TikTok Australia joins forces with Shopify, promising to turn a ‘subset of culture’ into a marketing boom for e-commerce

  • TikTok Australia has announced a new partnership with e-commerce platform Shopify, tightening the links between social media and online retailers.
  • Local businesses will be free to create TikTok marketing campaigns, target specific user groups and monitor ad performance through Shopify.
  • The news comes as competitors, including Instagram, seek new ways to make users spend while they scroll.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

TikTok and e-commerce platform Shopify have announced a new partnership, promising Australian marketers easier access to the app’s young user base and signalling the social media upstart’s intent in the digital ad space.

Australian merchants will soon be able to access core elements from TikTok’s ad manager directly through Shopify, allowing firms to create campaigns, target specific user groups and monitor ad performance in one place.

TikTok has also touted its one-click ‘pixel’, which it says will allow firms to track conversions and retarget audiences through Shopify later down the line.

The new features will “make it easy to turn the existing assets that a business has into a TikTok campaign on Shopify,” TikTok Australia’s General Manager of Global Business Solutions, Brett Armstrong, told Business Insider Australia.

In a statement, Shopify’s APAC Managing Director, Shaun Broughton, said the team-up would help merchants “immediately and directly impact their bottom line.”

Reaching a “subset of culture”

While TikTok is not the first social media platform to offer up its toolbox for Shopify integration, Armstrong says the move will provide small businesses with smoother access to an “audience that is not on other platforms.”

The partnership will let businesses engage with the platform’s “fun and authenticity in different ways,” Armstrong said, adding that TikTok offered marketers insight to a “subset of culture” overlooked by other players in the social media space.

“If you want to be where your audience is – and our audience is changing, it’s diverse, and it’s growing – that means doing things differently,” he said.

Roy Morgan estimates TikTok, a short video app once considered a social media novelty, boasts around 2.5 million local users.

Among them is Australian streetwear retailer Culture Kings, whose non-stop outfit videos now reach in excess of 193,000 dedicated followers.

Beyond simple clips showing off the latest Air Jordans, Culture Kings also took part in an early trial of the Shopify partnership.

Marketing spokesperson James Wastell said the retailer’s hands-on use of the TikTok pixel led to a “much stronger correlation to products that are selling online.”

The in-app shopping environment

News of the partnership comes as social media enterprises of all denominations find fresh ways to make users spend while they scroll.

In November, Instagram launched its Shop tab in Australia, allowing users to easily segue from selfies to a dedicated e-commerce feed.

In overseas markets, Instagram has introduced clickable product tags for its Story and Instagram Live functions, letting users idly window-shop without leaving home – or the app.

All told, platforms appear to be learning lessons from the very influencers who first harnessed social media as a product-spruiking income stream in the first place.

Shopify itself helped lead that charge, with in-built functionality connecting retailers to sales through Instagram and Facebook.

But TikTok Australia isn’t quite there – yet.

Armstrong wouldn’t be drawn on future developments beyond the new Shopify marketing team-up, however he said the organisation is “testing and learning on products every day.”

“I think, you know, it would make absolute sense that we spend more time building products to feed into these opportunities,” he added.

“But I couldn’t speculate on what we are going to do exactly.”

For now, TikTok Australia hopes to prove it’s not just a place for dance challenges and ephemeral memes, but the potential foundation of a brand’s next big-budget marketing blitz.