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Influencer Marketing Hits New Heights as Saks Takes on TikTok

Saks just launched its first-ever promotional content on TikTok with plans to partner with content creators including Everett Williams, Larsen Thompson, and Chanel McKinsie in the weeks to come. 

Last year, the luxury e-commerce platform split from Saks Fifth Avenue in a move that reflects the growing popularity of online shopping and a potential prelude to an independent, public company. 

At the time of the split from Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks’ digitally native business was valued at $2 billion, but a planned IPO in the first half of 2022 could lead to a $6 billion evaluation. 

“Luxury e-commerce is poised for exponential growth, and as a standalone digital company with an existing strong position in luxury, Saks is primed to win significant market share,” said HBC chairman and CEO Richard Baker. 

Until now, Saks had avoided the rising social platform while pulling its target demographic: older millennials. But starting February 15th, Saks brought together the above creators, fashion insiders, and celebrities to promote the brand’s products using short-form videos on TikTok. 


Saks is going digital

These partnerships are sure to draw new and existing customers, but Saks Chief Marketing Officer Emily Essner explained that there’s more to it. 

“TikTok continues to have a significant impact on the fashion industry, and we are excited to join this creative community and connect with our customers in a new and compelling way,” Essner said.

And if TikTok’s impact on the fashion industry wasn’t enough, a recent survey from Adweek-Morning Consult found that 15% of all adults and 36% of Gen Z have made purchases from brands on the platform. 


@saks Giving you a sneak peak of what you could be wearing this spring. #Saks #FashionAuthority ♬ original sound – Saks Fifth Avenue


“Gen Z is looking for inspiration,” said Hana Ben-Shabat, founder of research firm Gen Z Planet. “Focusing on product, product, product is not going to be enough—and if you want to go after this generation, you absolutely have to be [on TikTok].” 

TikTok’s rising popularity among younger generations is a major bonus for Saks, but the team behind the e-commerce brand is doing even more to step up their financial growth

The retailer has already taken strides with its 360-degree spring 2022 campaign that features unique content across its digital channels. Alongside short-form videos on TikTok, Saks will feature interviews and videos across its social channels and on its homepage, a spread in Vogue’s March issue, and custom content on Harpers Bazaar.

The campaign also stars Lupita Nyong’o, an Academy Award-winning actress and star of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” 


@saks Want more Lupita? Head to saks.com/lupita-nyongo to read the exclusive interview #Saks #ExclusiveInterview #Lupita ♬ original sound – Saks Fifth Avenue


“Saks resides at the crossroads of fashion and technology,” said Essner. We know our unique take on fashion’s top trends as told through vivid storytelling and stunning visuals of our campaign star, strongly resonates with the Saks audience.”


Audience engagement

Saks isn’t the only brand to step up their digital campaigns in 2022. Sephora, Pedigree, and Diesel have already launched digital-first campaigns since January and it’s hard to imagine TikTok and other social platforms aren’t essential pieces of the puzzle.  

If we’ve learned anything over the last couple of years about digital engagement, it’s that young people respond incredibly well to a platform as authentic as TikTok. 

“What [Gen Z consumers] respond to the most is authenticity. They appreciate influencers because they’re somebody they can trust,” said Ben-Shabat.

Authenticity doesn’t always come naturally to brands, as Saks and other like-minded brands partner with content creators and well-known influencers to boast authentic storytelling, user-generated content, and community. 

As we transition further into 2022 and the years to follow, we can expect brands to not only incorporate TikTok into their marketing strategies but use the platform in ways that build both authenticity and engagement.