Linktree boosts social commerce business to target Gen Z shoppers

The company believes “creators are the storefront of the future,” according to Lara Cohen, VP of Partners and Brand Development at Linktree.
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· 4 min read

If you head to the social media profile bios of Selena Gomez, Robert Downey Jr., or even the President of the United States, you’ll see a link to Linktree, the link-in-bio tool employed by 50 million users that allows them to consolidate a slew of links into just one.

But more and more, the tool is being utilized by content creators, particularly on TikTok, as a “viral army of Get Ready With Me girlies,” has been driving commerce, Lara Cohen, VP of partners and business development at Linktree, told Retail Brew, influencing consumers to buy the products these use across beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. The company said it sees 240 million commerce clicks monthly, accounting for $300 million in spend, and produces a 50% higher conversion rate than the e-commerce industry average. It also accounts for 2% of Amazon’s storefront traffic.

Cohen calls the link in bio space “the most valuable real estate on the internet,” and now Linktree, originally created to support musical artists who had multiple projects to promote, is leaning into this commerce use. It’s introducing a storefront offering allowing creators to sell products directly from their Linktree, helping “cut down on friction,” Cohen said, as the company partners with brands and retailers catering to Gen Z shoppers with viral products.

Social ladder: According to Linktree’s 2023 Creator Report, links to shopping platforms Shopify and Spring on Linktree have garnered 38 million clicks since 2022. And with one-third of US shoppers saying creators influence their buying decisions, per Deloitte, Linktree is working to make those purchases more seamless, with the belief that fewer clicks leads to more conversions, Cohen said.

In March, Linktree introduced an alpha phase of its new offering, which lets users add shoppable storefronts to their link-in-bio links (there is a toggle between links and their “store”). Creators can create curated collections of products from brands and retailers partnered with Linktree, displaying a product photo and price that, once clicked, directs shoppers to the product listing from which to buy it. Creators receive a 12%–15% commission for sales converted through the page. Linktree co-founder and CEO Alex Zaccaria told The Information at the time that the move was “the first step into new revenue streams.”

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For this phase, it partnered with Sephora, Urban Outfitters, and Revolve—retailers that are “in the zeitgeist of Gen Z,” Cohen said—and a small group of creators. With this test, the company found that participants had a 12% traffic uptick after setting up their shop.

“We’re just really bringing the sales much closer into the journey, which I think is the secret sauce,” Cohen said.

Its beta phase now includes thousands of brands and over 20 retailers like Net-a-Porter, Shopbop, Lululemon, New Balance, and Adidas, capitalizing on more viral products like the Adidas Samba, Cohen noted. It now allows users to integrate user-generated content from any social platform onto the storefront. With these partnerships, it continues to focus on the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle space, categories where products tend to go viral. Cohen noted it could expand into electronics, parenting products, or even travel next.

With consumer shopping data, Linktree can share insights with its retail brand partners in terms of what products are trending and which social media platforms are driving the most sales (Spoiler alert: it’s TikTok). The tool can especially be helpful for small retailers who haven’t been able to allocate funds to establish their own creator program, Cohen noted.

On the flip side, beyond the commission creators earn with sales, with the future of TikTok uncertain, the Linktree storefront also offers them “a space that they can own, and now a space that they can monetize.”

“We really believe that creators are the storefront of the future, and actually, the storefront of now,” Cohen said.

Retail news that keeps industry pros in the know

Retail Brew delivers the latest retail industry news and insights surrounding marketing, DTC, and e-commerce to keep leaders and decision-makers up to date.