Similar to “pinning” items on Pinterest, users can also add products to their favourites list, which allows them to window shop while scrolling through TikTok. The partnership is visible on Shopify’s Web Store, which drives Shopify merchants directly to the TikTok app. There will also be a Shopify video creation tool, providing a simple way for brands to create videos that are specifically optimised for TikTok.
We explore what the partnership means for TikTok users, with commentary and insights from TJ Leonard, CEO of Storyblocks.
What the partnership means for brands
The partnership has the potential to encourage more brands to switch over to Shopify. TikTok has very limited ads during the scrolling experience, so this feature has pushed brands to think more creatively about how they promote the shopping experience and their products.
On TikTok, there’s more room to be authentic in the way that you display your brand’s personality. With the new shopping feature, brands will be challenged to create their own storefronts through Shopify. There must be an intersection between content, the community that brands are building, and the product they’re trying to sell. However, the partnership doesn’t allow influencers to promote products through the Shopify integration that they aren’t direct brand representatives for.
Integrating this function is important for businesses to generate revenues, but brands will need to ensure that they are remaining authentic and establishing a specific tone of voice that resonates with their customers, rather than just creating a hard sell.
What the partnership means for creators
For the creator economy, this integration means that creators will need to be more intentional about the ways that they use their platforms as commercial storefronts while continuing to build a community and identify with the core values of their audiences.
TikTok will need to find ways to allow creators to build their own “swipe up” feature within the app, but currently, if someone doesn’t own a storefront, they will have to drive followers to another platform, or link the platform in their bio. This is a step that creates more touchpoints to get the user from awareness to conversion.
With the knowledge that this new shopping feature is in place, creators may find ways to incorporate the new shopping feature into their content planning by creating storefronts that can be used for events, conferences, or paid subscription channels.
Shopify is the first commerce platform to bring organic product discovery and shopping tabs to TikTok. This means that TikTok can continue to grow as a platform not just for entertainment, but it presents opportunities for businesses and creators to grow and deepen their relationships with consumers.