For anyone who spends time following top TikTok beauty trends, browsing Amazon’s best seller list will certainly feel familiar.
From Revlon’s One-Step hair-dryer brush to Paula’s Choice BHA exfoliant, TikTok favorites are front and center among Amazon’s best-sellers in beauty. The strength of the TikTok-Amazon beauty pipeline is now backed up by data, according to a new report by Similarweb tracking product sales. According to the firm’s analysis, beauty products that went viral on TikTok earned an average of 85.3% month-on-month sales growth on Amazon, surpassing the averages for their respective categories.
Revlon has especially benefited from the viral TikTok phenomenon. The brand’s hair-dryer brush is the No. 1 beauty best-seller on Amazon, while its Oil-Absorbing Volcanic Face Roller is No. 3. Both were listed by an Amazon spokesperson as overall top sellers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year, and both have had their share of viral moments on TikTok.
The One-Step brush, for example, has been a mainstay of TikTok beauty since first going viral on the platform in February 2020. Meanwhile, the Volcanic Face Roller first went viral in March 2020, thanks to makeup artist Lexington’s (@looksbylexington) viral video demonstrating the product. When the product went viral again in spring 2021, it saw 54% month-on-month Amazon sales growth in March and 65% growth in April.
The “micro influencers that post before/after videos show[ing] positive results of using the products,” can be big drivers of viral product sales, said Inès Durand, an industry manager at Similarweb and the report’s author. And among TikTok’s bigger beauty influencers, those that had an impact on Amazon sales included Dr. Muneeb Shah, Mari Maria and Mireya Rios.
“Dermatologists get a lot of followers on TikTok, as they are seen as knowledgeable people. They don’t only recommend using certain products in their skin-care routine, but they also give tips on how to best use them, helping people to not feel alone in their purchase,” said Durand. After Shah endorsed the Paula’s Choice BHA exfoliant in a TikTok video receiving 3.3 million views in January, Amazon sales increased 13% month-on-month. And when TikTok star Edward Zo posted about it in March, it saw 17% growth. The product is currently No. 18 on Amazon’s beauty best-sellers list and No. 9 in the skin-care category.
Other viral products linked to big Amazon sales include Eos’ shaving cream. It saw a 171% sales spike following TikToker Carly Joy’s famous and expletive-filled video from February 2021 that spurred a product collab. And SoftSheen-Carson’s Magic Shaving Powder saw a 177% spike in July, thanks to a video by TikTok micro-influencer @realbellabands. Aquaphor also saw multi-month growth in December 2020, kicked off by a viral Rios video. That extended to 28% growth in March 2021 as more TikTok users posted about it.
Some brands have realized the value of Amazon as a TikTok sales channel. Revlon, for example, features on its TikTok a video by influencer Natalie Atick-Nunez (@therobelifeblog) stating that she purchased the face roller on Amazon. But most of the time, “influencers usually refer directly to the [brand site] or sometimes to a beauty retailer like Ulta or Sephora whom they partnered with,” said Durand.
This is true of TikTok itself. Its 2021 #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt gift guide lists the Revlon face roller with a link to purchase on Amazon, while other beauty products listed link to other retailers or DTC sites.
Revlon plans to do “a lot more on TikTok,” said the company’s Americas president Heather Wallace at the recent Glossy Beauty Summit. She also noted that the brand is focused on retail partners including Amazon.
“When we work with Amazon, we really understand what they’re trying to accomplish in beauty; we understand the new tools that they’re creating. There’s so much technology and it’s moving so fast,” she said.
Even brands without official Amazon stores see spikes. Third-party sales of The Ordinary took off on Amazon when its famous AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution went viral on TikTok in September 2020 and then again in April 2021, according to Similarweb.
When it comes to creating a viral TikTok product, “organic [posts] work best with consumers, at first, as they gain awareness and trust for a product without double guessing the results of using that product,” said Durand. “However, paid partnerships with bigger influencers definitely help to increase the products’ exposure and thus the sales after the initial boom.”