TikTok teams up with Shopify to boost e-commerce

Ahead of the online holiday shopping season, Shopify has entered into a global partnership with short video-sharing platform TikTok to make it easier for the e-commerce company’s more than one million merchants to boost social commerce presence.

The TikTok channel is now available in the US, and will become available in other select markets throughout North America, Europe and Southeast Asia in early 2021, Shopify said on Tuesday.

With the TikTok channel for Shopify, merchants can take advantage of TikTok’s global scale to reach highly engaged younger audiences.

“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,” Satish Kanwar, Vice President of Product at Shopify, said in a statement.

“TikTok is one of the world’s fastest growing entertainment platforms with over 100 million highly engaged users in the US alone.”

The TikTok channel allows merchants to create and connect their TikTok For Business account and deploy in-feed shoppable video ads directly within Shopify.

Merchants select which product they would like to feature, and video ads are automatically generated that drive to their Shopify stores for checkout. The readymade templates designed specifically for commerce mean merchants of any size can take advantage of the TikTok channel using their existing imagery or video.

“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,” Kanwar said.

Shopify and TikTok said they will also collaborate to test new commerce features over the coming months that will further empower merchants to expand their paid and organic reach in video and on profiles.

“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, Vice President, 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.”

Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Shopify powers over one million businesses in more than 175 countries.

Owned by Chinese unicorn ByteDance, TikTok is now facing the threat of a ban in the US, unless a deal with the US partners satisfactorily address security concerns of the government.

TikTok’s potential to boost social commerce is believed to be one of the reasons why Walmart participated in the Oracle-ByteDance deal submitted for approval by the Donald Trump administration.