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TikTok Tests In-App Shopping Tab in Partnership With Shopify

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As social platforms become more entangled with e-commerce, TikTok is diving in even deeper. The platform is piloting a new Shopping tab, which will allow Shopify retailers to sell products on the app.

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TikTok Brings "Mini Storefronts" to Retailers' Profiles

A post on the TikTok Newsroom revealed TikTok's plan to incorporate an in-app shopping feature, all through its partnership with e-commerce giant, Shopify. The new feature, dubbed TikTok Shopping, will only be available to a select number of Shopify retailers in the US, UK, and Canada during testing.

You'll find the Shopping tab tucked away in any participating retailer's TikTok profile. Tapping on the tab will open up a range of products to browse through, but you can't purchase them directly through TikTok—selecting any of the products will lead you to that retailer's Shopify store to complete your purchase.

TikTok is also letting merchants incorporate product links in their TikTok videos. If you see a product you like during the video, you'll be able to tap on it, and will once again be redirected to the retailer's storefront.

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As it stands, the feature doesn't seem to benefit creators on the app. TikTok Shopping appears to be geared more towards dedicated retailers, as users need a TikTok for Business account and a store on Shopify in order to qualify. So far, it looks like TikTok has some celebrity-backing for the feature, as Kylie Jenner's cosmetics company is part of the pilot.

Social Platforms Continue to Prioritize E-Commerce

Social media as a whole has had an undeniable influence on retail behavior. As TikTok notes in its post, TikTok videos have driven up the sales of many goods, including drugstore skincare products and even feta cheese.

The same goes for other social platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, which have preceded TikTok in taking advantage of in-app e-commerce opportunities.

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TikTok's foray into e-commerce isn't anything new, as Instagram first started letting its users shop in posts and Stories in 2018. Instagram has since expanded its shopping feature, which it now incorporates into QVC-style Reels. Facebook hasn't trailed far behind Instagram, as it debuted a dedicated shopping section on mobile in August 2020.

There's No Turning Back

Now that most major social platforms have gotten a taste of e-commerce, it's unlikely that we'll return to an era where social shopping doesn't exist.

Snapchat, Pinterest, and even Twitter are guilty of trying out new shopping features. That said, it's becoming exceedingly more difficult to use social media or browse the web without getting tempted to buy something.

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