SHEIN vs H&M: Which brand comes out tops for TikTok hauls?

Research has found that SHEIN is by far the most brand for fashion and home halls on TikTok. Picture: Screenshot from babybhlue__/TikTok

Research has found that SHEIN is by far the most brand for fashion and home halls on TikTok. Picture: Screenshot from babybhlue__/TikTok

Published Nov 29, 2023


Shopping haul content is becoming more prominent on TikTok, with clothing and home accessories the most popular for influencers and consumers.

Through reviews and advice on good and not-so-good purchases, people are using the power of this social media platform to promote – or even criticise, brands and the products they buy.

But which items and brands appear most often in TikTok shopping hauls? If you immediately want to shout out ‘SHEIN’, then you will be correct.

New research from advertising platform illumin – which looked at the top 50 most-watched home and fashion haul TikTok videos to find the most popular items, where they’re from, and what they cost – reveals that this online fast fashion retailer is by far the most popular.

SHEIN was the brand that appeared most in the #hauls analysis, accounting for 42 percent of the total products listed across home and clothes hauls. The average cost per item is $9.33 (R173).

The company, which is valued at $100 billion (R1.85 trillion), has exploded in popularity in recent years, proving particularly popular with customers aged 18 to 34, who make up 57 percent of shoppers, the data shows. The second most popular brand across clothes and homes was H&M, accounting for 8.2 percent of total products featured in #hauls.

Here are the top 10 brands for clothing hauls and their share of the total number of #hauls content on TikTok:

1. SHEIN – 42.8 percent

2. H$M – 8.2 percent

3. Temu – 7.7 percent

4. Walmart – 7.2 percent

5. Amazon – 6.2 percent

6. Cotton On – 4.1 percent

7. IKEA – 3.6 percent

8. Brandy – 2.6 percent

9. Zara – 2.1 percent

10. ma.debyc – 1.5 percent

When comparing home accessories and clothing hauls, the research finds that the latter is the most popular – and the most expansive, as fashion videos featured the highest number of products overall.

Furthermore, despite a variety of items featured in the videos, tops were found to be the most purchased product. This indicates that consumers prefer versatile and low-maintenance clothing items, an illumin spokesperson says.

“Tops are far more versatile than dresses and ‘bottoms’ since they can be mixed, matched, and accessorised in different ways. It makes sense that tops are the most popular clothing item in #hauls as it signifies a shift in consumption culture towards pieces that have more versatility.”

Bottoms were the second most popular clothing item, accounting for more than a quarter (26.3 percent) of products shown, with tailored trousers and cargo pants proving more popular than jeans.

“Jeans have long been falling out of favour with younger shoppers, who have shunned the once-popular skinny jean in favour of more comfortable, tailored pieces.

“The rise of working from home has also contributed to this, with workers opting more for comfort over style. This has prompted a rise in trends like quiet luxury and minimalism, as shoppers opt for diverse pieces over those that require a lot of styling.”

The data shows that TikTok home hauls follow a similar pattern to their clothing counterparts, with SHEIN also the top brand, accounting for 50 percent of the home items featured.

Here are the top 10 brands for home hauls and their share of the total number of #hauls content on TikTok:

1. SHEIN – 38 percent

2. H$M – 14.8 percent

3. Walmart – 12 percent

4. Cotton On – 7.4 percent

5. Brandy – 4.6 percent

6. Zara – 3.7 percent

7. Adidas – 1.9 percent

8. Amazon – 1.9 percent

9. Hollister – 1.9 percent

10. Mure and Grand – 1.9 percent

When it comes to what type of items home shoppers purchase, illumin states that kitchenware is the most popular, making up 36.2 percent of items listed, with home accessories and office accessories following at 30 percent and 11.2 percent respectively.

“On the other end of the scale, garden items only contributed 1.2 percent of the total haul, proving to be the least popular.”

This could be due to younger people living in urban centres with no access to gardens, meaning these products are the least beneficial for brands to market, illumin explains.

“Younger people are more likely to live in high-cost cities, meaning this age bracket has less access to green areas and gardens, indicating fewer young people need gardening equipment. This will result in fewer brands partnering with influencers to promote this product or pushing ads on social media platforms like TikTok.

“The house plant boom has also likely contributed to this trend, which has seen millennials and Gen Z's bring nature inside.”

IOL Business