The Insider’s Guide to TikTok: How short-form video boosts eCommerce conversion | #019

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In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Mike Angell, Co-founder of Vop, an app that allows brands to create a shoppable TikTok feed.  From small beginnings as […]

EP 19
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Nathan Bush is a director at eCommerce talent agency, eSuite. He has led eCommerce for businesses with revenue $100m+ and has been recognised as one of Australia’s Top 50 People in eCommerce four years in a row. You can contact Nathan on LinkedIn, Twitter or via email.


Mike Angell, the Co-founder of Vop, is a self-taught programmer. Throughout his career, he has worked with some stellar names in the eCommerce industry including Black Milk, Culture Kings, and Shopify.

If you enjoyed this conversation on TikTok & Vop, you might enjoy our podcast about another platform that allows users to check product availability in physical stores. If that’s not a positive shopping experience, who knows what is.

In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Mike Angell, Co-founder of Vop, an app that allows brands to create a shoppable TikTok feed.  From small beginnings as a self taught programmer, Mike has managed to work with some of the biggest names including, Black Milk , Shopify and Culture Kings.  He shares his thoughts on everything social media from communities and their preferred platforms to the key criteria for developing strategy, plus we get his insider take on how brands should navigate TikTok and predictions for the future.

The majority of users today prefer watching over reading, and video has been shown to be twice as engaging as images.  So, it is not surprising that a lot of brands have switched to short-form videos. 

As technology continues to evolve, images and videos have become more accessible to users. They no longer have to worry about limited/slow internet connection or compatibility issues with the devices they are using. Since a lot of users have switched preferences, marketers have also started promoting their products through video ads.

In this episode of Add to Cart, Vop co-founder Mike Angell shares his experience on how short-form videos can help boost your brand’s eCommerce conversion.

The one thing a lot of brands don’t realise is, you can’t dip your toe in a new social platform, it’s about coming up with a full strategy and executing it multiple ways.

Mike Angell
Questions answered in this episode include
  • How are retailers using a shoppable TikTok feed and what types of results are they getting?
  • What are your top tips for brands who are considering expanding their social presence to TikTok? 
  • What does the future hold for TikTok and other social media platforms?
  • How does a brand build community?

What is Vop?

Vop is a website plugin that allows brands to add their TikTok videos directly to their websites. Using the plugin, brands can also upload a complete video shopping page, making the purchasing process more convenient for the users. 

The effectiveness of a shoppable TikTok feed

TikTok has launched a new feature allowing brands to add a link to their videos where users can complete their purchase without leaving the app. This feature makes shopping more convenient for the users, providing them with a positive shopping experience, and at the same time helps to increase the brand’s conversion rate.

Some well-known brands have started reaching out to TikTok influencers to help them promote their products on the platform. Levi’s for example, partnered with TikTok influencers to use the company’s technology to create customised jeans. The video of this collaboration, later on, appeared on the platform as in-feed ads where users can click to buy their favourite custom design. Levi’s reported that product views of the items that appeared on videos have doubled.

Since Vop allows brands to attach their TikTok feeds to their website, users who don’t have TikTok accounts can still see the short-form content that the brands are using to capture the attention of their target audience.

Tips for brands who want to expand their social presence on TikTok

“Go all in and be authentic.”

Angell emphasises that brands should provide their customers with authentic content as this is the side that people want to see. 

While most brands are still hesitant about showing too much on TikTok, “… the good ones are going out to influencers and content creators to create their content cause the good thing is they know how to create good content and they know how to bring your brand into that content…”  

How brands build a community

TikTok focuses more on providing entertainment, it’s not really a place for eCommerce but it helps generate some sales for the brands. Angell also discusses that It’s not really the commerce functionality that does well for brands, it’s more about having a place to build a community. Users who engage in TikTok are not really into buying products using the app, their focus is more on discovering what the brand has to offer. 

Angell mentions that when it comes to brands using TikTok for their short-form videos, it’s all about building social proof, which helps the brand increase their conversion rate up to 1% to 2%. While getting social content next to your products definitely helps to enforce the purchase of potential customers, brands need to show more authentic content and provide what their community want to see.

Angell tells the story of how Black Milk, a popular clothing brand, built their community in the early days of Facebook and how they were able to show their transformation by jumping in early, learning, and developing their communities.

“If you don’t have a community, you’re not a brand. You’re just a company.”

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