On February 24th, TikTok and Shopify announced that they have extended their partnership in several European countries. Already available in the US since October, Shopify has deployed an ad integration with TikTok enabling Shop owners to create, manage, and measure their TikTok ad campaigns natively within the Shopify platform. This partnership is now available in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK and will allow businesses to create in-feed shoppable video ads directly within Shopify. With a community of 100 million TikTokers in Europe there is no doubt this partnership will make an impact on the European social media and e-commerce landscape.

Shimona Mehta, Managing Director, Shopify EMEA, commented: "The past year has been one of immense change for retailers, who have had to be agile in a rapidly evolving retail landscape. Today, the way that entrepreneurs start, run, and grow businesses has permanently altered, as has how consumers shop […] The goal is for businesses to make it easier for buyers to discover their brands. With this new TikTok partnership, Shopify merchants in the UK, France, Germany and Spain can connect with new customers in a way that can help them build their brand and drive sales"

Lisa Friedrich, Head of SMB at TikTok Europe addedOver the past 12 months, we've seen such resilience from founders and entrepreneurs across Europe, including the UK, who have brought energy, creativity and new ideas. They will be at the heart of future economic growth.”

More than ever brands need to find new ways to engage with customers and many entrepreneurs and SMBs have leveraged social media platforms to keep their business afloat without investing in a more traditional website.

Over the last year we’ve seen more features and tools that support quick and easy shopping: from Instagram where you can add product tags and enable easy checkout without leaving the platform to the launch of Facebook Shop to quickly start an online business. Social commerce is a trend that should continue to grow in 2021 and that every entrepreneur must include in their development plans. With the rise of online shopping and the amount of time people spend on social, the impact of social media on commerce is indisputable: 54% of social media users research product using social media and 74% are influenced by social media for buying decisions.

It's interesting to see the social media giant strengthening its TikTok for Business platform with this new partnership whilst competition in ecommerce is so great. There are also rumours that Instagram is working on an early prototype to develop a TikTok-style ‘vertical stories’ feed. And in mid-February, Google announced it will roll out ‘YouTube Shorts’ in the US after successfully launching this new format in India last summer. The service lets users share very short videos directly from their smartphones in a couple of clicks. It’s likely businesses will invest in this new format very soon and will compare its benefits to the TikTok and Instagram platforms.

One thing is certain: the innovation in social commerce is only just getting started!