TikTok marked its first foray into ecommerce by announcing a global partnership deal with Shopify on Tuesday, a deal that it said will help more than a million merchants reach new audiences and drive sales on the popular video-sharing app.
The integration deal with Shopify – the Canada-based ecommerce giant – is intended to help merchants optimize their marketing campaigns on TikTok. The deal includes the launch of a new TikTok channel for Shopify where its merchants can create, manage and measure advertising campaigns without leaving the Shopify interface. The channel launched in the United States on Tuesday.
With more than 100 million US users, the TikTok channel means Shopify merchants – even those without a strong TikTok following of their own – can connect with new audiences “using content that feels authentic and genuine to the TikTok experience,” Satish Kanwar, VP of product at Shopify, said in a statement.
TikTok said its Shopify channel will make it easier and more seamless for merchants to create in-feed shoppable ads, which can be viewed in the app.
Shopify merchants can access core functions of the TikTok for Business Ads Manager without leaving the Shopify dashboard. Merchants can install or connect their TikTok Pixel with just a click, making it quicker and easier to track conversions, while also having the ability to create campaigns, target audiences and track performance in one place.
TikTok continues to expand its advertising capabilities to compete with other social apps with ecommerce capabilities. Earlier this year, TikTok launched its “TikTok for Business” platform as a business hub for all of TikTok’s marketing solutions, which includes hashtag challenges, branded effects and in-feed videos.
Just last month, TikTok launched a marketing partner program that aims to connect advertisers with tech companies that have expertise in running and measuring campaigns on TikTok. Business Insider reported last month that the company was also testing a new shopping button feature that allows creators to link to Shopify and Teespring storefronts in their videos, part of an effort to make it easier for TikTok creators to make money.
Retailers are recognizing that TikTok's “creative and highly engaged community sets it apart from other platforms,” said Blake Chandlee, TikTok’s VP of global business solutions.
“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,” Chandlee said in a statement.
Promoting Black-owned businesses
To celebrate the partnership, TikTok will launch a #ShopBlack campaign in the United States and Canada Nov. 10-15 to kick off the holiday shopping season. The hashtag campaign is designed to highlight Black-owned businesses and allow Black entrepreneurs to share their stories with the TikTok community.
Next month, TikTok users will be able to explore products from more than 40 Shopify merchants directly through the #ShopBlack hashtag and branded effect, part of an effort to support Black-owned businesses. According to TikTok, posts using #BlackOwnedBusinesses and #SupportBlackOwnedBusinesses have generated more than 210 million views.
The #ShopBlack initiative is part of TikTok’s Hashtag Challenge Plus. Unlike its usual hashtag challenge campaigns, Plus includes unique features such as a tab that allows users to explore products and merchant information.
The #ShopBlack Hashtag Challenge will be featured on TikTok's discover page in the United States and Canada, which includes user-generated content. Through the hashtag, other users can also find and join the challenge with their own video. The campaign also includes content from top creators, along with a custom Shop Black Branded Effect and music.
“#ShopBlack was created to amplify Black-owned businesses, and we wanted to celebrate our broader partnership with Shopify by amplifying the voices of Black entrepreneurs, which is a mission both TikTok and Shopify believe deeply in,” a spokeswoman for TikTok said.
TikTok’s Shopify deal comes after the embattled social media platform struck a deal with Oracle to control its US operations.