Canadian e-commerce firm Shopify has announced that it will form a global partnership with TikTok to help its 1 million-strong merchant base to market their products on the short video making platform. The partnership will aid merchants in Shopify to reach a wider and younger consumer base on TikTok.
Satish Kanwar, Vice President of Product at Shopify, said, “TikTok is one of the world’s fastest-growing entertainment platforms with over 100 million highly engaged users in the U.S. alone. 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.”
As part of the agreement, Shopify’s merchants can sell products in the form of shoppable video ads, where users can just click on a promotional video on TikTok to buy the product that is being promoted. The transactions will take place on Shopify’s website, while the two companies will explore more new commerce features in the future.
The merchants in Shopify will have to download the TikTok channel app from the Shopify app store to make use of the ‘TikTok For Business Ads’. Installing the TikTok channel app will help merchants create, run, and manage their advertisement campaigns from the Shopify dashboard itself.
The in-app TikTok ad manager will allow merchants to create shareable video-feed ads suitable for the TikTok community. The ad manager also allows the merchants to target audiences across gender, age, user behavior, and video category for their ads and can also track the campaign’s performance from time-to-time.
Merchants will also be required to create and connect their TikTok For Business account and install “TikTok Pixel”. TikTok Pixel is a tool that will help the merchants track the conversions from their ad campaigns. Furthermore, merchants can select a particular product along with a selection from a wide array of video feed ad templates, to make an advertisement. The cost for the ad campaigns depends upon the selections made by the merchant and their business objectives.
Shopify explained in a techcrunch report seen by NCMP that it has already tested this feature previously with only a few merchants in a beta program. Starting today, the feature will be available to all the merchants on the platform in the US. TikTok says the feature will be rolled out to other parts of the world in 2021. The merchants are also being offered $300 ad credit to get started with their initial ad campaigns on TikTok.
“We are delighted to partner with Shopify and provide a channel for their merchants to reach new audiences and drive sales on 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,” said Blake Chandlee, Vice President, Global Business Solutions at TikTok.
Moreover, the two companies are also launching a Hashtag Challenge Plus campaign called ‘#ShopBlack’. The campaign is supposed to support and celebrate businesses run by the black community. TikTok users will be able to browse through ad campaigns of 40 merchants included under the #ShopBlack campaign.
The partnership between TikTok and Shopify comes at a time when a possible tie-up between Walmart and the Chinese video-sharing app seems to be stuck in political limbo. The proposed deal between the American retailer and TikTok has been in talks for a very long now and a U.S. appeals court hearing is also scheduled on November 4 to determine if the government can bar transactions with TikTok. The outcome of the US presidential election is also crucial to TikTok’s American fate, as the ban is being heavily supported by the Trump government.
On the other hand, Walmart had also partnered with Shopify earlier this year to expand its online marketplace business during the COVID-19 pandemic, when online sales were reaching sky high.
The TikTok-Shopify partnership could also pose a threat to Facebook and Instagram’s efforts to boost its social commerce. Recently, Instagram brought updates which integrated Instagram’s Stories and IGTV with shopping. Instagram is also developing a feature to allow shopping on Instagram Reels.