Chinese video-sharing social channel TikTok is working with beauty brands to grow the practice of ‘social gifting’ beyond China, where it is a well-developed feature of social commerce.
Glossy reports that L’Oréal’s Essie, and NYX Cosmetics, are participating in TikTok’s “Small Gestures” gifting feature this spring. The campaign debuted on April 27 and allows users to virtually send promotional “gifts” from brands to their contacts through TikTok.
NYX Cosmetics allowed regular users to send a $5 gift card to their contacts via TikTok, and Essie is giving away 8,000 units of its Speed Setter top coat, a best-seller. Via Small Gestures, users can send the brand-sponsored gifts by entering a page in the rewards section of TikTok, with a limit of three gifts able to be sent by one account.
Growth in TikTok followers during lockdown
The new feature is being viewed as a quarantine-driven renaissance in social gifting – with the US the current focus, and Europe a likely consideration for the future.
“With the rise in popularity of the platform, Essie was seeking ways to engage with the TikTok community that felt organic to both brands,” said Liz Hanigan, Essie’s assistant VP of integrated consumer communications. “This, coupled with the current climate and social distancing guidelines resulting in an increase in at-home manicures, we felt it was the perfect opportunity to partner with the platform.”
Meanwhile NYX has been especially active on TikTok during the quarantine period, launching its popular #ButterGlossPop campaign and growing its followers by seven times during the lockdown, according to data from TikTok analytics firm Inspary.
Will social gifting catch on globally now?
US and European tech platforms have struggled with finding a way to make social gifting catch on after the concept became an e-commerce buzzword in 2012, spurring a wave of social gifting startups. However widespread successes have not materialised pre-Covid 19.
According to a TikTok representative, the campaign was launched as a result of the Covid-19 quarantine, “to build a sense of support and encouragement with the TikTok community during these tough times.”
Social gifting has become much more popular in Asia than it has in the Us and Europe. Virtual red envelopes containing payments from friends and family are commonplace on WeChat after being launched in 2014, and brands including Dior Beauty have adopted WeChat gift card ‘Mini Programs’.