Shopify partners TikTok to help merchants expand reach

Shopify has partnered with TikTok to enable its merchants to expand their social commerce presence. With the TikTok channel for Shopify, merchants can leverage on TikTok’s global scale to reach new audiences. 

The TikTok channel will allow merchants to create and connect their TikTok For business account and deploy in-feed shoppable video ads directly within Shopify. The channel will also let merchants select which product they would like to feature, and video ads that drive to their Shopify stores for checkout will be automatically-generated. Additionally, there are ready-made templates designed specifically for commerce. The TikTok channel is now available in the US, and will become available in other selected markets throughout North America, Europe and Southeast Asia in early 2021.

Shopify and TikTok 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, according to a press release. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out for additional information about the partnership.

Satish Kanwar, vice president of product at Shopify, said the TikTok channel will allow Shopify merchants to connect with new audiences using content that feels authentic and genuine to the TikTok experience, even if they do not have a strong TikTok following on their own. “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,” he added.

In addition to launching the new TikTok channel, Shopify and TikTok have also partnered to showcase Black-owned businesses with the launch of TikTok’s first co-branded Hashtag Challenge Plus (HTC+), #ShopBlack.

Running from 10 November to 15 November, TikTok users can spotlight their favorite Black-owned businesses using the hashtag #ShopBlack. The campaign, which also features a custom branded effect, music and creator content, will highlight products from more than 40 Shopify merchants, giving TikTok users a resource to support Black-owned businesses. Additionally, Shopify is also launching a Black Business Directory, which shoppers can use to discover and buy from Black Shopify merchants. The launch of the directory follows its recent partnership with non-profit organisation Operation Hope to help create one million Black-owned businesses by 2030.     

Blake Chandlee, vice president, global business solutions at TikTok, added: "As social commerce proliferates, retailers are recognising 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." 

According to Shopify's latest financial report in July, it had US$4 billion in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, compared with US$2.46 billion in 2019. Shopify saw new stores created on the its platform grew 71% in Q2 2020 compared with Q1 2020, driven by the shift of commerce to online as well as by the extension of the free trial period on its standard plans from 14 days to 90 days.

Hear Shopify Plus’ APAC head of marketing Robin Marchant as he shares his COVID-19 learnings, the changing retail customer experience, and what is stopping brands from taking the next step to create their own new channels. Listen to the full episode here.

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