Shopify announced a new partnership with the social media platform TikTok to help merchants develop or expand on their social commerce strategy.
“Shopify merchants with a TikTok For Business account will soon be able to add a shopping tab to their TikTok profiles and sync their product catalogs to create a mini-storefront that links directly to their online store for checkout,” Shopify said in its announcement.
Social commerce is an emerging shopping trend in the US, Canada, and Europe that originated on Asian online marketplaces. It typically works better with younger audiences that grew up with social media, but merchants are finding success with older demographics as well since social media is no longer just a young person’s domain.
Some people and platforms have recoined the term “social commerce” to “shoppertainment,” but it’s the same concept, just by a different name.
Fundamentally, social commerce is about having a direct and audience-engaged shopping experience. One could say that social commerce is the digital evolution of HSN and QVC TV shopping, where a presenter engages with the audience, usually live, to sell products.
But social commerce can also mean pre-recorded videos that use consumer experiences as part of the presentation.
“I built my business on social media; it’s where my fans go first to look for what’s new from Kylie Cosmetics. I have so much fun creating TikTok videos, and I love sharing posts of my fans using the products. That’s why I’m excited for Kylie Cosmetics to be one of the first to let customers shop directly on our TikTok!”Kylie Jenner, founder of Kylie Cosmetics, which is hosted on Shopify.
Obviously, being a celebrity or social media influencer helps tremendously to start a successful social commerce strategy. However, any online merchant can use this strategy to introduce new products or explain product features and benefits in more detail. Previously, many online merchants would use YouTube videos for that purpose.
But unlike YouTube, TikTok, and other social media channels, can offer more direct engagement. And this new integration between Shopify and TikTok makes it even easier for Shopify merchants to launch their social commerce strategy on a red hot social media platform.
“Creators are paving the way for a new kind of entrepreneurship where content, community, and commerce are key. By enabling new in-app shopping experiences and product discovery on TikTok for the first time, Shopify is powering the creator economy on one of the fastest-growing social and entertainment platforms in the world. We are excited to help this next generation of entrepreneurs connect with their audiences in more ways—and with TikTok as a visionary partner.”Harley Finkelstein, President of Shopify
Shopify Shoppable Tags on TikTok Videos
Also new, Shopify is bringing product tags to TikTok videos for merchants to use in organic posts. TikTok users can choose to shop directly from the merchant’s storefront or click a tagged product in a merchant’s TikTok video, which will take them to the merchant’s online store for checkout, Shopify explained.
This expands on an earlier collaboration between the two companies enabling Shopify merchants to easily launch in-feed TikTok shoppable ads.
“Our community has transformed shopping into an experience that’s rooted in discovery, connection, and entertainment, creating unparalleled opportunities for brands to capture consumers’ attention,” said Blake Chandlee, President, Global Business Solutions at TikTok.
“TikTok is uniquely placed at the center of content and commerce, and these new solutions make it even easier for businesses of all sizes to create engaging content that drives consumers directly to the digital point of purchase. We’re thrilled to be expanding our partnership with Shopify and making TikTok more accessible than ever for their merchants,” Chandlee added.
How to Gain Early Access to TikTok Shopping on Shopify
Shopify said the new TikTok Shopping feature is still in pilot status and available to merchants in the US and the UK. A select group of Canadian merchants will gain access to the pilot in a few weeks with additional regions to be added in the coming months.
Shopify merchants can request early access to the TikTok Shopping pilot via Shopify’s TikTok channel. The TikTok app is available in the Shopify App Store here.
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