Shopify Touts ‘Flywheel Effect’ with Expansion of ‘Audiences’ Advertising Tool to TikTok, Snap, Criteo

Shopify has expanded Audiences to include integrations with TikTok, Snap and Criteo.

Shopify is expanding the reach of its merchant advertising tool Audiences to include all major advertising platforms. New integrations with Snap, commerce media platform Criteo and TikTok now join the roster of Shopify’s channel ad partners, which already include Meta, Google and Pinterest. Additionally, the latest version of Shopify Audiences now offers benchmarking functionality to help merchants compare their campaign performance to that of similar sellers.

Shopify Audiences, which is currently available for U.S. and Canada Shopify Plus merchants, first debuted in May 2022, with the goal of helping brands identify and reach target customers on their preferred advertising networks. The solution launched with Meta’s Facebook and Instagram and later expanded to include Google and Pinterest. Now with the addition of TikTok, Snap and Criteo, Shopify merchants can create and reach target audiences on nearly all the major digital advertising platforms.

Shopify Audiences draws on what the platform calls its “flywheel effect,” using insights from the broader Shopify Plus ecosystem to help merchants find prospective customers based on “proven intent.” Merchants select a product they want to sell more of and Shopify’s machine learning tools help to build a tailored audience of high-intent buyers. That audience is then securely exported to the merchant’s ad network of choice. As the number of merchants using Shopify Audiences grows, the algorithm becomes more impactful by leveraging insights from shoppers across all participating merchants.

“Since launching Shopify Audiences last year, our algorithms have only gotten smarter and more effective thanks to the collective power of our merchants,” said David Wurtz, VP of Advertising at Shopify in a statement. “We’ve long said that commerce is not a zero-sum game. Together, the independent merchants on Shopify help each other win.”

The updated Shopify Audiences tool now lets merchants benchmark their campaign performance against that of other similar merchants. For example, a custom T-shirt retailer can compare the performance of its advertising campaign against other merchants selling similar products at similar price points, as opposed to broadly comparing itself against all apparel retailers.

“This evolution of Shopify Audiences is a strong step forward in supporting small- to medium-sized merchants who are desperate for solutions to help drive efficient growth,” said Ant Duffin, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner in comments shared with Retail TouchPoints. “The iteration of Audiences further supports Shopify’s core strategy of providing capabilities to help merchants enable the end-to-end customer journey, not just purchase through a website. The addition of new ad platform integrations is a natural next step to incrementally scale the core Audience product. It gives merchants a diverse choice of ad platforms to use in search of new audiences to drive incremental growth, but also a level of operation to manage in one place.”