Fashion Forward: How Fashion Brands Can Maximize TikTok Shop Success

Updated: June 14, 2024


9 mins read


Did you know social commerce is set to revolutionize retail, with projected transaction volumes reaching $73 billion this year and US$145 billion by 2029?

For fashion brands, TikTok Shop (TTS) is at the forefront of this revolution, leveraging dynamic and interactive formats—like shoppable videos, product showcases, and live shopping events—that resonate with consumers in beauty and fashion, the platform’s top-performing category.

Despite the immense potential, fashion brands often struggle to navigate the complexities of this vibrant new channel. TikTok Shop has a unique set of rules and guidelines that can be daunting for brands new to the space. Recognizing these challenges, AfterShip partnered with TikTok Shop to create a solution for fashion brands looking to make the most of their presence. 

Introduced in September 2023, AfterShip Feed was the first recommended independent software vendor (ISV) product to streamline the integration process. It makes it easier for brands to connect with consumers and capitalize on the burgeoning opportunities in social commerce.

In this article, you'll learn:

  • The common challenges and pain points that fashion retailers face on TikTok Shop
  • How AfterShip Feed can help fashion retailers overcome these hurdles and excel at commerce on TTS

Key challenges that fashion faces on TikTok Shop

As brands strive to capitalize on the exciting opportunities that social commerce presents on TikTok Shop, they encounter multiple operational hurdles that can impede their path to success. Below, we outline the six primary obstacles fashion retailers face on TTS and their implications for business operations.

  1. Manual product listing challenges: Fashion brands can face significant delays in getting products to market due to the manual effort required to list each product on TikTok Shop. This includes filling in detailed product attributes and editing images, which can be especially cumbersome with frequent product launches and seasonal changes.
  2. Disconnected fulfillment processes: The absence of automated and disconnected order fulfillment processes forces brands to manually input and manage orders across multiple platforms, leading to inefficiencies and increased potential for errors in order fulfillment.
  3. Risk of overselling due to inadequate WMS support: Many warehouse management systems (WMS) do not fully support TikTok Shop, resulting in a lack of synchronized inventory. This often leads to overselling, as inventory levels are not updated in real-time across all selling channels.
  4. Complications from auto-restocking: TikTok Shop's default auto-restocking feature can lead to premature product restocking before quality checks are completed, causing overselling and inventory management issues.
  5. Complex returns policies for final sale items: Fashion brands struggle with TikTok Shop’s mandated returns policies, particularly regarding final sale items that cannot be returned. This requires specific solutions to deactivate certain listings to comply with platform returns rules and the brand's sales strategies.
  6. Handling returns across different portals: Managing returns involves significant manual effort as brands need to handle return requests in different systems, such as TikTok Shop’s Seller Center and their own returns software. This lack of a synchronized solution complicates the returns process and increases the workload on customer service teams.

How AfterShip Feed helps fashion brands succeed on TikTok Shop

Launched in September 2023 through a collaboration between AfterShip and TikTok Shop, AfterShip Feed is a cutting-edge product feed management tool custom-built to optimize the online presence of fashion brands on this dynamic platform. Here’s how AfterShip Feed addresses the obstacles that fashion retailers face on TikTok Shop:

1. Faster and more effective product listing

AfterShip Feed addresses the manual product listing challenges that fashion brands encounter on TikTok Shop, significantly reducing the time and effort required to bring products to market.

By maintaining accurate and up-to-date product information across eCommerce platforms and TTS, AfterShip Feed minimizes manual workload, errors, and potential delays. Its robust TTS category mapping feature accurately categorizes items, ensuring products are easily discoverable. For example, mapping "Loungewear" and "Pajamas" from Shopify to "Pyjamas" on TTS ensures that products are easily discoverable. 

Additionally, AfterShip Feed's category templates automatically capture and synchronize newly launched products based on predefined rules, while bulk-editing capabilities allow for efficient updates of product details. The tool also enhances promotional flexibility through its rule-setting feature that can auto-deactivate specific listings, such as "Final Sale" items, ensuring that marketing strategies are effectively differentiated across sales channels.

With AfterShip Feed, fashion retailers can streamline their product listing process, accelerate their market presence, and adapt swiftly to fast-changing fashion trends.

2. Automated and integrated fulfillment processes

AfterShip Feed addresses the critical challenge of manual order fulfillment by offering an advanced, automated synchronization solution. The real-time order sync feature automatically displays orders from TTS on eCommerce platforms like Shopify, dramatically simplifying order management and fulfillment. This integration ensures efficient management under one system with customizable, filterable tags.

Moreover, AfterShip Feed enhances fulfillment accuracy by linking products with matching SKUs between TTS and eCommerce platforms, enabling automated order creation and facilitating a seamless fulfillment process.

Whether using Fulfilled by TikTok (FBT), Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment, or other methods, AfterShip Feed supports diverse logistical preferences, ensuring that fashion brands can meet their delivery commitments easily and efficiently, minimizing errors, and optimizing customer satisfaction.

3. Inventory and pricing synchronization

AfterShip Feed robustly addresses the challenge of overselling due to inadequate warehouse management system (WMS) support by providing sophisticated inventory synchronization capabilities. The platform automatically syncs inventory information from eCommerce stores to TTS, ensuring real-time accuracy in inventory levels across all selling channels.

To further prevent overselling or stockouts, AfterShip Feed allows fashion brands to set precise inventory rules, such as thresholds or percentages of total warehouse inventory tailored to their operational needs.

Additionally, AfterShip Feed’s advanced price rule settings enable brands to control their pricing strategies by synchronizing various price points, including original, compare-at, or sale prices across different sales channels. With these tools, fashion retailers can manage their multi-channel presence effectively, ensuring inventory and pricing consistency and enhancing customer satisfaction.

4. Integration with returns management solutions

AfterShip Feed tackles the complexities of managing returns across disparate systems by offering a centralized solution that integrates seamlessly with your preferred returns solutions like AfterShip Returns, Happy Returns, Loop, and Narvar Return. This integration simplifies the returns process by consolidating all return requests into a single, unified system.

Fashion brands can manage returns efficiently without switching between portals or manually inputting return data multiple times. By synchronizing returns management, AfterShip Feed significantly reduces manual effort and training required by operational teams and ensures that return policies are consistently applied across all platforms. This streamlined approach decreases the workload on customer service teams and enhances the overall customer experience by speeding up the returns process and ensuring accurate, timely updates on return status.

5. Improved auto-restocking

AfterShip Feed expertly addresses the complications associated with TikTok Shop's default auto-restocking feature, which can lead to premature product restocking and result in overselling and inventory discrepancies. By providing precise control over inventory management, AfterShip Feed enables fashion brands to disable the auto-restock function until quality checks are completed. This ensures that products meet brand standards before being made available for sale again, preventing overselling due to premature restocking.

Additionally, AfterShip Feed's integration with advanced returns management systems allows for a seamless process, ensuring that returns are handled efficiently and restocked only when appropriate. This functionality maintains inventory accuracy and upholds the high product quality standards that fashion retailers and their customers expect.

6. Better management of final sale items

AfterShip Feed effectively navigates the complexities of TikTok Shop’s returns policies, especially concerning final sale items that traditionally cannot be returned. This platform enables fashion brands to manage their listings proactively by automatically deactivating certain product listings designated as final sale items. This capability ensures compliance with TikTok Shop’s strict no-return mandates for these products while aligning with the brand’s sales strategies.

Using AfterShip Feed, brands can set custom rules that automatically adjust listings based on product tags assigned in their eCommerce platform, such as Shopify. For example, products tagged as "Final Sale" can be automatically excluded from being listed on TTS or deactivated from active listings, preventing ineligible returns and maintaining consistency with the brand's return policy framework. This strategic approach minimizes the risk of customer dissatisfaction and potential conflicts arising from return policy discrepancies.

As the digital marketplace continues to evolve, staying ahead of the curve is essential for fashion brands looking to optimize their success through social commerce. AfterShip Feed offers a comprehensive solution that addresses the unique challenges of TTS social commerce, encompassing:

  • Streamlining product listings
  • Enhancing inventory management
  • Centralizing order management
  • Automating fulfillment process integration
  • Simplifying complex returns processes

Integrating AfterShip Feed into your operations can reduce manual effort, prevent overselling, and ensure a seamless customer experience from browsing to returns.

Don't let the complexities of TTS social commerce hold you back. Contact us today to start your 14-day free trial with AfterShip Feed and reveal a new runway for your fashion brand's success on TikTok Shop.

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