#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt … Is the TikTok Trend even for the Luxury sector?

Louise Harman, Senior Social Account Manager at VERB, looks at why luxury brands have the power to drive purchases on TikTok. If you’re keen to discover more, sign up to receive our exclusive TikTok event webinar in August.  

From selling out feta cheese in Tesco to an army of Little Moons fans and even fashionistas dressing as their favourite supermarkets, TikTok is certainly a very powerful selling tool for brands. This is reiterated quite seamlessly by one of the most popular hashtags on the platform, ‘#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt’ which has had over 2.8 billion interactions.

What this hashtag shows is that consumers are now buying products just because they’ve seen them on TikTok. While the entertainment platform triggers impulse purchases for lower priced items, what about those higher price point luxury purchases too? 

TikTok users may not be causing luxury cars to sell out (although, I’ll come onto that later), but they are, in fact, stocking up on more affordable luxury purchases. For example, a £25 Chanel cotton pad sold out after going viral on the platform! What we are seeing is an increase in luxury brands moving onto the platform, to raise brand awareness and attract a unique and loyal new following. Here are a few reasons why – 

  1. TikTok’s ad formats are perfect for higher-priced products

TikTok is very aware of its selling power, so it’s ramping up its features to help propel retailers. The partnership between Shopify and TikTok aims to assist sellers in creating in-feed shoppable ads and introduce product links in videos. However, the most noteworthy update for luxury brands are TikTok’s new ad formats, listed below: 

  • Dynamic product ads – these will automatically retarget users with relevant products according to their activities in the advertisers’ app and website. 
  • Collection ads – these let brands merge their product catalogue so users can shop for relevant products with ease. 
  • Lead generation ads – these will direct potential customers to a form where they can share their contact info, answer questions or book an appointment. 

These new and improved ad formats are perfect for luxury brands, with lead gen ads enabling a more personalised luxury shopping experience and dynamic ads providing the ability to retarget those who are seen as ready to buy luxury goods. 

  1.  TikTok’s content style lends itself to a luxury digital experience

From a premium in-store shopping experience to test-driving a luxury car, luxury has never just been about the product. Luxury is about the overall experience too. This is something TikTok can easily facilitate because of its fundamental features; the platform has an acute audio system (the sound-on features are incredibly smart), all full-screen experiential content is designed specifically for the smartphone and short-form video format only allows a maximum of 15 seconds of content or the ability to loop for 60 seconds. All of this combined sets up for short, snappy and engaging content. 

Over the past year, experiential digital content has become a necessity for brands simply because consumers were unable to enjoy the real-life luxury experiences, through the pandemic. However, as the world begins to re-open the shift in experiential digital consumption doesn’t seem to be changing and consumers are continuing to engage with brands on digital. A great example of this is BWM who launched the 1 series on the platform. BMW is known worldwide for its innovative and industry-leading motor vehicles, however, its objective was to drive mass brand awareness with a new younger audience on TikTok. The campaign intelligently weaved the features of BMW’s latest 1 Series in with visuals of two Team GB athletes – a gymnast (Joe Fraser) and BMX’er (Chaz Worther). The campaign, referring to the 1 Series as ‘The 1’, sought to bring to life BMW UK’s core value, aligned with the passions of both Joe and Chaz. The two backflipped and wheelied their way around the car, whilst showing innovative features like the optional parking assistance and gesture control through clever edits. The campaign saw a total of 27 million impressions. 

  1. TikTok is an entertainment platform 

TikTok has classed themselves as an entertainment platform rather than a social one and 91% of users don’t post on TikTok, they visit for entertainment. Hence their slogan ‘don’t make ads, make TikTok’s’. This lends itself to the shift in how luxury brands are portraying themselves on the platform. For luxury brands who are getting away from the unattainable and over-polished look & feel, TikTok gives luxury brands a space to have a personality and really connect with their audience on a more personal level.

A great example is the #GucciModelChallenge which illustrates a perfect adaptation to the platform. The campaign saw the TikTok community mimic a dance routine, as well as take on the art direction of the campaign, with identically dressed people wearing the Gucci 1977 Tennis sneakers. This saw phenomenal traction, demonstrating how TikTok is enabling brands to engage in a totally different way from what we have seen before. From memes about high fashion influencer marketing, Gucci created their own versions of the trending challenge as well as organically reposting user-generated content. 

4. Looking to the East: user behaviours are mimicking that of China

Naturally, with Tiktok being owned by Byte dance there is a lot of influence from the East in the way that the platform is set up and where it is pushing consumers to go. Following a global pandemic, and developments in social commerce in the West, we can see consumer behaviours starting to mimic that of China. Whilst cars and much higher priced products aren’t being directly bought through TikTok, it’s not to say that TikTok isn’t contributing to the consumer purchase funnel currently or that we won’t see that happen in the near future. Mini sold out their collection via WeChat a few years ago and even houses have sold through social commerce in China. We shouldn’t underestimate what the future holds for social. 


TikTok is swiftly becoming the luxury brand’s go-to social channel, and it’s no better time for luxury brands to jump on board. At VERB, we are working with luxury brands that are making their next move onto the platform. Don’t be afraid to do the same, contact us here – we’d love to chat!