Shopify on Tuesday announced its new channel on TikTok and revealed that it will be collaborating with the social media platform to create new commerce features over the next few months. The new TikTok partnership will help Shopify's over 1 million merchants tap into the platform's international reach.
The channel lets sellers connect their TikTok for Business account and feature in-feed shoppable video ads within Shopify. For now, the TikTok channel is available in the U.S., but sellers in other North American countries as well as Europe and Southeast Asia will be able to access the service in early 2021, per the company announcement.
The two companies have also created a co-branded hashtag to showcase Black-owned businesses and will highlight products from more than 40 Shopify sellers. Shopify also created a directory of Black-owned businesses, according to the company announcement.
Shopify sees the collaboration as a chance to help businesses take advantage of TikTok's rapid growth, Satish Kanwar, vice president of product at Shopify, said in a statement. TikTok also wanted to bring sellers onto the platform and saw Shopify as the ideal commerce platform to do so, Blake Chandlee, vice president of global business solutions at TikTok, said in a press 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," Kanwar said.
TikTok was a topic of conversation over the summer because of President Donald Trump's pursuit of American ownership of the emerging platform. In September, Oracle reached a deal for the platform, booting Microsoft and Walmart out of the running.
Shopify and TikTok aren't the only ones who've been experimenting with shoppable content. Other companies, including Verishop, LG TV, Instagram, Poshmark and Google, have rolled out their own shoppable content features.
Meanwhile, Shopify has also rolled out other kinds of features to help merchants. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the commerce platform has launched 3D model and video integration features for sellers, money management tools and installment payments through Affirm.
As Shopify highlights Black-owned businesses, retailers have been challenged to do the same over the summer, particularly in the beauty industry. Shopify's introduction of the directory follows its collaboration with Operation Hope to assist Black entrepreneurs in launching one million Black-owned businesses by 2030, the company said.