March 10, 2021

TikTok and Shopify’s new partnership brings new social commerce capabilities to brands

Fast-growing social platforms, such as TikTok, typically start out as brand awareness tools. Then as their network grows, so do their eCommerce capabilities. 

More components of the eCommerce purchase journey are being integrated into social media. Shoppable formats and shop fronts are continuing to mature on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube, all the while TikTok and Shopify have just announced a partnership that will allow brands to better integrate and track their eCommerce performance on TikTok. 

The TikTok For Business Platform

The TikTok For Business platform gives Shopify merchants an ‘unrivalled’ opportunity to reach TikTok’s creative and engaged community at scale. Sellers don’t even have to leave Shopify to access their TikTok for Business Ads Manager and now have access to a “1-click” pixel, seamless campaign creation, native and shareable ads, target audiences, and improved performance tracking.

TikTok’s Growth So Far

TikTok’s lighthearted and authentic take on bite-sized video content helped to skyrocket its growth during 2020. The scroll is addictive, the content doesn’t have to be perfectly curated to resonate, and anyone who is game enough to play could be shot to the top of the algorithm. The app now boasts 689 million monthly users worldwide (of which 2.4 million are Australian) and 18% of the world’s internet users have joined the platform. 

From Brand Awareness to Conversions

One in three TikTok users actively create content and contrary to what you might expect, TikTok isn’t just for funny videos. In fact, 21% of TikTok users share brand or product recommendations, as opposed to 15% on Instagram, and 12% on Facebook.

Naturally, brands have been actively engaging TikTok influencers over the last few months to tap into the network and boost their brand awareness. However, they have had trouble tracking their videos back to performance outcomes. Now that the user base has grown so quickly, TikTok and Shopify are in the perfect position to make moves and close the loop.

Staying Ahead of the Social Commerce Wave

Social commerce isn’t new and marketers have been riding the influencer wave for some time now. “Always-connected” Millennials have immense size and buying power, as well as a strong propensity to make socially inspired purchases. Many brands are trying to put themselves in front of this group, as well as the 29% of social media users who are likely to make a purchase on the same day they discover it on a platform. 

The introduction of storefronts and shopping carts to the likes of Facebook and Instagram was only a natural progression, as they improve their ability to track behaviour, clicks, and purchases to win advertising dollars.

We already saw Instagram quickly release Reels after TikTok’s popularity soared, and it didn’t take them long to make these short bite sized posts shoppable too. 

Consumers are starting to expect seamless eCommerce features to be integrated with social media, so we are sure that this is just the beginning of TikTok and Shopify’s partnership. It’s likely that shopping feed capabilities and storefronts will be opened up on the platform eventually too. 

TikTok’s Influence on the Path to Purchase

Social commerce gives brands the ability to inject their products into a customer’s research journey and create a shortcut in the meandering path to purchase. It also taps into the power of social influence. PayPal’s mCommerce Index recently showed that 33% of Gen Z mobile shoppers make purchases when socialising with friends and more than half have made a spontaneous purchase, which is directly in line with social commerce’s “right now” promise.

TikTok in particular gives brands the ability to add a sprinkle of fun to product recommendations. The less polished and more raw, the better. While convenience is still the most enticing factor for online shopping, 29% of consumers say that an entertaining shopping experience would encourage them to buy a product when shopping online. Brands that can combine creativity, authenticity, and now, data-driven campaign management have the ability to connect with TikTok users at scale.

It’s time to review your current social media marketing approach and look for opportunities to expand reach while nurturing your customers through an engaged conversion funnel.

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