TikTok has become an unlikely source of beauty sales for Amazon during the Coronavirus pandemic.
TikTok has emerged as a new source for brands struggling during COVID-19 to push sales on Amazon. Looking beyond the potential stigma of selling on a platform that has deterred retailers in the past with the amount of control it exerts over the process of getting products to customers, Amazon is rife with opportunities for smaller sellers.
‘Having a strong digital presence is not enough,’ says CEO of direct-to-consumer growth consultancy Two Nil, Mark Zamuner. ‘Beauty brands also need to be where conversion takes place, and the main place for that is now Amazon.’ Basically, during an otherwise uncertain period Amazon is helping brands secure sales.
A growing number of cosmetics labels — particularly independent ones — have begun increasing their media spend, launching official shops on Amazon which now has a heightened focus on the beauty category. As go-to drugstores such as Ulta and Sephora remain inaccessible to the public out of safety concerns, Amazon has become the single most reliable option, but that’s not to say it’s been immune to fulfilment and supply chain disruptions. Logistics setbacks during the first two months of lockdown were hard on the site, with surging demand resulting in shipping delays and warehouse buildups. But Amazon has since dealt with these issues and customers continue to gravitate to the platform in hordes.
So much so in fact, that the rate at which Amazon shoppers converted from free trial to full-paying Prime member was the highest it’s been in two years during lockdown according to a survey from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. And a new report from Wunderman Thompson uncovered that 63% of international shoppers start their online searches on the platform with 75% of them expressing an interest in more brands and retailers offering a similar level of service.
But where does TikTok come in? Considering that Amazon is making some serious headway with Gen Z shoppers — 72% of female consumers between the ages of 15 and 25 use Amazon for product discovery (CPC Strategy) — it makes sense that an app renowned for its popularity amongst the younger demographic would be raking in sales at the moment.
‘For us, the number one traffic driver is TikTok,’ says Memebox founder Dino Ha. ‘We make sure to link our official Amazon stores from our account which has grown to 360,000 followers without the use of paid ads or hashtag challenges. We also add #amazonfinds to every video, but we’re still trying to understand what the TikTok audience in the community is all about and what they prefer.’
Currently, although TikTok videos do not directly link to e-commerce, its Chinese counterpart Douyin does, offering links to alternative channels through embedded buttons which demonstrates what TikTok’s future may hold globally.