TikTok Partners with Shopify to Enter Social Commerce

The viral short-video platform TikTok is moving into social commerce with its new deal with e-commerce platform Shopify, whose merchants can now advertise directly to their target audience through short videos and track their performances through analytics. 

The deal aims to help Shopify’s merchants tap into TikTok’s young and sizable community ­– there are over 100 million highly engaged users in the US alone. Even those without a strong TikTok fanbase of their own yet can now blend into the authentic TikTok experience and reach more new people with specially tailored needs, with TikTok’s creative tools.

“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, Vice President of Product at Shopify, in a statement. 

TikTok’s new channel for Shopify merchants is designed to be accessible and easy to operate. The “1-click pixel” allows Shopify merchants to install or connect their TikTok Pixel with a click of a button. This one-stop-shop enables merchants to create campaigns, target audiences and track performance in one place. Through TikTok Pixel, merchants can monitor the ad performances such as users browsing their page, website registration, addition of items to shopping cart and completion of a payment, etc. 

TikTok is also offering a $300 ad credit for eligible merchants to jumpstart their first TikTok campaign.

In addition, the partnership is bringing TikTok’s first co-branded Hashtag #ShopBlack to promote Black-owned businesses and empower Black entrepreneurs within the TikTok community. From Nov. 10 to Nov. 15, products from more than 40 Shopify merchants will be introduced through the #ShopBlack hashtag and branded effect for the TikTok community to explore. 

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TikTok said in the statement that its channel for Shopify is now available in the US, and will become available in other international markets in early 2021. 

As an increasingly influential channel for brands to reach their potential customers, TikTok has been eager to move into social commerce with its talks with online retail giants Amazon and Walmart. The existing “Shop Now” button can also direct users to the merchant site. 

TikTok’s advance towards social commerce can be seen as an attempt to export the interactive and content-focused marketing model that’s booming in China. 

Douyin, TikTok’s domestic version in China, has jumped on the social commerce train in advance and made significant progress at home. In 2018, Douyin teamed up with Taobao to drive sales for merchants with short videos. It also tested the live-streaming waters the same year and was met with huge success – the top 50 live-streamers gained a GMV of 100 million yuan. The next year, with the addition of influencers such as Smartisan CEO Yonghao Luo, its yearly GMV jumped to 10 billion yuan in 2019.