The fast fashion brand Halara has risen to the top 5 TikTok's U.S. shops, sportswear and fitness are trending in the U.S. | EchoTik Product Insight

    ·June 24, 2024
    ·8 min read

    Latest TikTok Shop U.S. e-commerce weekly data (11/06-12)

    l  Total GMV (Gross Merchandise Value) reached $58.5 million, with a daily average of $8.4 million. The highest single-day sales reached $21.1 million, setting a record for the U.S.;

    l  As of November 12, the top 5 GMV product categories were Beauty & Personal Care, Womenswear, Phones & Electronics, Sports & Outdoor, and Health;

    l  New to the list include Tarte Cosmetics (Beauty & Personal Care, Top 1), Halara (Sports & Outdoor, Top 5), ryseupps (Health, Top 7), Wavy Chic Beauty (Beauty & Personal Care, top 8), and Milamiamor (Health, Top 10) ;

    l  Sports and slimming products, like women's yoga wear, sportswear, and protein powder, are selling well on TikTok Shop U.S.

    The venture of fast fashion brands into international markets has always been a challenging path that keen interest among sellers. However, in the past two years, a new player has emerged from the highly competitive "Red Ocean" market. This brand has successfully made a significant entry into the vast U.S. market, distinguishing itself among numerous brands. It is the fast fashion sportswear brand, Halara.

    Founded in July 2020 by Zhang Xiaopei, Halara is a sportswear brand under Beijing doublefs Technology, identified as a fast fashion cross-border e-commerce brand similar to SHEIN. It positions itself as the "Chinese version of ZARA." Within a year, Halara completed Series A and angel round financing, raising $30 million from investors like CapitalToday and HIKE Capital in July 2020, followed by $100 million from CapitalToday, HongShan, IDG, and others in June 2021.

    As a DTC (Direct-to-Consumer) brand, Halara initially sold through its brand website and leveraged social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest for brand content and influencer marketing. In 2021, Halara opened its TikTok Shop in the UK and consistently kept a  leading position in women's sportswear. In October 2023, Halara launched its TikTok Shop in the U.S., quickly reaching the top 5 in the shop rankings thanks to its prior success and two years of brand building in the U.S.

    Today’s topic is to analyze Halara as a case study for those interested or involved in exporting fast fashion brands, especially in the apparel market, to optimize their product structure, brand selling points, and content marketing methods.

    TikTok Shop data analysis

     01 Basic Data 

    According to EchoTik's data observation, since Halara joined TikTok Shop USA in mid-October, it has experienced rapid growth, particularly during the Black Friday events. By November 16, Halara's total sales in one month exceeded 60,000 units, with an estimated GMV of nearly $1.7 million, averaging a daily sales revenue of $56,000.

    The earliest order for Halara was placed on October 19, with a significant spike in sales occurring from November 6 to mid-November. The sales peaked on November 12, with a record single-day sales of 14,300 units.

    02 Trending Product

    The shop currently offers 163 items, with 82 being actively promoted and 26 regularly generating sales. These products fall under the sports and outdoor category, also targeting women’s fashion, including items like sports utility pants, leggings, sports shorts, tennis skirts, yoga tops, dresses, and jackets.

    The prices range from $7 to $66, average price is $40.77. The shop's best-selling items are women's bottoms, such as cargo pants and leggings. With the incoming colder weather in North America, there is a demand for thermal and cold-resistant sportswear.

     03 Short Videos and Influencer Marketing 

    Halara leverages its extensive overseas marketing experience and influencer resources. Using short video marketing as primary marketing strategy, also inviting a wide array of influencers to increase sales and exposure. In the past 30 days, they have produced 469 short videos, generating 62 million views and millions of brand exposures.

    Halara has collaborated with 268 influencers on TikTok, mainly mid-tier influencers (100,000 to 1 million followers), also including top influencers with over a million followers, approximately 45-50 of them, with the highest having 17 million followers. These influencers are predominantly female, focusing on sports and outdoor activities, followed by women’s fashion and Beauty & Personal Care. They share a common interest in sports and fashion, have substantial experience in influencer marketing, and wield considerable influence in their follower communities.

    The influencers representing Halara include not only those KOLs who fit the mainstream American aesthetic but also ordinary women who enjoy sharing. They demonstrate the adaptability of the clothing's design and fabric to various body types, promoting a lifestyle of sports and environmental awareness.

    @Britney, a beauty influencer with up to 8.2 million followers, represents a mainstream American aesthetic ideal. Many girls aspire to achieve a body like hers through exercise or even cosmetic procedures like buttock enhancement or waist slimming. As such, her follower base, primarily female, aligns perfectly with Halara's target demographic.

    In this one-minute video, @Britney promotes Halara's leggings, focusing on comfort and aesthetic appeal. She initially discusses the shortcomings of similar high-waisted leggings she's worn before, such as a loose waistband or rolling down when sitting, which resonates with the audience. She then demonstrates the shaping effect and practical pocket design of Halara's leggings.

    The video gained 2 million views, 387,000 likes, 18,600 saves, and nearly 900 comments, many female viewers complimenting her figure. Despite her large follower base, the video had a moderate conversion rate for sales. However, the primary goal of inviting top influencers is to increase brand recognition and exposure, the main revenue and profit still coming from mid-tier and smaller influencers. Additionally, the brand's official account can reshare these influencer videos for secondary exposure.

    Brand Operation Strategy

    Founder Zhang Xiaopei defines Halara as a "technology-driven e-commerce company for clothing." Its fundamental logic is to empower the supply chain with technology, addressing industry pain points and creating value. "Technology" is reflected throughout category layout and product performance to content operations of the entire brand.

    In terms of category layout, Halara differentiates itself from other full-category fast fashion brands that have reached a saturated stage. It has carved a niche in the sports and leisure segment, filling a gap in the affordable market for fast fashion sportswear overseas. Halara’s style and designs are similar to the well-known premium sportswear brand Lululemon, but its prices are only a fraction of the latter’s. This cost efficiency is attributed to the brand's proprietary Predictive Inventory Analysis (PIA) software. This software allows brand to nearly achieve zero inventory, allowing it to offer products at lower prices than competitors, passing the savings from inventory costs to consumers, thus achieving zero waste of resources.

    However, price advantage alone is not sufficient. In terms of product development, Halara not only keeps up with fashion trends in its designs but also focuses on enhancing product performance. In fabric technology, Halara has developed two product lines: Petitoff Fabric and Cloudful Fabric as main marketing focuses. The former is marketed for its pet hair-resistant properties, offering convenience to female pet owners at home; the latter emphasizes comfort, catering to those seeking a better experience during sports activities.

    For content marketing and communication strategies, Halara's rapid growth is primarily due to its multi-channel layout and content marketing. According to Similarweb, Halara’s official website receives nearly 2.6 million visits per month, mainly from overseas social media platforms.

    Specifically on TikTok, Halara has set up multiple brand accounts targeting different national markets other than its official brand account. These accounts attach links to the brand's official website and shopping discount information on main pages to attract traffic.

    The main content updated on these accounts comes from influencers and users’ try on videos of the brand’s products. When publishing content, Halara adds its own brand community hashtags, such as #Halarahaul, #Halaraeveryday, #Halaralegging, to not only amplify brand visibility but also encourage interaction within the community, fostering brand loyalty among fans. In its marketing content, Halara emphasizes its commitment to environmental sustainability and technological innovation, helping to attract and retain loyal customers who share the same values, thereby increasing repeat purchase rates.

    Opportunities in fitness market

    In recent years, as the growing awareness of fitness and a proactive lifestyle emerging, people have increasingly focused on physical health and actively engaged in fitness activities.

    According to data from Allied Market Research's "2023-2032 Sports Apparel Market: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast," the global sports apparel market was valued at $230.6 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach $410.8 billion by 2032, with an annual compound growth rate of 6.0% from 2023 to 2032.

    The report highlights that the rising demand for sports apparel and the popularity of athleisure have expanded the market's appeal beyond the sports community. Additionally, consumers are increasingly inclined towards sustainable and eco-friendly materials, showing a keen interest in innovative fabrics that offer moisture-wicking, antibacterial, and temperature regulation properties, ensuring performance and comfort. Therefore, sellers and brands in the apparel industry can consider focusing on the sports apparel segment to identify their selling points and enter the market.

    Apart from the sports apparel analyzed in this article, the rapid rise in sales of fitness supplements like protein powder in the U.S. also indicates that fitness and sports as a lifestyle are becoming increasingly popular on TikTok U.S., driving the conversion of related products. In this trend, many related high-potential products, such as fitness foods, protein powders, nutritional supplements, sports equipment, and gear, have the potential for rapid growth through TikTok.

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