Shopify Businesses Can Now Work With Social Media Influencers to Increase Ecommerce Sales Through Startup Popular Pays

By Elijah Labby Tuesday, January 5, 2021

In the time of social media, the power of “influencers” — individuals who have gained a large following online — to sell products for businesses cannot be overstated. If you’ve been on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, or Twitter recently, odds are that you’ve seen celebrities recommend products or services for different businesses on their official social media page.

Shopify, the ecommerce website that allows anyone to easily create their own custom online store, recently announced that it would be partnering with Popular Pays, a startup that allows Shopify businesses to interact with influencers directly to arrange the promotion of their products across influencer’s social media.

It’s an added bonus for prospective Shopify businesses looking to amplify their reach across the internet. It’s also a big plus for Popular Pays, which is now plugged into Shopify’s dominant presence in the online small business space — currently the foundation of over a million online stores in over 175 countries.

Aana Leech, who is vice president of marketing and customers at Popular Pays, expressed excitement about the partnership.

"As more and more of our customers turned to Shopify this year, it only made sense that we explore how to provide them with a more seamless cross-platform experience,” she said. “We're excited to add another strong tool to our customers' toolbox to evaluate performance of their influencer activations and have a direct tie in to sales impact."

The Story of Shopify

Shopify has been on the scene for over 15 years, and in that time, it has managed to have a remarkable amount of success. The then-startup was a venture capital darling, raising $122 million in investments. It was also a media favorite, receiving coverage in high-level news outlets like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Forbes, and a slew of others.

The company was originally born out of its founders’ vision to make an online snowboard business. That venture did not last, but through it, Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake discovered that the infrastructure for building a business online was lacking, and Shopify was born.

Now, Shopify’s partnership with Popular Pays is another step into a developing market. The team collaboration software market in which Popular Pays sits (however uncomfortably) is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 12.7% from 2020 to 2027. That means that while today the market is worth roughly $10 billion, in 2027, it is estimated to be worth well over $35 billion.

Shopify and Popular Pays are in good company here. The market is occupied by several giants of industry, including Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. While these names may be daunting, both Shopify and Popular Pays have unique value propositions that will continue to make their mark in the industry.

Popular Pays’s History of Innovation

One of the factors making Popular Pays a particularly good partner for Shopify is its history of innovation. Besides being on the cutting edge of monetizing communications between influencers and clients, the startup has also worked to enable these communications on cutting edge apps.

One of these apps is TikTok, a social media app that allows users to post short videos accompanied by music to their profiles. The app has exploded in popularity in recent months, and Popular Pays’s September announcement that users could now partner with TikTok influencers intended to capitalize on that growth.

"We love TikTok – it's a joy to use," says Popular Pays Co-Founder and CEO Corbett Drummey. "Our team wanted to give brands and agencies an easy way to discover talent on TikTok since there are so many amazing creators on their platform. The reason we're so excited to release this tool is that it gives people a frictionless and free entry point for brands to start testing the waters."

While TikTok’s selling power has not been proven in the same way that Facebook’s and Instagram’s has, the versatility provided by Popular Pays’s commitment to innovation has the power to both strengthen its own brand power as well as strengthen the offerings of its partner, Shopify.

About the Author

Headshot for author Elijah Labby

Elijah Labby is a graduate of the National Journalism Center. He has previously written for Broadband Breakfast, a technology and internet policy website.

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