Shopify merchants across the UK and Ireland will be able to sell directly to customers via their TikTok profiles for the first time in a new pilot program.

Tiktok illustration

Shopify merchants who are active on the video streaming site will soon be able to add a shopping tab to their profile. This will then sync with the brand’s existing catalogue to create a mini-storefront on TikTok.

Shopify also plans to launch product links on TikTok. Merchants will be able to tag products in their individual TikTok videos, linking them to the product’s listing on the brand’s website. TikTok users who click on the tags will be sent directly to the brand’s online store to purchase the item directly.

Shopify’s EMEA managing director Shimona Methta said: “We are excited to bring new shopping experiences to one of the world’s most popular social and entertainment platforms. Social commerce has fundamentally changed the way we shop as people now expect to be able to browse and purchase through the platforms where they spend most of their time. The expansion of our partnership with TikTok will mean that our merchants can reach the platform’s hundreds of millions of highly engaged users across the UK.”

The growth of social commerce

Co-founder of Irish athleisure brand Gym+Coffee Diarmuid McSweeney said: “Since launching in 2017, we’ve seen phenomenal 300% year on year growth and social commerce has played a big role in helping us to achieve that. TikTok Shopping will enable us to increase brand awareness of Gym+Coffee and engage with our customers on a platform we know they love to use.  The strength of our brand lies in our community and the new storefronts feature will mean we can connect more authentically with both new and existing customers.”

Social commerce has grown steadily over the pandemic as companies seek new ways to reach consumers online. Shopify reported a 76% growth in installs of its social commerce channels from February 2020 to February 2021, while Facebook revealed in June that it would extend its online shopping offering Shops to WhatsApp and Instagram.