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Shopify launches new platform to connect creators and merchants

Shopify is launching a new product to help connect social media content creators with merchants with the goal of helping creators generate more revenue while exposing e-commerce businesses to new consumers.

The Ottawa-based software giant says the new program, called Shopify Collabs, allows creators to “discover and partner with merchants to create curated shops and share products that reflect their own interests.”

Using Collabs, artists and others who create content for platforms like TikTok and YouTube can apply for a free account that allows them to browse Shopify merchants that might be suitable for their audience.

Creators can then partner with merchants to curate a curated selection of products that they can share on their favorite social media platforms. Creators get paid when consumers purchase products using links that creators have shared.

Shopify bills Collabs as a way to help creators cash in on their popularity online.

$100 billion market

The company says that while the total creator economy is now estimated to be over $100 billion a year, “most creators struggle to make money and become independent.” Shopify says research shows only 4% of creators are engaged in full-time content production.

“With Shopify Collabs, we’re making it easier for creators to discover and partner with these brands so they can earn more money and achieve economic independence,” Shopify chief product officer Amir Kabbara said in a statement. Press release.

“Going forward, Collabs will be fully integrated with Shopify, giving creators access to more parts of our platform and accelerating their journey as entrepreneurs.”

Meanwhile, Shopify says the program will also help its merchants generate new business by tapping into the creators’ well-established fanbases.

“For Shopify merchants, Collabs is a new way to find potential customers at a time when it’s never been more difficult or expensive,” Kabbara added.

“By giving merchants the ability to discover and partner with creators who align with their brand, they can harness the power of community commerce to reach consumers in new and meaningful ways.”

Merchants who install the platform can use it to provide creators with unique links and discount codes that they can share with their audience. Metrics such as inventory, orders, and customer information are all tracked automatically on the merchant admin dashboard.

The launch marks Shopify’s latest effort to strengthen its ties with social media platforms in an effort to increase revenue. The company has already partnered with Twitter, TikTok, Facebook and Pinterest to make it easier for its merchants to generate sales through social media.

The move comes as Shopify shares took a hit amid a broad market sell-off that has rocked the tech sector for the past eight months. Shares of Shopify settled at $51.03 mid-afternoon Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange, down more than 75% from their high of $222.87 (adjusted for a recent stock split). shares of 10 to 1) last November.

Late last month, the company announced a net loss of $1.2 billion for the second quarter ending June 30, compared with a profit of nearly $880 million a year earlier. The financial report came a day after Shopify announced it was laying off 10% of its workforce, or about 1,000 employees – a move the company said it was forced to make after misjudging expected market growth of e-commerce.

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