The first era of online shopping was independent merchants setting up their own sites. And the second era simply belonged to Amazon.
But now we’re in a third era, which could be known as the social commerce age. Put differently: the age of Shopify.
The ecommerce tech company announced an integration with TikTok on Tuesday, the latest in a roster of social platform partners that includes Facebook, Google’s portfolio of apps and sites, Snapchat, Pinterest and more.
“We’re doubling down on driving the new era of social commerce,” said Amir Kabbara, Shopify’s director of product for Channels (the Shopify term for third-party platform partners).
Shopify doesn’t charge for the Channel integrations, nor does it take a cut of media. Shopify is the payment processor though, so it retains a small percent of purchases. And the deal works for the social platforms because retailers and merchants bring new ad dollars to the table.
Social channels are the fastest growing source of sales and marketing for Shopify merchants, Kabbara said. Merchant installs (a seller setting up a Facebook or TikTok storefront, say, or onboarding with the Google Merchant Center) increased by 76% in the US this year. Sales on those social channels are up 270%.