TikTok Expands Shopify Partnership and Pilot TikTok Shopping to US, UK and Canada – TechCrunch
TikTok is entering e-commerce. The company announcement this morning, an expanded partnership with the e-commerce platform Shopify, as well as a pilot test of TikTok Shopping with select Shopify merchants in the US, UK and Canada in the coming weeks.
The social video platform first announced its intention to partner with Shopify last October, with the introduction of new tools that allow Shopify merchants to create, run, and optimize their TikTok marketing campaigns directly from the Shopify dashboard, as well as new integrations in TikTok For Commercial Ads Manager.
The expanded agreement detailed today goes even further. Soon, Shopify merchants with a TikTok For Business account will be able to add a new “Shopping” tab to their TikTok profiles and sync their product catalogs to create mini-storefronts on their profile.
Kylie Jenner is among the early adopters of the new service and will use the feature with her Kylie Cosmetics brand, which will be available to purchase direct from TikTok. The pilot is also underway with other Shopify merchants in the US and UK, and will roll out to merchants in Canada in the coming weeks. Merchants can apply to join the pilot through Shopify’s own TikTok channel, the company notes.
Another aspect of the new partnership is to provide Shopify merchants with product links that can be used to tag products in their TikTok videos. This way, TikTok users will be able to click on the tagged product to be taken to the merchant’s storefront for payment.
“Creators are paving the way for a new kind of entrepreneurship where content, community and commerce are essential,” said Harley Finkelstein, president of Shopify, in a declaration. “By enabling new in-app shopping experiences and product discovery on TikTok for the first time, Shopify is fueling the creator economy on one of the world’s fastest growing social and entertainment platforms. . We’re excited to help this next generation of entrepreneurs connect with their audiences in multiple ways, and with TikTok as a visionary partner, ”he added.
Shopify also said there was a growing demand among merchants to work with TikTok, noting that installs on Shopify’s social commerce channels increased 76% from February 2020 to February 2021.
TikTok has been steadily expanding its ecommerce functionality over the years, with testing that included the 2019 launch of the Hashtag Challenge Plus, which added a purchasable component to a hashtag, prompting viewers to purchase a website at from TikTok. Last year, brands like Levi’s used TikTok’s “Buy Now” buttons that allowed consumers to make purchases through links posted on TikTok. And, in addition to the initial Shopify partnership unveiling last fall, Walmart has started using TikTok for live shopping events.
Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported TikTok was gearing up for a larger e-commerce expansion in the United States in 2021, which included the ability for users to share product links, a commission program, and live purchases, all with the goal of challenging Facebook. He later noted that the in-app shopping tests had started with a few brands in Europe.
TikTok’s larger goal with shoppable content might ultimately be to challenge Facebook and Instagram, which have also invested in online shopping in recent years with things like Facebook and Instagram Shops, a dedicated Shop tab on Instagram, shopping. in Reels and more.
However, in TikTok Shopping payment is done through Shopify – clicking on the product storefront or link in TikTok takes the user to the merchant’s website to complete the purchase and complete the transaction. Shopify then feeds the transaction and payment. On Instagram Shop, on the other hand, payment is made natively in the app and transactions are processed through Facebook Pay, which may seem more transparent to the end user.
TikTok tells us that it plans to pilot these new shopping solutions among hundreds of Shopify merchants, ahead of a more public launch.