The feature is initially being piloted with businesses in the UK, US and Canada, including Kylie Cosmetics.
TikTok is expanding in the e-commerce space with the addition of in-app retail features.
It is part of an extension of the social network’s existing partnership with Shopify, which was first announced in October 2020. The collaboration initially centred around the creation of video ads that would link users to Shopify storefronts.
But now, TikTok Shopping is to be piloted with a “select group” of existing Shopify outlets in the US, UK and Canada. The companies said that it will add new features that help Shopify merchants “create engaging, organic content” and steer customers directly to make purchases online.
Blake Chandlee, president of global business solutions at TikTok, commented: “TikTok is uniquely placed at the centre of content and commerce, and these new solutions make it even easier for businesses of all sizes to create engaging content that drives consumers directly to the digital point of purchase.
“We’re thrilled to be expanding our partnership with Shopify and making TikTok more accessible than ever for their merchants.”
The feature is just being piloted for now, but Shopify merchants with a TikTok for Business account will be able to add a specific shopping tab to their TikTok profiles.
Alongside the in-app storefront feature, Shopify merchants will be able to add product tags to their TikTok posts. Users who click on those tags will be brought either to the business’ in-app storefront or to their online shop to complete a purchase of the relevant product.
One of the brands involved in the pilot programme is Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics. “I built my business on social media; it’s where my fans go first to look for what’s new from Kylie Cosmetics,” Jenner commented.
“I have so much fun creating TikTok videos, and I love sharing posts of my fans using the products. That’s why I’m excited for Kylie Cosmetics to be one of the first to let customers shop directly on our TikTok!”
This is not the app’s first foray into the world of e-commerce and it has been hinting that this development would take place for some time. In February, it began trialling shopping channel-style content.
Other social media platforms have looked to retail too, including Facebook’s Shops and Marketplace, efforts that also extend to Instagram. TikTok has also experimented with other new ways to make use of its audience, including job-application features.