DUBAI: Short-form mobile video platform TikTok has extended a partnership agreement with e-commerce firm Shopify to the Middle East.
Shopify last year announced its linkup with the Chinese social networking giant enabling brands to create shoppable video ads that could drive customers to online stores.
Shant Oknayan, general manager of global business solutions for TikTok in the Middle East, Africa, Turkey, and Pakistan, said: “We are very excited to announce this partnership with Shopify in the Middle East, giving merchants a unique platform to reach new audiences in an engaging and creative way like nowhere else.”
In a recent global study, almost half of TikTok’s users said they had discovered new products through advertisements posted by a product or brand. Brands, and their advertisements on the platform, are important to TikTok and the platform has undertaken several initiatives, from new ad formats to achieving brand safety certification.
Social commerce, or e-commerce directly via a social media platform, has become an increasingly important channel for merchants to expand their audience — a phenomenon exacerbated by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. In the US alone, social commerce sales were expected to rise by 35.8 percent to $36.62 billion, according to market research company eMarketer.
“As we continue to develop our platform to bring businesses of all sizes innovative and fun ways to connect with new customers, as well as get the best out of their campaigns, we are confident this partnership with Shopify is a big step in this direction and the start of a promising future in the e-commerce arena,” Oknayan added.
Through the partnership, TikTok aims to make it easier for Shopify merchants to tap into the TikTok community and they will now be able to benefit from the core functions of the TikTok For Business Ads Manager through the Shopify dashboard.
Satish Kanwar, vice president of product at Shopify, said: “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.”
As a part of the partnership, TikTok will also start testing new commerce features designed to make it easier for users to discover Shopify merchants in the Middle East and shop their products within the app.