All you need to know about TikTok’s Video Shopping Ads and how to set them up with Channable

February 22, 2024

TikTok’s Video Shopping Ads (VSAs) enables marketers to create personalized ads to target any audience. TikTok’s VSA platform works by accessing product catalogs of SKUs, enabling you to create thousands or even millions of ads.

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All you need to know about TikTok’s Video Shopping Ads and how to set them up with Channable

Video Shopping Ads aren’t currently available in all markets. Please check with TikTok if you are eligible to launch VSAs.

Video Shopping Ads have replaced Dynamic Showcase Ads (DSAs), with TikTok taking the chance to add a number of improvements for advertisers along the way.

Don’t worry if you’ve never created dynamic product ads, or a product catalog before; Channable makes it easy for advertisers to set up, optimize, and integrate them into the TikTok Ads platform.

We’re going to explain what Video Shopping Ads are, how they work, and why Channable is the best solution for advertisers who want to take advantage of the world’s fastest-growing social media platform.

TikTok advertising: What are TikTok Video Shopping Ads (VSAs)?

TikTok’s Video Shopping Ads (VSAs) are customized video ads that are shaped around a user’s preferences and behavior. They’re created in real-time and are based on TikTok’s customizable ad templates.

Templates are automatically filled with product information from a product catalog created, maintained, and updated by the advertiser.

VSAs can be described as TikTok’s approach to dynamic product ads. If you’re unfamiliar with dynamic ads, they’re a type of social ad popular among advertisers who use them to promote large product portfolios. Dynamic product ads can be used in apps and social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat.

VSAs are a key part of TikTok’s full-service eCommerce solution. It comprises an array of ad formats and tools designed to provide businesses with the opportunity to capture the full power of TikTok's influence on purchase decisions.

On TikTok, authenticity is crucial, says Rochelle White, CEO of a Gen Z-focused digital marketing agency that works with clients including Adidas, Asos, Skoda, VW, and more.

“Consumers see through polished content and even fake content. Users on TikTok use the platform for 3 key things: education, entertainment, and inspiration.”

“If you're fake, your content won't resonate with any of your target audience.” It’s why advertisers are turning to VSAs.

What are the benefits of Video Shopping Ads?

Typically, advertisers use VSAs to build awareness and drive app downloads. They achieve this by promoting products and retargeting potential customers to increase purchase intent – and it works!

There are three main benefits of running TikTok Video Shopping Ads:

1. Advertise a large product portfolio at scale

TikTok ads are based on templates, which are automatically filled with information from a product catalog. This makes them a powerful and effective solution to advertise large product portfolios at scale but in a personalized way.

Everything’s done automatically, saving marketers the cost and expense of manually creating thousands of individual ads.

2. Create highly personalized content

VSAs make It easier than ever for advertisers to create personalized content. The adaptability and optimization of product catalogs in real time (for example, filtering out-of-stock products) enable you to (re-) target relevant products to audiences showing a specific behavior, or interest.

TikTok’s advertising formats and creative templates blend seamlessly with content created by users, so ads appear more native – this can make them more appealing and authentic to customers, and effective for advertisers.

3. Target customers across devices

VSAs can target customers who’ve shown interest in an advertiser's products, showing them ads across platforms and devices. Advertisers can target an interested visitor who initially browsed a website on a desktop computer and later re-visits it on a mobile device.

Retargeting this way means ads are served across platforms, maximizing opportunities to see.

How do Video Shopping Ads work?

Video Shopping Ads use a product catalog. This is a data file containing all of your product information. You can list thousands or even millions of products in your catalog, as long as they have a unique SKU.

You’ll need to ensure that your product catalog contains all the information TikTok needs. You can learn more in its guide to Catalog Product Parameters.

The product catalog is connected to TikTok’s Ads Manager, where the ad template pulls the product information from the feed to create the final ad. It’s critical that this feed is constantly updated and optimized to make VSA’s as effective as possible.

Video Shopping Ads can be targeted to two types of audiences:

1. Potential new customers

TikTok allows advertisers to specify a custom audience at the ad group level, specifying who should see what ads.

2. Retargeting audience

One of the most interesting – and effective – ways of using VSAs is through retargeting. Your ads will be displayed to any user interested in a brand or product on an app, a website, or TikTok.

TikTok tracks customer behavior via a pixel (essentially a piece of code added to your website)or an SDK for apps. Marketers can use this data to build a better picture of customers, learn more about their behavior, and make more intelligent business decisions.

Advertisers can create certain ‘events’ to improve targeting. These events essentially tell TikTok what type of behavior and products to cross-reference with the uploaded product catalog to serve an ad for the same product again.

4 reasons to consider TikTok advertising right now

Tiktok mobile

TikTok is a social media behemoth with over 1 billion active users. Some of the world’s biggest brands and best marketers have quickly realized the unique advantages of the platform.

Here are 4 reasons why brands, retailers, and digital marketers should advertise on TikTok:

Reach Gen Z

According to Wallaroo Media and Statista, TikTok’s main audience is Generation Z (those born in the late ‘90s to 2010).

This demographic makes up an impressive one-quarter of its users (25%). Late Millennials (those born in the early to mid ‘90s) are second, almost 22% of the platform’s total users.

The lesson? TikTok and Instagram are the only social platforms that reach this many young adults and teenagers. If you want to target adults aged 18-35, TikTok is a channel you can’t afford to miss.

The impact of advertising on TikTok for a brand can be massive, says White. She describes working on the benefits of TikTok ads for a well-known drinks brand. “Building a brand that can freely express itself without having to fight the algorithms or fit in with anyone else is refreshing.

“This provides a new way for brands to be creative, tell their story, and for users to engage and discover new products,” she says.

Getting the right ad approach has had incredible results for White and the brand she was working with. In just six months, the team achieved incredible results, including:

  • 1.7m advert views
  • 13.7k on organic content
  • Increased followers from 12,567 to 222.9k
  • 33.5k account likes

The brand decided to run TikTok ads alongside Instagram Reels but had to adjust its approach for the audience to appeal to their needs.

Brands advertising on TikTok should ensure they’re authentic in their messaging and ethical in their approach, says Ian Spencer at content marketing agency 42group.

“Gen Z customers want to buy from brands with a purpose beyond simply making money. We recommend that clients investing in TikTok advertising spend time understanding the opportunities and adjust their tone and approach accordingly.”

Statista graph

High engagement rates

According to The Verge, the average TikTok user spends 52 minutes per day using the platform.

These are impressive numbers compared to other platforms, with users spending just 28 minutes on Instagram and 30 minutes on Snapchat.

The majority (68%) of users watch, like (63%), and follow (63%) other people, which enables ads and videos to spread organically, which can lead to huge exposure for campaigns. This can be amplified by using TikTok’s full advertising capabilities, like hashtag challenges and live streams.

Engagement on the platform can be broken down as follows:


TikTok users (really) like to shop - and buy on impulse

According to research by GWI, more than 80% of TikTok users are more likely to cite a “buy button” on a social media platform as a purchase driver than users on other social networks.

TikTok says its users are 1.7x more likely to have purchased a product they discovered from the TikTok app than any other social media platform.

However, only 14% actively research products on TikTok (compared to 28% of other social networks). This highlights the impulsive nature of TikTok shoppers. Users who see it want to buy it – and they tend to purchase immediately.

TikTok worked with athletics brand Aerie to boost sales among a female audience. Using dynamic product ads, the brand automatically targeted users with thousands of different products.

They achieved a 7.88 return on advertising spend (ROAS), with a 78% more efficient cost-per-purchase than the initial goal.

TikTok is great at increasing awareness and top-of-funnel communication

GWI’s research illustrates how successful brands are currently advertising on TikTok. Top-of-funnel communication (such as creating brand awareness by sharing marketing messages) is a key objective for over a third (33%). Just a quarter (26%) of campaigns aim to achieve a direct sales lift.

“All the ad campaigns we’ve run on TikTok have been tested to work out the effectiveness of future promotions,” says Kristian Sturt, owner and lead influencer marketing agency Colossal Influence. “What we worked out in this time is that as of today TikTok tends to offer better value than IG and Youtube when done correctly (their native ad platform).”

TikTok advertising is highly cost-effective, says Sturt.

“Brands often use TikTok to promote to Gen Z in short-form content. As of today, it tends to offer decent value when compared to its counterparts on social media because comparatively it’s a new platform and so price points are still being formed/being kept lower to entice companies.”

Why brands use TiKTok (1)

6 Steps to create and run TikTok VSAs with Channable

In 2024, advertising on TikTok is critical for retail brands and businesses who want to connect with Gen Z. Setting up campaigns on TikTok is simple – if you know what you’re doing.

Channable makes it as easy as possible for all advertisers to create campaigns that increase awareness and drive engagement among hard-to-reach customers.

Here are 6 steps to create and run TikTok VSAs with Channable.

1. Create a Channable TikTok Product Feed

It’s now easier than ever to have your source feed updated, optimized and ready to go for TikTok’s Video Shopping Ads. Channable enables you to create, manage and evaluate social selling campaigns that target Gen Z.

Simply upload your products to Channable and create a TikTok feed channel. This is the simple way to categorize your products.

You can use Channable’s rules to enrich and optimize the product information and map all relevant fields to match TikTok’s requirements.

Want to know more about online marketing? Read our [Social Commerce in 2022 guide]( to learn how to drive conversions across TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, and more.

Step 1 copy

2. Create a Product Catalog on TikTok Ads Manager

Enter TikTok’s Ad Manager to create a product catalog within the platform.


3. Connect the product feed to the Product Catalog

Use the URL generated in the “feed setup” step in Channable to integrate your updated product feed into the TikTok product catalog.

Step 3

Once a catalog is created, you can connect Channable’s product feed to the platform by inserting the Feed’s URL. TikTok automatically loads all products into your catalog and keeps the product file up to date. You can manage the feed completely within Channable. Any updates will be updated on TikTok in less than an hour.

Step 3.3

4. Generate one or more video templates for your catalog

Step4 generateVideoTemplates (1)

This is the fun part. TikTok provides a huge range of ad templates in the same style as user content. You can adapt, adjust, and customize these to suit your brand.

There are some limitations. For example, each Catalog has a limit of 20 video packages.

5. Integrate Events

Step 5

If you want to retarget specific users that have performed an action on your website or app, you’ll need to install the pixel and set up “events”. TikTok then tracks this behavior and matches it with your product catalog.

Creating events gives you even greater control over advertising, and provides greater opportunities for targeting specific users.

6. Choose your audience and launch your campaign

You’re almost done! Here you can set up campaigns, ad groups and ads. At the ad group level you are able to select your catalog and product sets as well as choose the audience.

At ad level you can specify your video ad design and (deep) link your ads to your preferred destination.

Step 6

Create TikTok video shopping ads with impact

One thing is certain: Social media advertising is changing. TikTok users don’t want generic ads; they want personalization - and delivering it pays. “In most cases, they’ll give authentic content a shot. As long as it's displayed as an ad, no rules are being broken,” says Sturt.

Using VSAs is a shortcut to better click-through rates (CTR), engagement and overall, higher return on ad spend (ROAS).

VSAs enable you to create a brand with personality, and that's powerful, says White. “Building a brand that can freely express itself without having to fight the algorithms or fit in with anyone else is refreshing,” she says.

Channable makes it simple to generate thousands of ads in an instant, connecting you with Gen Z consumers more efficiently and effectively than ever before.

If you’re a Channable customer, you can trial TikTok VSAs in your existing Channable account.

Not signed up? Contact us today for your free trial.

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Vanshj SethBrand Marketing

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