Shopify (SHOP) is partnering with TikTok to allow its merchants to create video ads. The Canadian e-commerce giant said in a press release the partnership allows merchants to “create and connect their TikTok for Business account and deploy In-Feed shoppable video ads directly within Shopify.”
As of today, the new partnership will roll out features for merchants in the United States, but the release indicated the feature will be available to the rest of North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia in early 2021.
Merchants will be able to select products that they want to feature in short-form videos and video ads “are automatically generated that drive to their Shopify stores for checkout,” the release said.
“TikTok is one of the world’s fastest growing entertainment platforms with over 100 million highly engaged users in the U.S. alone,” Satish Kanwar, vice-president of product at Shopify, said in the release. “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.”
Suthan Sukumar, an analyst at Eight Capital, said in an interview that the move by Shopify adds another channel to the platform, which is “core to Shopify’s strategy by really being channel agnostic.”
“Shopify has seen a lot of success in the social channels, they already work with Instagram, they already work with Snapchat. So this is just another extension of that. And beyond that this is interesting because with TikTok it is a video-focused category,” he said.
“The video category is becoming more and more important for online sellers and this is Shopify being at the forefront of innovation of this space.”
More recently, TikTok has been under scrutiny in the U.S. The China-based app has faced criticism from the U.S. and other countries that say its connection to China could compromise user data. On Nov. 4 a U.S. appeals court hearing is expected to determine whether TikTok will be allowed to continue operating in the country.
Sukumar doesn’t think this will affect the partnership, because TikTok is a global platform that “Shopify is plugging into.”
In June, Shopify announced its partnership with Walmart, allowing U.S. merchants to sell products on Walmart’s Shopify-powered marketplace.
Walmart also had an interest in partnering with TikTok to boost its advertising strategy, but the discussion has not been completed because of political uncertainty.
With files from Reuters