The partnership builds on a deal in the US, in place since October 2020, between social media major TikTok and e-commerce giant Shopify where Shopify merchants had access to an integrated TikTok ad campaign channel internally via the Shopify dashboard. The feature offered merchants an assortment of creative tools to develop highly targeted in-feed video campaigns on TikTok that were directly linked back to Shopify pages. This offering had now been extended to Shopify merchants in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Creating the beauty buzz – ‘any brand can go viral’ on TikTok
Antonia Baildam, brand partnerships manager for beauty at TikTok, said this was exceptionally interesting for beauty and personal care brands.
“With a highly engaged community of beauty lovers on the platform that are starting new trends and riffing on each other every single day, TikTok is becoming an increasingly important advertising and marketing destination for brands in the space,” Baildam told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.
The power of TikTok’s algorithm combined with the diversity of content from creators meant “anyone, including any brand, can go viral without a single follower”, she said.
UK male makeup brand War Paint for Men had already kickstarted its TikTok campaign via Shopify, enabling the brand to share its story “in a genuine way” and connect with audiences it hadn’t been able to reach before, according to founder Danny Gray.
War Paint for Men had joined Shopify during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gray said, because retail closures had increased pressure to build out direct-to-consumer presence. The TikTok campaign feature took this one step further, he said, giving the brand access to engage with a much younger Gen Z demographic – something that was typically “tricky for brands to get right”.
And Baildam said War Paint for Men was now just one of many beauty brands benefitting from increased exposure via TikTok. “For beauty brands that are looking for somewhere to create a buzz, there’s nowhere quite like TikTok. Beauty hacks, trends and content are being shared and consumed on the platform every minute of the day, which creates limitless opportunities.”
Elf Cosmetics was one great example of a beauty brand that had soared into the TikTok sphere – sending a music track into the Spotify charts thanks to a campaign on the platform; L’Oréal had also had great success with its Elvive #WonderWaterWhip challenge; and Too Faced had racked up almost half a million TikTok brand advocates for its beauty campaign celebrating diversity, she said.
Significant social reach in a period of ‘immense change’ across retail
Shimona Mehta, managing director of Shopify EMEA, said: “The past year has been one of immense change for retailers, who have had to be agile in a rapidly evolving retail landscape.”
Not only had consumer shopping habits changed, so too had the way entrepreneurs started, operated, and grew businesses – making it an increasingly competitive market, Mehta said.
“Brands are having to compete like never before to get the attention of buyers. The goal is for businesses to make it easier for buyers to discover their brands. With this new TikTok partnership, Shopify merchants (…) can connect with new customers in a way that can help them build their brand, drive sales and create engaged communities,” she said.
Lisa Friedrich, head of small and midsize business (SMB) for Europe at TikTok, said for beauty brands on Shopify, the partnership brought “so many exciting benefits”.
But beyond the practical plus of managing and measuring TikTok campaigns without leaving the Shopify dashboard, Friedrich said “the most valuable aspect for beauty brands” was the opportunity it provided to be discovered by a 100 million-strong TikTok community in Europe and “get creative about challenging existing beauty norms”.
TikTok users, she said, were “inherently diverse” and “consciously moving away from the ‘perfect life’ aesthetic” seen so often on other social media platforms.
“This gives brands a clear opportunity to participate in important conversations about the future of beauty and tap into areas that matter most to fans, helping to turn them into loyal advocates and impact the bottom line in the long-term,” she said.