Why do we shy away from TikTok

As an industry are we missing the boat by ignoring the untapped potential of the TikTok parent/child consumer audience. Surely it’s where the future customer base will (& already do) interact, click & purchase.

Full disclaimer: as I write this article I’m squirming a little, knowing full well that I’m just as guilty of the issue I’m about to discuss as you.

I say that you are guilty of ignoring TikTok because most of us in this industry are. If however you’re an avid TikToker then please accept my sincerest apologies, & congratulations as you are well ahead of the curve!

Most of us though working in kids’ fashion & lifestyle are stuck in the familiar comfort of Instagram with its pretty feeds & pictures. Disrupted only by the irritating updates that mean we can’t find ‘that button that was here before!”. IG is changing however, with Reels & Stories thirsty for content, Meta rewards us with virtual badges for interesting, enthusiastic engagement.

As a platform Instagram is not ‘business safe’. Like many I lost my IG account built up over 10 years with a rich following of engaged industry professionals. And with no right to review & only bots to chat with, the prospect of getting it back are both virtually & realistically zero. All that work & investment into a single social platform seems like a poor business decision in retrospect. The old proverb of not putting all your eggs in one basket stands true when it comes to social media platforms.

Take one of the most popular independent brands & stores in the kids’ fashion & lifestyle industry

for example:

  • Bobo Choses has 932 TikTok followers v 456K IG followers.
  • Childrensalon has 99 TikTok followers v 603K IG followers.

So are we shooting ourselves in the foot by not exploring the potential of TikTok & their relatively new commerce feature – TikTok shop.


932 v 456K

TikTok v IG followers

Bobo Choses

99 v 603K

TikTok v IG followers


All reports suggest TikTok is no longer just a teen platform for choreographed dances. Since the rise in popularity of TikTok amid the global Coronavirus lockdowns, the social media platform has been increasingly used as a space for parents to share & gain advice from parenting experts, or other relatable parents. As TikTok’s influence continues to grow, understanding how TikTok Shop operates could be crucial to your business.

TikTok Shop, launched in September 2023, & integrates e-commerce within the app, allowing users to buy products directly from seller videos & accounts. Shopping on TikTok is versatile, with live shopping, shoppable videos, product showcases, shoppable ads, & a shopping centre tab. Success hinges on engaging content, leveraging trends, collaborating with influencers, running campaign ads, & interacting with viewers. The same skills that you have undoubtedly been perfecting on Instagram.

Gen Z parents use the app heavily, & as for the future Gen Alpha parents Dr Abramson (a leading expert in Gerontology), predicts they’ll be family-oriented & more digitally savvy than any generation that comes before them.

So not only are Gen Z parents actively using TikTok to buy clothing for their kids, but this is destined to increase with more of Gen Z to become parents in the next few years, whilst Gen Alpha already have their parent’s ear when it comes to buying choices & the influence of TikTok. I’ve witnessed first hand my daughter & her gang of friends gaze longingly at the latest Gymshark drop. So it came as no surprise to learn that Gymshark is one of TikTok’s most successful brands with them taking advantage of the platform’s ability to build a fan-led community. They currently have 5.5 million followers.

It’s a mystery therefore that brands from the kids’ fashion & lifestyle industry have so far been reluctant to embrace this platform. Not only are your future customers there, but if you’re not quick your competitor’s customers are there already.

Pirouette media