In a linkup of major players, ecommerce platform Shopify, with more than 1 million merchants, has partnered with hugely popular Chinese video sharing site TikTok, creating a TikTok channel on Shopify where sellers can set up, manage and track campaigns natively within the platform.
With the way clear of a U.S. ban on TikTok pushed by the Trump administration over data privacy concerns and its connection to the Chinese government, the deal will give Shopify sellers direct access to a global audience of 800 million users, 100 million of them in the U.S.
TikTok is in pursuit of social commerce leaders Facebook and Instagram, as it woos sellers eager to gain access to its young, highly engaged audience. In June it launched TikTok for Business, a central hub for all of its marketing solutions, including hashtag challenges, branded effects and in-feed videos.
In August, Facebook put its new Shops feature live in the app, as it continues to roll out new features to support ecommerce and draw in sellers more familiar with established competitor marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
According to Shopify, the new TikTok channel allows merchants to create and connect their TikTok For Business account and deploy in-feed shoppable video ads directly within Shopify. After selecting which product to feature, video ads are automatically generated that connect to a merchant’s Shopify store. Templates enable sellers of any size to feed videos and images into the TikTok channel.
An app in the Shopify app store connects merchants to the TikTok channel, where they can access TikTok for Business ad management tools, according to TechCrunch. They can target audiences across demographics including gender, age, user behavior and video category, and track campaign performance over time.
“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,” said Satish Kanwar, Vice President of Product at Shopify in a blog post. “The TikTok channel means Shopify merchants—even those without a strong TikTok following of their own yet—can connect with these new audiences using content that feels authentic and genuine to the TikTok experience.”