TikTok users will now be able to shop from nearly 1 million Shopify retailers in-app

TikTok users will soon be able to purchase items as they scroll through the app as the social media giant makes its biggest push yet into ecommerce.

The Chinese short-form video behemoth has signed a new partnership with Shopify allowing its retailers to begin advertising and selling goods through TikTok.

Shopify, which now provides the ecommerce platform for over 800,000 brands, will allow its merchants to connect to a “TikTok for Business” account and post videos featuring “shoppable ads”.

Users can then click through to retailers’ Shopify pages while scrolling on TikTok to complete the purchase, enabling Shopify’s merchants to keep hold of transaction and buyer data.

The tie-up will launch in the US this week, before rolling out across Europe and Asia early next year.

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TikTok has been exploring ways to push into retail outside of China for some time, but has been largely hindered by the Trump administration’s attempts to ban the platform in the US over security concerns.

The move also follows a growing shift towards ‘social commerce’ from the world’s largest social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

TikTok is hoping to cash-in on the high engagement levels of its users compared to its social media rivals, providing an effective means of for retailers to advertise directly to its hundreds of millions of Gen Z users.

“We’ve seen that our community loves connecting with the brands they’re passionate about,” said a TikTok spokesman.

Shopify meanwhile has seen its sales skyrocket during lockdown, rising nearly 100 per cent during its second quarter to overtake Ebay for the first time.

Shopify’s Satish Kanwar added: “It was obvious early on how (TikTok) was starting to influence commerce trends and trajectories.

“With direct-to-consumer brands, that relationship between storytelling and entertainment and the product they sell is so close.

“We believe video is the default form of communication online today. We are very eager to see how video and commerce can expand.”

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