A growing number of beauty brands, especially independent labels, have launched official shops on Amazon as it has increased its focus on the beauty category. Despite logistics setbacks during the first two months of coronavirus shutdowns in the U.S., shipping times have returned to normal for most beauty brands that have adopted Amazon as a sales channel. Amazon is also especially gaining ground with Gen-Z shoppers. According to a 2019 survey by CPC Strategy, 72% of female Gen-Z consumers use Amazon for product discovery. Piper Jaffray’s 2019 survey of American teenagers found that Amazon had risen to become the fifth most popular sales channel for beauty, up from being the 17th the year prior.
“For us, the No. 1 traffic driver is TikTok,” said Memebox founder and CEO Dino Ha of the company’s Amazon presence, which he said has continued to grow during the pandemic despite shipment delays. The K-beauty company’s I Dew Care and I’m Meme brands link to their official Amazon stores from their TikTok accounts, and the lines add the popular #amazonfinds hashtag to each of their TikTok videos. Ha said the brands launched on both TikTok and Amazon around the same time, entering Amazon in January 2020. I Dew Care’s first TikTok video was posted in December, and the account has grown to 360,000 followers without the use of paid ads or hashtag challenges. I’m Meme started posting on TikTok in April 2020.
Ha said that the brands chose to link to Amazon because “we thought that was the easiest,” noting, “I think we’ll keep it that way because it’s working right now.” The company may be experimenting with other links in the future, he said. “We’re still trying to understand what the TikTok audience in the community is all about and what they prefer.”
While TikTok videos currently don’t link directly to e-commerce, the Chinese version of TikTok, Douyin, offers links to Alibaba’s Tmall and other channels through commerce buttons embedded in the videos. This shows the possibility of what the future holds for TikTok in the U.S.