This week, we’re looking at which beauty brands have adopted TikTok’s checkout feature as it develops shopping capabilities in the United States. Scroll down to use Glossy+ Comments, giving the Glossy+ community the opportunity to join discussions around industry topics.
#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt is getting more instant by the day as the platform’s Shop feature is attracting a growing number of beauty brands in the U.S.
Since the new in-app checkout feature was launched in a testing phase in November, brands including E.l.f. Beauty, Laura Mercier, BareMinerals, KimChi Chic Beauty and Skin Gym have adopted it. Allowing consumers to add products from multiple brands to one in-app shopping cart, the new feature is the latest of TikTok’s global e-commerce development. Aside from the early adopters of checkout, a much wider range of beauty brands on the app now offers e-commerce links directing customers to purchase on their e-commerce sites.
“TikTok is very ambitious to get as many brands as possible,” said Leslie Ann Hall, founder and CEO of paid social marketing agency Iced Media, which is working to onboard its client Moroccanoil onto TikTok Shop by September. She plans to add additional clients, including Fekkai, Image Skincare, Flower Beauty and TPH by Taraji, by the end of the year.
While TikTok launched a Shopify partnership in the U.S. in 2021, brands currently do not need to have Shopify to join the Shop feature. “If you are on Shopify, it’s going to be easier than if you are not,” said Hall. “But the great news is, even if you’re on Magento, even if you have a custom build to your e-commerce platform, you can get on TikTok Shop; any e-commerce platform can onboard to TikTok Shop and integrate their product catalog.” She added that brands can either integrate their entire product catalog or feature select products.
TikTok is currently listing a job opening in the U.S. for a “TikTok Commerce – Category Lead – Beauty” position, which describes one duty of the role as forming partnerships with brands and nurturing brand-creator connections.
TikTok started offering shopping features in the U.S. back in 2021 with shopping tabs on brands’ profiles linking out to purchase products on brand sites, in partnership with Shopify. Early adopters of the shopping links included Glow Recipe, Hero Cosmetics, Kitsch, Youth to the People, Rare Beauty and Summer Fridays. Currently, Glow Recipe, Youth to the People and Rare Beauty are among the wide range of beauty brands that offer product listings under their shopping tabs featuring a “Checkout on website” button. Other brands with the feature include major labels such as Estée Lauder, Clinique and Lancôme, while L’Oréal Paris has a shopping tab with no products listed.
The key to finding success with TikTok shopping will be driving visibility using the TikTok ecosystem.
For KimChi Chic Beauty, one of the earliest beauty brands to have access to beta test the new feature, this has included livestream shopping. According to founder Kim Chi on a recent episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast, “TikTok Live Shop has actually almost created a community in itself. There are a lot of people who are regulars. … I come on about once a month just to say hi to the fans. And the sales have been great. We offer a lot of special deals or discounts that you can only get on TikTok Live Shops. Times are changing because, before, people watched cable TV. But nowadays, everybody’s on their phone, and they don’t have cable anymore,” she said.
Tapping into influencer marketing to drive viral #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt trends, which have caused massive sales spikes for brands, is also part of how brands can drive sales. TikTok also offers an affiliate program with influencers earning commission off their own curated shopping tabs that incorporate even more brands into TikTok online checkout.
Koosha Nouri, one of the first influencer beta testers of the in-app checkout feature, offers a curated e-commerce “showcase” under a shopping tab on his profile. Product links in his showcase feature in-app checkout buttons for brands including Versed, Kosas, Skin Gym, Sol de Janeiro and Summer Fridays. While Skin Gym has in-app checkout on its own product listings, others, such as Summer Fridays, don’t have their own shop tab. Versed, meanwhile, has “Checkout on website” on its own product listing. Kosas has no listings on its own shopping tab.
In order to attract more brands, TikTok is waiving its commission until October and offering subsidies including free shipping and coupons to the earliest brands to adopt its in-app checkout.
A recent report by Semafor stated that TikTok is planning to create a dedicated commerce tab in the U.S. where it will feature participating brands as well as its own inventory. The article pointed out that a U.S. job listing describes a new feature called the “TikTok Shop Shopping Center,” which “serves as a central hub where users can easily discover promotions.” TikTok is already testing a feature called “Trendy Beat” in the U.K. selling a selection of items that have been featured in viral videos.
Competitors have also been experimenting with different shopping features. Instagram shut down its shopping tab earlier this year, and then announced in April that it would be shifting its e-commerce features exclusively to in-app checkout. In June, YouTube expanded its shopping features.
“If you’re a first mover, then you have the ability to be featured more visibly throughout TikTok organically, and you’ll get that visibility that otherwise you would not get. You kind of have to play the game to get the opportunity,” said Hall.
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