tab. To promote products, Sellers and creators can add a Product Catalog tab to their profile page. A Product Catalog can contain any of the following:

  • All the products in a seller’s TikTok Shop. 
  • Some of the products in a seller’s TikTok Shop. 
  • Products from multiple TikTok Shops. 

How Can You Access VSA?

To access VSA, you must have a TikTok Shop or Product Showcase. You’ll find the VSA feature in TikTok Ads Manager through the Product Sales objective. Some third-party apps like Shopify also offer the TikTok VSA option. 

Here are your options to access VSA:

  1. Connect your TikTok Shop to one or multiple Ad Accounts for advertising purposes in Seller Center
  2. Go to TikTok Business Center and request TikTok Shop access to one or multiple Ad Accounts for advertising purposes. 
  3. Go to TikTok Ads Manager and get Showcase permission for your TikTok account.

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How Do You Create a VSA?

Again, you need a TikTok Shop or Product Showcase to create a VSA. Once you have set up a Shop or product catalog to link to, you can create a new VSA campaign. 

Create VSA for a TikTok Shop

Follow these steps to create your VSA for a TikTok Shop. The first step requires creating a new Ad campaign:

  1. Go to TikTok Ads Manager>Campaign>Create new
  2. Under Advertising objective, select Product sales.
  3. Under Product source, select TikTok Shop
  4. Complete the Campaign settings

Note that you can only select Product sales as your campaign advertising objective. When you’ve set up your VSA campaign, you must set up an Ad group

  1. Fill in the Ad group name
  2. For Shop Setting, select Video Shopping Ads as the Shopping ads type
  3. For Placements, you can only have TikTok Placement for your VSA. 
  4. For Targeting, make sure you select 18+ for Age selection
  5. For Bidding, your options are Highest value / lowest cost and Set minimum ROAS / cost cap.
  6. For Optimization, select from Gross Revenue, Purchase, Initiate Checkout, or Click.
  7. Complete the rest of the Ad group settings, then click Next

When you’ve set up your Ad group, you’re ready to create your VSA. 

  1. Input the Ad name
  2. Under Ad Detail, input your TikTok account as your creative materials source. 
  3. Select up to 20 products for your ad. Make sure each product is available in your shop. After you select a product, you’ll see a preview of the ad landing page
  4. For Creatives, select a TikTok post that belongs to the TikTok account you selected above or upload a video. 
  5. Complete the rest of the Ad settings, then click Submit

Create VSA for a Product Catalog

If you don’t have a TikTok Shop, you can use a product catalog to link to your VSA. To do this, you’ll need to:

  1. Create a catalog via TikTok Business Center.
  2. Upload your products to the catalog. You need at least deliverable products in your catalog to run a VSA. Each product has to be in stock, approved, and active.
  3. Upload or generate videos for the products in your catalog. You can use product information to generate a catalog video dynamically. Alternatively, you can upload videos or select videos from your Asset Library. If your catalog contains links to product videos, you don’t need to generate videos for your products. 
  4. Connect your app measurement partner or your TikTok Pixel to your Catalog
  5. Create your VSA campaign using the products in your catalog.

A person enters their credit card information in their laptop to complete an online purchase.

Can I Create TikTok VSAs To Connect With Other E-Commerce Platforms?

Yes, you can create TikTok VSAs to connect with other e-commerce platforms. TikTok offers several integration opportunities for VSA. This means you don’t need to set up a TikTok Shop to use Video Shopping Ads on TikTok. Currently, the following partnerships are available for VSAs:

  • Smartly.Io is an Ads & Campaign Partner.
  • ProductsUp is a Catalog Feed Partner.
  • Shopify, Big Commerce, WooCommerce, ECWID by Lightwood, and Salesforce are Commerce Partners.

If you linked your commerce platform with TikTok, you must complete additional steps to create VSAs

Products for You: Leverage the For You Feed To Drive Sales

TikTok’s powerful recommendation algorithm continues to be lightyears ahead of the competition. It successfully satisfies user interests with its video recommendations via the For You feed. And every time it does, it also facilitates meaningful connections that help creators and brands grow engaged communities. 

It’s far easier to reach your target audience organically on TikTok than on other platforms. And TikTok’s For You feed also gives advertisers the same interest-based targeting capability. This means the platform also identifies suitable audiences for sponsored posts and ads based on user interests. The same optimization strategy you use for organic posts can work just as effectively for sponsored posts and ads.

With TikTok Video Shopping Ads, you can immediately connect with TikTok users who are likely to buy. Shoppable videos on TikTok allow you to harness the targeting power of the For You feed recommendation algorithm. But what if you can boost sales even further?

It’s possible when you double your targeting capability with High Social’s advanced, proprietary AI solution. Sign up for a High Social plan to deliver your products to more potential buyers. Start growing your TikTok today!

TikTok 101