retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times reports that e-commerce platform Shopify its working with video app TikTok "to add the ability for consumers to shop directly in the TikTok app."

Here's how the Times frames the story:

"TikTok has largely been known as a video app that provides entertainment and memes. Users have not been able to buy products directly in the app, even though TikTok features many influencers who often talk up clothing, makeup and household products. Instead, users have been able to buy goods on TikTok only through ads on the app.

"But under the new partnership, Shopify merchants that participate in a pilot program will be able to add a shopping tab to their profiles and link to products within TikTok posts. Shopify said it expected to expand the feature to all of its merchants this fall.

TikTok joins Instagram and Facebook in offering in-app shopping, part of a larger shift toward what is known as social commerce - buying products directly within a social media platform - as creators seek out new ways to make money from their audience."

Shopify brings considerable marketing muscle to the partnership:  "Shopify said sales on its social commerce channels - including TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest - grew 76 percent from February 2020 to February 2021. In total, Shopify works with 1.7 million merchants."

KC's View:

Just another illustration of how the next generation of  shoppers is going to bring entirely different habits and expectations to the purchase and consumption experience.