Fulfilled by TikTok: How Little ELF Leverages FBT, Powered by ShipBob to Achieve Success on TikTok Shop [TikTok Unpacked Recap] 

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Learn how gift-wrapping tool, Little ELF, unlocked TikTok Shop as a sales channel with the help of Fulfilled by TikTok, Powered by ShipBob.

Note: This interview transcription is based on a webinar ShipBob hosted in March 2024.

Customer Profile

Founded by Bryan Perla, Little ELF is a gift-wrapping tool that helps consumers quickly and easily cut wrapping paper. Bryan created the prototype for Little ELF (which stands for Easy, Lightweight, Fast) in high school. Later, he launched a Kickstarter campaign to secure financing for production. After exceeding the campaign by 700%, Bryan was able to mass produce Little ELF and eventually take his product to Shark Tank, where he made a deal with Lori Greiner. Now, Little ELF is on retail shelves across the globe at stores like Walmart and Target and is an Amazon ‘Best Seller.’ 

About the session

At ShipBob’s 2024 TikTok Unpacked Summit, ShipBob’s Director of Platform Partnerships, Eshaan Bhatnagar, was joined by Little ELF CEO, Bryan Perla to discuss the brand’s adoption of TikTok Shop as an ecommerce channel, how Fulfilled by TikTok, Powered by ShipBob offers fast, efficient order fulfilment (even when order volume spikes due to going viral), the value of leveraging TikTok to grow an ecommerce brand, and more.  


I am excited to introduce Bryan, founder and CEO of Little ELF. For some context, Bryan is a Stanford University graduate of 2022 and now dedicates himself entirely to his company. Little ELF’s remarkable growth over the past three years stems from its robust social media presence and adept utilisation of these platforms to enhance all of its ecommerce sales. Little ELF utilises ShipBob’s Fulfilled by TikTok program to fulfil all of the orders coming in from their TikTok Shop.  


It’s awesome to be here, and I’m excited for the talk to unpack, literally, what Little ELF is doing on TikTok and how that can apply to other brands and companies.  

On prioritizing TikTok as a sales channel 


As the ecommerce industry has evolved, a lot of these omnichannel strategies have become very important for DTC brands to reach customers. When you were evaluating new sales channels, what made you choose TikTok? 


Prior to the launch of TikTok Shop, we were already very present on TikTok. Little ELF is a product you really need to see to understand, which has its pros and cons. In-store shopping is really difficult for us because you might not fully understand what it is right away or how to use it.  

When TikTok Shop rolled out, I saw other brands – especially fellow Shark Tank brands, which are visually captivating – have success on it. So, I rolled it out slowly with a little hesitation, wondering if TikTok Shop was going to be legit. 

For Little ELF, our first product was sold on TikTok Shop in the summer and then a few months later, we were pushing out 70,000-80,000 units during the holidays. That’s amazing. It’s awesome to be able to sell on TikTok and benefit from all the views that we get. ShipBob and TikTok being able to help us set up that supply chain channel so quickly is quite impressive.  

On keeping up with order fulfilment after viral moments 


Can you share some insight on how you got started with TikTok Shop? Little ELF was a ShipBob customer before TikTok Shop, but can you share some details around getting set up on TikTok Shop? 


I’ll go back to our roots. When we first launched our Kickstarter, we wanted to raise $118,000 and ended up raising $130,000 in 45 days. We sold 12,000 products. We needed to partner with a company like ShipBob to get all these products out to our customers. So, we’ve been with ShipBob since 2018 – all the way through our Shark Tank appearance to today.  

“We decided to use ShipBob for TikTok Shop orders because we simply couldn’t handle that type of distribution. Shipping 80,000 units during a short period of 5 weeks during the holiday season is something that a professional fulfilment partner is set up to handle, not a small business. So that’s when we turned to ShipBob and said, ‘We can’t get through this holiday season without your help.’  

We had already been working with ShipBob and had the confidence that they had the strategies and fulfilment capabilities to handle it. We didn’t have to worry about any potential hiccups because if there were obstacles, we would have realized that years ago when we first started working with them.” 

Bryan Perla, CEO of Little ELF

Although it’s a new system regarding the relationship with TikTok, it’s not a new system in the backend of the supply chain.  


You’re currently doing Fulfilled by TikTok, Powered by ShipBob, where you’re sending products via the TikTok platform. Do you have any insight on that experience? 


Yeah, so TikTok Shop is modeled very similarly to Amazon’s Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA). I’m very familiar with Fulfilled by Amazon, and I know a lot of businesses are. For Fulfilled by TikTok, you send pallets and freight to TikTok (ShipBob fulfilment centres), and then once it arrives, you can kind of breathe and you can sleep at night knowing your products have been received and stored.  

You’re really entrusting ShipBob with your customers and how your customers perceive you. I think that’s an important thing to any brand, whether big or small. We know that throughout all of our channels – whether it’s our website or TikTok Shop – that once products get to the warehouse, they’re handled and when orders come in that same day, they are shipped out.  

Going viral on TikTok is a good thing. And when you don’t have a fulfilment strategy and you don’t have an effective and efficient strategy, it can be a bad thing because then backorders happen. And then you go to sleep one night, and you wake up with 10,000 views and you wake up with 1,000 orders. Okay, that’s a long day. But then you’re going to wake up the next day with 2,000 orders and it can snowball into potentially something that’s bad.

So, we wanted to have insurance that that wasn’t going to happen, and we wanted to ensure that going viral maintained to be a really good thing and capitalise on that. 

On creating content and reclaiming time no longer spent on fulfilment 


I love that sentiment. I always like to think of that fulfilment strategy as your supply chain department, right? That brings me to my next question: . What can you do now because you don’t have to worry about fulfilment? How did you invest your time to expand your business? 


Using ShipBob as a fulfilment partner has allowed me to really focus on creativity and content creation. We post 10-15 times a week on TikTok alone. When you fulfil orders out of your garage, it takes time away from creating content. You get these sweeping up and down periods in terms of consistencies of sales. You go viral, and then you stop posting because you need to fulfil those orders. Then you stop posting, so your videos start to decline, and then you have no sales, and you’re sitting around. So, then you start posting a lot again, and then you go viral. In this continuous cycle, you can never get caught up.  

Now we’re focused on having enough inventory at ShipBob so we can go super viral and continue going viral. Using ShipBob for fulfilment has allowed us to focus on creating a higher volume of good content. 


That is awesome. Talking about content creation, how is your strategy on TikTok different than other channels? How do you ensure consistency across all these multiple channels? 


We try to think of it in two different ways. One, how does it bring value to our customers? And two, how does it create viral content? They’re the same things, but not necessarily. If you’re providing value, it’s going to go viral. Our content strategy is really about taking our product, integrating it into pop culture, and having fun with it. I think that’s what people love about our product and our brand.  

On Instagram, we get to focus more on the customer reviews, the benefits, and the features of the product. On Facebook, we get to focus a lot more on the advertising side. TikTok is by far our biggest traffic driver, followed by Instagram, followed by Facebook, and then followed by our email newsletter. If we post to TikTok and videos are doing well, our website sales are going to go up. If we’re posting to Facebook and doing well, our website sales are going to go up too. It’s just really important to understand your traffic sources. 

On the secret to TikTok success as a brand creator  


I think that’s a great point. Here’s a question from the audience: What was the biggest challenge you faced in your company’s rapid growth, and how did you address it? 


I think the biggest challenge we’ve faced is going viral, honestly. It sounds funny because that’s what everyone wants. But it’s difficult because you’re always trying to catch up, and it’s always evolving and always changing. You never know when it’s going to hit. You can’t just go viral overnight. It’s a constant process of growing and learning. I think that’s what makes it fun, but it’s also really hard. 


Absolutely, Bryan. That’s a great point. We have time for one more question. What advice would you give to brands looking to build a presence on TikTok? 


The biggest thing is just to have fun with it. Don’t try to be perfect. Don’t try to script out your videos. I think what makes TikTok special is the authenticity behind it. It doesn’t have to be a perfect video. It doesn’t have to be a perfect product. We have plenty of videos that we’ve posted where we have mess-ups or mistakes or whatever, but people love them because it’s real.  

Watch the Session  

Watch the complete session with Eshaan and Bryan here. 

Get Started with ShipBob 

Interested in leveraging ShipBob’s fulfilment platform so you can focus on growing your brand? Connect with our team to learn more about Fulfilled by TikTok, our outsourced fulfilment solution, and more. 

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Written By:

Meredith is a Content Marketing Specialist at ShipBob, where she writes articles, eGuides, and other resources to help growing ecommerce businesses master their logistics and fulfillment.

Read all posts written by Meredith Flora