TikTok and Shopify partner to link ads and e-commerce
TikTok is uniting with Shopify in a new advertising partnership that the social media company says will help a million merchants market to its audience of young video enthusiasts.
On Tuesday, TikTok and Shopify, which is a booming sales platform that has its hooks in sites ranging from Instagram to YouTube, announced the integration. “Through this partnership we're making it easier for Shopify merchants to tap into the creativity of the TikTok community, be discovered, and optimize their marketing campaigns,” TikTok said in its announcement.
E-commerce and social media have become more entwined in the past year, as platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat try to turn their platforms into shopping destinations. Meanwhile, traditional online retail hubs like Amazon and Walmart are weaving their way into the social media space.
TikTok is a prime example of the trend. The Chinese-owned social media site, with about 100 million active users in the U.S., has been the subject of sales talks, with Walmart emerging as a main bidder. In August, TikTok was targeted by President Donald Trump, who sought to force the company into a deal with a U.S. company, which set off an international incident between Washington and Beijing. TikTok has so far staved off any deal to sell off parts of its business, but in the meantime it has continued to strike new deals like the one with Shopify.
TikTok has been working on e-commerce components over the past year, giving brands more ways to add shoppable functionality to ads and link to their online shops.
Shopify merchants will be able to manage TikTok ad campaigns from within Shopify. TikTok says it is a “one-stop shop” for creating ad campaigns from Shopify. It also allows the Shopify merchants to use the TikTok Pixel, which is standard software code used by marketers to track performance online. Pixels can help measure when ads reach the right audiences and lead to actions, like website visits and sales.
Shopify is seeing tremendous growth since it went public this year. The commerce platform is riding a wave of online shopping that started rolling during the pandemic shutdown. Shopify’s stock price jumped from about $325 at the start of the year to more than $1,000 a share as of Tuesday.
TikTok is using its new partnership as a way to promote Black-owned businesses. TikTok and Shopify highlighted boutique Black-owned brands like soleRebels, as the type of businesses that could benefit from the relationship.
TikTok promoted the hashtag #ShopBlack as part of the rollout on Tuesday. TikTok has been criticized in the past for a lack of diversity in the types of creators it elevates, and many communities had felt discriminated against by its algorithms. It’s a perception that TikTok has sought to change as it reaches mainstream appeal in the U.S.
The deal with Shopify is first available in the U.S., and TikTok says it will roll out to other regions next year.