“Social gifting” is a popular tactic in China, where brands encourage users to send small gifts to friends via social media. In the U.S., however, the practice is relatively untapped—but TikTok’s latest rollout could change that.
TikTok is working with beauty brands Essie and NYX Professional Makeup for its “Small Gestures” promotion. Users can send small gifts from the brands through TikTok and recipients can receive gifts without having an account. The gifting feature debuted April 27, with Essie giving away 8,000 units of its best-selling Speed Setter top coat and NYX Cosmetics letting users send $5 gift cards. To give a gift, TikTok users go to the Small Gestures page and choose up to three gifts as part of a brand offering. The feature includes numerous sponsors, such as brands from the food, gaming, and music industries. TikTok created the Small Gestures feature in response to the Coronavirus pandemic as a way to build its community while users are social distancing.
In Japan, social gifting rose by 171% in 2017, while in China, Douyin—the Chinese version of TikTok—gave out $290 million in social gifting cards in January 2020. The current social climate and TikTok’s rapidly growing audience could now make the trend primed for a social gifting awakening in the U.S. Social gifting is beloved for personal and corporate uses in Asia, and TikTok is anticipating the Small Gestures feature will catch on with its 37 million U.S. users during the pandemic. Increasing commerce capabilities on the platform allows brands to capitalize on TikTok’s high engagement rates through the emerging feature, according to a Gartner report. Using a beauty partnership to introduce the feature could aid the platform’s growth too, as beauty brands boast record high connectivity rates with TikTok’s majority Gen-Z users.
TikTok’s newest feature could resonate with users during and after the pandemic, as there is never a bad time to send someone a “thinking of you” gift.