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Did TikTok Make These Retailers’ Days?

Social media has birthed several viral trends since its inception.  TikTok-driven purchases have become so prevalent that the phrase “Tik Tok Made Me” has become part of the English lexicon.  In today’s Insight Flash, find out if the buzz actually boosts the sales of the mentioned retailers, looking at transaction trends in the US and UK as well as US new shopper behavior.

Today’s flash takes a deep dive into three TikTok trends that exploded in Spring 2021.  These encompass Aeropostale’s Tiny Tops, Coach’s Tabby Bag, and Zara’s Pink Jeans.

In the US, the relevant brands did see a tick up in transactions after the viral posts.  Coach transactions went from a decline (0.9x January levels) in March to a jump (1.3x January levels) in April.Aeropostale transactions went from 1.4x January levels in April to 1.6x in May.  Zara transactions, which had sunk in February, were already on an upward trajectory and had recovered to January levels when pink jeans hit in April, but jumped up to 1.2x that in May.  In the UK, Coach capitalized on an already strong upward trajectory after February doldrums with continued momentum from its Tabby Bag to transactions just above January levels in May, while Zara’s pink jeans gave it a pop of April sales 1.3x January levels after sinking to 0.8x in February and March.  The differing timelines for the two retailers lend credence to the idea that the TikTok pop wasn’t just coincident to store openings.

Brand Growth

Although overall transactions went up, the TikTok effect did not seem to be drawing in new customers to these merchants in the US.  For all three, new customer percentages were roughly equivalent in the months following the viral trend to what they had been in the months before.  This indicates that although social media may influence shoppers to buy new items from their favorite stores, it has less of an impact in getting them to switch their loyalty to new retailers.

US New Shoppers