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Resource Type: Blogs


#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt: Why Social Commerce is the Next Big Thing for Beauty Brands

Beauty has already emerged as the leading product category consumers shop for on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Discover why social commerce is a must for the sector in our latest blog.

July 18, 2023

Celeste Rivas

Over the past decade, shopping has increasingly become a digital experience. Indeed, in 2023 alone, an estimated 2.14 billion consumers bought products and services online.

With the growth of social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and, more recently, TikTok, the digital environment has transformed how billions of people connect with each other – and the way they interact with brands too.

Today, social commerce is a growing force. With a worldwide market, it is expected to become a $1.2 trillion market globally by 2025.

And it’s not just about shopping: social has deeply transformed the entire customer journey. Three-quarters of people said that social media platforms have influenced their shopping behavior, and more than 61% said they make a purchase when they come across something mid-feed.

Social commerce: changing the face of beauty brands

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The beauty industry has thrived in the social media landscape for years now.

With an emphasis on visual content and rapid (and effective) adoption of influencer marketing and video, beauty brands have been able to engage potential customers on social with ease.

But with the rapid rise of social commerce, beauty has become the most shopped-for product category on social media.

Social commerce lets brands sell their products mid-scroll on the feed. From discovery to purchase, without the friction of changing apps, the process is completely seamless.

Whenever inspiration strikes, be it while watching a video tutorial or looking at a product spread, consumers can make a purchase there and then.

This convenience is key. More than half of shoppers say that they would more likely buy a product from a social media post if they could click on it and get the information instantly. The rise of livestream shopping reinforces this and takes it further, highlighting the need for real engagement that only social can offer. 

How beauty brands are leveraging the power of social media

Social shopping features have been available for a few years on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. However, the rise of TikTok has unlocked new opportunities, not just for consumers looking for recommendations and inspiration – but also for brands. Indeed, almost five billion businesses worldwide use TikTok to grow and connect with their audience.

Thanks to its For You Page, which recommends content to users based on their activity on the platform, TikTok has become a key driver of purchase intent and product discovery.

It also offers one of the most engaged user bases when it comes to shopping. More than 20% of social shoppers said they purchased goods on the app “all the time”.

Posts on TikTok not only turn into incredibly viral sensations, racking up hundreds of millions of views, but also translate into sales — both online and offline.

Take Clinique’s Black Honey Almost Lipstick, for instance. First launched in 1971, the product was catapulted back to fame after being rediscovered on the app in 2021. This led to many stores selling out of it entirely. By the end of August 2021, #BlackHoney had more than 11 million views.

Beauty brands are already tapping into this for their own products.

For example, L’Oréal recently partnered with TikTok to sell curated gift boxes. Featuring products from across their portfolio, these boxes were made available directly from the TikTok Shop marketplace in the UK. 

The boxes are branded with the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt hashtag — the first time TikTok has ever put its name on another brand’s product in this way. 

Beauty social commerce top tips

Is your beauty brand dipping its toes into the social commerce world? Follow the tips below to help your products go viral and boost your sales on social. 


1. Create a positive, seamless and reliable consumer experience 

Trust is the main barrier for consumers to shop on social.

Concerns over their order not being protected or refunded, plus a lack of trust towards the sellers or the authenticity of the products, are the two things that consumers worry about the most when considering a social commerce buy.

As such, investing time and money to offer potential customers the assurances they need is key to gaining their trust.

Overcome this by ensuring your refunds policy is clear and easily findable. Offer accurate images and descriptions, and make the entire shopping process as frictionless as possible.


2. Focus on networking 

Teaming up with the right influencers is critical. Consumers not only want to feel they are buying from reliable brands: they also want to feel confident that their purchase is right for them.

Word of mouth, from friends, family or industry experts, has always been an essential part of traditional commerce.

In the social shopping era, influencers play a central role in helping consumers discover products and decide on purchases. This is achieved by sharing their own experiences and opinions of a product they have tested themselves.

60% of people shop from influencer recommendations, and over a third shop from what they considered to be subject-matter experts, such as make-up artists and beauty consultants. Why? Because consumers trust them the most when it comes to sharing authentic and genuine content.

However, not all influencers are created equal and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to a beauty brand’s influencer marketing strategy.

Make sure you carry out extensive research to see who fits your brand's identity best. And if your brand operates internationally, ensure you not only look for local influencers, but also localize your offer. 

Partner with an influencer marketing expert such as THG Ingenuity and leverage an extensive network of influencers that will help you find the right talent for your target audience.


3. Leverage user-generated content (UGC) 

Social commerce is not just about platforms, but about real people using real products.

When consumers see others using and celebrating your product, it creates trust in your brand and offering. It also creates a sense of community among consumers or followers of a brand. It might also be just what sways your customers when considering a purchase. 

53% of shoppers say that UGC, such as images from customers, gives them more confidence when completing a purchase than professional photography, 

As a beauty brand, you can capitalize on this by encouraging your followers to tag you on their posts and getting their permission to share their content and turn it into a shoppable post, for example. 

Coming up with challenges, hashtags or simply sharing customer testimonials on your page are all good ideas as well.  

At THG Ingenuity, we’ve helped countless brands grow their digital operations and successfully engage with online audiences across the globe. From delivering bespoke influencer marketing solutions to ensuring orders are fulfilled wherever customers are shopping, we help brands get where they need to go.

Get in touch today to learn how we can support your brand’s journey. 

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