TikTok announced it’s piloting a replacement in-app shopping experience on Tuesday as a part of its ongoing partnership with Shopify (via The ny Times). TikTok Shopping allows select merchants from the US, Canada, and therefore the UK to use a replacement shopping tab and merchandise links to sell products from Shopify storefronts.
The shopping tab is essentially a fanatical section of a TikTok profile with a scrollable list of products that you simply can click through to be taken on to a merchant’s Shopify storefront. Product links offer similar integrations by allowing merchants to link on to a product from a TikTok post. In its current form, this isn’t really a full-blown monetization option for creators. The new shopping features require a TikTok for Business account and a Shopify storefront, two things not every creator will have. It’s really more of an expansion of the advertising partnership TikTok and Shopify began in 2020 than the longer term of creating money on the platform.
The shopping tab and merchandise links as employed by Kylie Cosmetics. Image: TikTok
Besides clear parallels to what Instagram and Facebook are performing on , TikTok Shopping could be familiar because the corporate has been testing it during a more limited form. Earlier this year, TikTok piloted the shopping tab with streetwear brand Hype within the UK. It’s not clear what percentage merchants are a part of this expanded Shopify pilot, but TikTok does have one celebrity brand on board within the sort of Kylie Cosmetics.
Shopping is sensible for TikTok. The company’s endless stream of highly personalized video suggestions seems like a natural fit QVC-esque informercials — TikTok even previously looked into introducing something similar. TikTok’s first big steps into shopping start soon: Shopify says the shopping tab and merchandise links are going to be enabled for merchants within the coming weeks, with plans to bring the features to more regions outside of the US, UK, and Canada within the coming months.