TikTok and Shopify announced a partnership on Tuesday that would bring shopping capabilities to the video-sharing app in a move that leverages its highly specific algorithm.
According to a press release, the new product, dubbed TikTok Shopping, Shopify merchants who have TikTok For Business accounts can add a shopping tab to their profiles.
Merchants can then build a mini-storefront — complete with prices, photos, and an “add to favorites” button — that leads users to their website upon checkout by syncing their product catalogs.
At the moment, the TikTok Shopping pilot is open to Shopify sellers located in the U.S. and U.K., with a select number of merchants in Canada joining in a few weeks. The feature will be rolled out to other regions over the next few months. Shopify merchants must have a TikTok For Business account to have access to TikTok Shopping, a spokesperson for Shopify told Retail Dive.
TikTok is entering a relatively crowded social commerce space — with apps like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and, more recently, Twitter vying for a piece of the multibillion-dollar market.
Instagram went as far as declaring it is “no longer a photo-sharing app,” focusing instead on shopping, creators, video, and messaging. On the other hand, Twitter announced in July that it is piloting the Shop Module, a tool that lets businesses showcase their products on top of their profiles. And in recent months, Snapchat and Pinterest have both been betting on AR try-on tools to get consumers to discover products, especially during a time when many product testers were taken off the shelf.
A recent report from eMarketer indicates that social commerce sales in the U.S. grew 35.8% to $36.62 billion this year from $26.97 billion in 2020 and $19.42 billion in 2019.
Though TikTok may be a little late in the game compared to its competitors, who announced a series of new commerce features last year, the app already has a reputation for convincing users to purchase products on their For You page. #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has over 4.7 billion views on the app, with variations of the hashtag like #tiktokmademebuythis and #tiktokmademebuy gaining 189.4 million and 47 million views respectively.
The app’s earlier experiments with shopping and the ability to make products go viral have also shown promise.
Walmart partnered with TikTok for a shoppable Livestream event with top creators back in December that exceeded the retailer’s viewership expectations so much it decided to do a second TikTok event in March. Ocean Spray saw a boost in its brand reputation last year thanks to a TikTok video of a man on a skateboard gulping down a carton of its Cran-Raspberry that garnered millions of views.
The Shopify and TikTok partnership also includes bringing product links to Shopify sellers to tag products in posts. Though Shopify is the first commerce site to bring products to shopping tabs on TikTok, the two platforms have collaborated in the past as well.
Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics will also be one of the early adopters of TikTok Shopping.
“Our community has transformed shopping into an experience that’s rooted in discovery, connection, and entertainment, creating unparalleled opportunities for brands to capture consumers’ attention,” Blake Chandlee, president of global business solutions at TikTok, said in a statement. “TikTok is uniquely placed at the center of content and commerce, and these new solutions make it even easier for businesses of all sizes to create engaging content that drives consumers directly to the digital point of purchase.”