What is TikTok Shopping and how does it work?

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(Pocket-lint) - In case you needed another app to buy from, TikTok, in partnership with Shopify, is launching a new TikTok Shopping tab that business users can add to their TikTok profiles. It allows them to feature products and link to their online stores for payment. Here's everything you need to know.

What is TikTok Shopping?

On 24 August 2021, TikTok and Shopify announced a new way for businesses to sell to consumers. Specifically, users who are both Shopify merchants and TikTok For Business account holders can now add a new shopping tab to their TikTok profiles and sync their product catalogues to create a mini-storefront that links directly to their online store for checkout. Keep in mind, that while this program is live now, it's only a pilot. Shopify has also described it as a "beta".

From what we can tell, TikTok shopping functions a lot like how Instagram will let its users buy from select merchants and businesses directly on its platform.

How does TikTok Shopping work?

Where to find the TikTok Shopping tab

One of the first examples is already live: Kylie Cosmetics.

Owned by reality TV star Kylie Jenner, Kylie Cosmetics is a beauty brand that sells makeup. If you go to her @kyliecosmetics TikTok profile from the TikTok mobile app, you'll see the new shopping tab. For her, it sits between a feed of videos she has posted and all her likes. “I built my business on social media", Jenner announced in a press release. "That’s why I’m excited for Kylie Cosmetics to be one of the first to let customers shop directly on our TikTok!”

Tagging posts and checking out

As part of this pilot, Shopify and TikTok will bring product links to Shopify merchants. They can be used to tag products in posts, and then the TikTok users can choose to shop directly from the merchant’s storefront or click a tagged product in a merchant’s TikTok video to go to the merchant's online store for checkout.

When will TikTok Shopping be available?

The TikTok Shopping pilot is currently available to Shopify merchants in the US and UK. A select group of merchants in Canada will be added to the pilot in the coming weeks (so by September 2021). The feature will roll out to additional regions in the coming months, TikTok said.

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How to join the TikTok Shopping pilot

Shopify merchants can request early access to the pilot via this Shopify page.

Need more help?

You can also learn how to become a Shopify merchant here. If you already are, should install the TikTok Shopify app. If you need a TikTok Business account, go here to sign up. Finally, we recommend checking out Shopify's announcement blog post for TikTok Shopping if you still have questions.

Oh, and don't forget to bookmark our in-depth guides on TikTok:

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on 25 August 2021.

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