How Aritzia's TikTok Popularity Has Led To A Huge Increase In Its In-Store Foot Traffic

If recent signs are any indication, TikTok is the kingmaker of the digital age, catapulting products, brands, and content makers alike into instant stardom and purchase frenzy. A 2021 report from Influencer Marketing Hub reports that micro-influencers boasted an average engagement rate of 3.86% on Instagram as well as an enviable 17.96% rate on TikTok. And even leading publications like Forbes are touting TikTok as the platform to target for effective marketing.

Fashion is a particular area of TikTok interest, with users sharing authentic shopping hauls, in-store experiences, and outfit favorites. Fortunately for fashion retailers, this can mean mega exposure, which Canadian brand Aritzia found out first-hand. Aritzia caught the attention of TikTok users back in 2020 when its Melina vegan leather pants went viral as one of the must-have, pairs-with-anything fashion pieces of the year. Still available in a number of colors, lengths, and fabrics, the Melina collection helped cement Aritzia as one to watch on social media. As of August 2022, the brand has roughly 49,400 followers on TikTok, 59,800 followers on Twitter, and a solid 1.3 million followers on Instagram.

The aesthetic at Aritzia is meant to represent subtle, understated luxury with simple silhouettes and high-priced basics. In fact, one of Aritzia's oft-used taglines is "everyday luxury" — or, in French, "Le luxe au quotidien" (via Facebook). The brand goes on to describe its collection of in-house labels as sharing "an effortless appeal, a focus on fit, and an of-the-moment point of view." And it seems that this vibe resonates with customers, as Aritzia's growing popularity on TikTok and other social media channels is driving a similar swell in its in-store foot traffic.

Aritzia's online presence attracts in-store visitors

Aritzia made its major TikTok debut when the depths of COVID-19 lockdowns and social distancing were putting a damper on all in-person retail. But as those measures have been removed, the brand has seen its foot traffic surpass pre-pandemic levels with significant spikes. As data from SafeGraph shows, Aritzia's daily traffic peaked at 262 visitors in November 2019 but saw a high of 808 in November 2022. This represents a 208% increase in autumn shoppers. Summer statistics show similar trends, with a 74% increase between peaks in July 2019 and July 2022. And all this during a time when many previously popular brands are struggling to even match pre-COVID foot traffic, much less surpass it. For example, Forever 21 is having a hard time bouncing back, and even retail juggernaut Target is hitting pandemic lows again.

So, what is Aritzia doing to foster such recovery and growth? Certainly, its TikTok fame has brought new exposure to the brand, cultivating a whole new swath of interested pandemic-era customers that have now been loosed from seclusion to shop at the store's 46 United States locations (via Aritzia). And Aritzia is taking steps to expand this online reach, such as by partnering with known content creators and internet personalities. The brand's 2022 fall collection kicked off with a campaign featuring Emma Chamberlain, an award-winning Youtuber with 11.7 million subscribers. With this kind of promotional content being shared across social media channels, including TikTok, Aritzia is working to maintain its relevance and brand presence so that potential in-person customers will remember Aritzia stores as destinations for their next shopping adventure. And, so far, the move seems to be paying off.