Shopify Partners With TikTok to Launch the Social Platform’s First Commerce Venture

The proposed partnership of Walmart and TikTok has been dominating retail news, but Shopify has now stolen the spotlight with the announcement that it will be partnering with the social media company for e-commerce purposes. The arrangement will allow Shopify merchants to sell through shoppable video ads to TikTok users.

E-commerce platform Shopify has announced several large-scale partnerships in 2020, ranging from installment payments company Affirm to search engine Google Shopping. With TikTok, it is hoping to expand its consumer base by providing unparalleled access to the younger shopping demographics that increasingly discover new brands through social media. Shopify counts over one million merchants on its platform; TikTok announced in August that it has 100 million users in the U.S. alone.

“We’re thrilled to be the first partner to welcome TikTok to the world of commerce, particularly right now as our merchants prepare for a busy online holiday shopping season,” said Satish Kanwar, VP of product at Shopify.  “TikTok is one of the world’s fastest growing entertainment platforms [and] the TikTok channel means Shopify merchants—even those without a strong TikTok following of their own yet—can connect with these new audiences using content that feels authentic and genuine to the TikTok experience.”

Through the partnership, merchants will be able to create a TikTok for Business account and sync it to their Shopify account. Merchants can select products to feature and video ads will be automatically generated using their existing content, to be shared in-feed directly within the Shopify platform. A range of ready-made templates make the content accessible for all businesses and eligible merchants can also claim a $300 advertising credit to jumpstart their first TikTok campaign. These videos are designed to drive the user to the Shopify checkout.

Shopify also announced its participation in TikTok’s “#ShopBlack” hashtag challenge, the platform’s first co-branded hashtag challenge. Black- and minority-owned businesses have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and this hashtag challenge aims to support Black entrepreneurs by encouraging shoppers to purchase from these businesses.

Between November 10 – November 15, users can highlight and share their favorite Black-owned businesses with the hashtag #ShopBlack, directly on their TikTok channel. TikTok will then also highlight the products of over 40 Shopify merchants, featuring custom music and content. In turn, Shopify has launched its Black Business Directory to help spread awareness of the Black merchants on its platform to its customer audience.

“We are delighted to partner with Shopify and provide a channel for their merchants to reach new audiences and drive sales on TikTok,” said Blake Chandlee, VP of global business solutions at TikTok. “As social commerce proliferates, retailers are recognizing that TikTok’s creative and highly engaged community sets it apart from other platforms. We’re constantly exploring new and innovative ways to connect brands with our users, and Shopify is the perfect partner to help us grow and expand our commerce capabilities globally.”

The integration of TikTok for Business within the Shopify dashboard will also give merchants one-click access to TikTok Pixel, which makes it easier to track conversions. Additional features of the partnership are expected to be rolled out in the coming months.

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