TikTok has evolved at breakneck speed over the last year. And that’s good news for retailers – whether working with a multimillion dollar or shoe-string-budget – that are looking to connect with a younger audience.

Digital marketers can’t ignore the estimated 1 billion people globally who use the app each month, according to TikTok. But transitioning from brand awareness to conversion dollars among younger consumers involves a strategy reset.

“The most important kind of vision to attack the TikTok channel is to continue to explore and innovate and never get too comfortable with what is working,” says Brie Olson, president of PacSun.

More than two years since its first TikTok video in February 2020 and 1.7 million followers later, PacSun is moving fast to allocate ad spend to TikTok and work with influencers that will connect with its teenage customer base. David’s Bridal is also working with influencers to appeal to both bridal shoppers as well as its teenage customers with the launch of its new label Jules & Cleo. Toy retailer Learning Express spends nothing on TikTok but web sales surged after children started flooding the retailer’s TikTok accounts to view videos of popular toys during COVID-19. Camera accessories retailer Camskns.com says TikTok’s low cost per impression (CPM) rates allow niche brands like itself to take advantage of TikTok’s ad features while reaching a younger demographic. And international marketplace Joom says it devotes more than half its ad budget to the platform after its ROI was on par with its Facebook spend.

TikTok gains eight new users every second, according to Hootsuite’s Digital 2022 Global Overview Report published in January 2022. But ad budgets show that retailers aren’t piling on board – yet.

So, while TikTok’s popularity continues upward, ad spend share allocated to TikTok grows at a much slower rate.

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