The influencer generation: 10 percent of fashion shoppers start journey on TikTok

With physical retail shopping limited during 2020, social and mobile shopping gained in popularity. New research shows that TikTok is driving purchases.

Almost 10 percent of UK shoppers have used TikTok for online shopping, according to new research from global digital marketing agency Croud

The report, ‘The state of online fashion in 2021’, surveyed more than 1,000 shoppers in the UK, US, Germany and Italy, exploring their shifting attitudes towards online fashion retail.

When asked where they typically start their journey when looking for clothing or footwear online, in addition to TikTok, 28 percent of UK shoppers said they do so on Instagram, 18 percent on Facebook, and 7 percent on Snapchat.

Age of platform no barrier to success

Emil Bielski, Managing Director, UK at Croud, says,“It’s noteworthy that a considerable amount of UK shoppers have used TikTok, a relatively new app, to start their fashion shopping journey – especially when you compare it to the likes of Facebook or Snapchat which have been around for many years. This suggests that the age of a social platform is not a barrier to its success in commerce; rather, it comes down to the experience it can provide to the right audiences on the app.”

With physical retail shopping largely limited during 2020, social and mobile shopping gained in popularity. Over a third (36 percent) of the global respondents to Croud’s survey said they had purchased an item of clothing or footwear by clicking on a social ad or post in the last year. 

And with 54 percent of UK respondents saying they expect to purchase clothing online more in the next six months, this is a trend that is sustaining. According to Statista, the global fashion e-commerce market is expected to continue to grow at 9 percent per year.

Privacy is a big concern for UK shoppers

But it’s not without its barriers. When asked what would put them off an end-to-end social commerce experience, 33 percent of UK respondents said they were concerned about privacy – the highest percentage for this factor compared to their American, German and Italian counterparts in the research.

44 percent of UK respondents also identified 'sustainability' as an important factor for them when shopping online for clothing, compared with 48 percent who selected ‘a brand’s reputation’ and 24 percent who selected ‘popularity’ as important factors.

On these findings, Bielski said: “The concerns around privacy and sustainability among many UK shoppers in our research can’t be understated, so it’s imperative that brands looking to reach these consumers focus on building trust and consistent brand messaging in order to capitalise on the growing opportunity in social commerce.”

Other key findings from the research:

  • ASOS, Next, Amazon, M&S, and H&M are the top five most popular retailers for UK shoppers to purchase clothing

  • ASOS, Amazon, Next, Nike and Clarks are the top five most popular retailers for UK shoppers to purchase footwear

  • Despite the medium being in its relative infancy, around 39 percent of global respondents would consider buying clothing and footwear from a shoppable TV ad in the next six months