Six tips to help you shop the best drops on TikTok

Expert weighs in on ways to buy and how the platform is taking over fashion trends for Gen Z

10 June 2024 - 13:32
By Thango Ntwasa
The short video-sharing app is quickly leading fashion e-tail trends.
Image: 123RF/ improvisor The short video-sharing app is quickly leading fashion e-tail trends.

Chasing dance trends, AI filters and explainers, Gen Z continues to dominate, with 60% of them avid TikTok users.

Over the past few years, the video-sharing app has morphed into much more than a lip-syncing platform and is embracing fashion that sees users turn it into a digital marketplace.

Why has the social media platform become a fashion hub for this younger generation? Jason Adler, software Engineer at Repocket, found four reasons.

“TikTok’s algorithm is designed to recognise and promote authentic content. Fashion content that is relatable and original tends to gain more traction,” he said.

This creates a symbiotic relationship where the more you consume, engage and produce fashion content, the more TikTok’s algorithm will fuel your fashion inspiration. 

Sustainable fashion is most preferred by users. Adler said a report showed 62% of Gen Z prefer to buy from sustainable brands, and TikTok is a key tool for discovering and promoting the alternatives.

The TikTok community also boasts a powerful influence where users are active participants who influence style trends.

Adler said: “The collaborative nature of TikTok, where hashtag challenges and duets are common, creates a thriving fashion community. It dilutes the boundary between creators and viewers, making everyone a potential trendsetter.”

TikTok trends change quickly due to the platform’s format of short videos which make it easier for trends to spread and for users to consume and replicate them. This contributes to the hyper-speed transmission of styles and trends across the platform. 

While it might be fun to try out fashion and shopping trends from digital platforms, they also come with a fair amount of disadvantages.

Here are Adler’s tips on how to score the best deals and avoid scams:

  1. Check user reviews: Always look at product reviews and ratings. They provide valuable insight into the quality of products and the seller’s credibility.
  2. Follow trusted accounts: Popular and reputable TikTok accounts often share their favourite products with links. Stick to their recommendations to lower the risk of scams.
  3. Contact sellers: Don’t hesitate to contact sellers for more information about a product. Legitimate sellers will be more than willing to respond.
  4. Beware of unbelievably low prices: If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of extremely low prices.
  5. Use secure payment methods: Always opt for secure payment methods such as credit cards or PayPal. Avoid wire transfers as they offer less protection against fraud.
  6. Stay informed: Keep yourself updated with TikTok’s latest security features and shopping policies. Familiarise yourself with the app's reporting functions to flag suspicious behaviour.