How Social Proof Powers Product Discovery and Sales on TikTok

Updated: March 01, 2024

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Published: January 12, 2024

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4 mins read

TikTok has long been an effective tool for product discovery, but the launch of TikTok Shop has ushered in a social commerce frenzy. As more eCommerce merchants jump on the platform to tap into the revenue potential, it becomes harder for your brand and products to stand out.

The solution? Focus on product reviews.   

How do product reviews drive purchases on TikTok Shop?

Authentic product reviews help merchants who sell on TikTok Shop connect with their target audience, drive brand awareness, and boost sales. By collecting and promoting valuable social proof, brands can showcase engaging, relevant content that builds trust and drives revenue.

Types of Product Reviews on TikTok

Product reviews can take a few different forms on TikTok, both within the feed and on TikTok Shop. Let’s take a look at the different types through the lens of a recent viral product, e.l.f’s Glow Reviver Lip Oil.

Organic Product Reviews

Creators will often review products with no financial incentive, and without connecting to the merchant in any way. That’s why it’s important to monitor TikTok for brand and product mentions. You can then showcase those organic reviews by reposting them to your account, giving your followers and those who discover you a reason to trust your brand. 

Here’s an example with wildly popular beauty creator Mikayla Noguiera. The buzz around e.l.f.’s lip oil has been going strong for months now, in no small part because of all the creator hype. 

@mikaylanogueira THIS IS MY FAVORITE ELF LAUNCH OF THE YEAR!!!! (ASIDE FROM MY OWN LIP KIT OBVIOUSLY 😂😂) #makeup #beauty #elf #lipoil ♬ original sound - Mikayla Nogueira

With nearly 700K likes and more than 40K saves, it’s safe to assume Mikayla’s influence helped get the word out about this product and fuels its incredible staying power on the platform. 

Affiliate Product Reviews

With TikTok’s Affiliate Program, merchants can tap into the power of popular creators to build awareness and trust around their brand and products. The creators will receive a small commission from each sale, and the merchant will gain access to a potentially untapped audience — win-win!

While she doesn’t have the enormous platform of the Mikayla Nogueiras of TikTok, fashion and beauty creator Vlada Aleks is a micro-influencer in her own right. As an affiliate, she promoted e.l.f.’s lip oil with a link to buy it on TikTok Shop.

@vladaalekss The perfect stocking stuffers 😍🎄 #elflipoil #elflipoilreview #stockingstuffers #elfcosmetics #elfdupes ♬ original sound - Jules’ Music Corner

Affiliates can post review content on shoppable videos or on TikTok LIVE — the platform’s live shopping experience. And LIVE is worth investing in — more than 50% of users have bought something after tuning in. 

TikTok Shop Product Pages

Product reviews are an essential component of product pages. It’s where shoppers look for information on topics like color, fit, and quality. TikTok Shop sometimes feels a bit like the Wild West, with so many merchants vying for shoppers’ attention. Reviews help boost trust for both merchants less well-known on the platform and more established ones who are releasing new products.

Here’s a sample of the nearly 7K reviews that e.l.f. has on the lip oil product page. If a shopper is intrigued by a creator-hyped product but undecided about buying, these reviews can help instill trust and move them from the consideration to the decision stage.

Merchants can solicit reviews from existing TikTok Shop customers who purchase their products, or, if they have a large volume of reviews on their site, they can syndicate them to TikTok Shop.

TikTok product reviews are essential for making your brand and products stand out on the platform, but you need to be creative about collecting and showcasing them. Ready to get started? Learn more in our guide: How to Sell on TikTok Shop.

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