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It’s no secret that TikTok has changed eCommerce permanently. The influential power that the platform boasts is unlike anything consumers and brands have ever witnessed. The app has bolstered the revenues of many markets, like fitness, beauty, and home cooking. The crafting and DIY sector is no exception.
Crafting is Increasingly Profitable
eMarketer estimates that social commerce will be a $79.64 billion industry in the US by 2025. The research company also points out that social commerce is most popular with the older members of the Gen Z demo. Over half of US social media users, ages 18 to 24, have made purchases via a social channel. Additionally, millennials are the most likely to use social media networks as essential information sources for shopping decisions in the US.
Likewise, older Gen Z groups and millennials are the main demographics taking up crafting and more home improvement projects.
With craft-selling markets like Etsy showing impressive growth, there are even more eyes on crafting as a way to make some income on the side. According to research from the New York Times, in the fourth quarter of 2021, Etsy’s active sellers on its platform increased 72% over the prior year to 7,522, while its active buyers rose 18% to 96,336. Overall revenue rose 16% from a year earlier to $717.1 million.
With money to be made, the DIY sector of TikTok has blown up with bright-eyed and bushy-tailed crafters looking for inspiration and new trends, along with an entirely new platform to sell from directly.
Crafters Flocking to TikTok
Before TikTok’s arrival, crafters shared ideas and sold products primarily through Facebook and Instagram. The platforms have improved their social commerce features immensely, but the two of them combined don’t have the reach of TikTok.
The artsy sections of TikTok show art tips and tricks with drawing, painting, and sculpting tutorials. DIY content like tie-dying, scrapbooking, home decor hacks and significant home improvement help are also popular on the platform.
These crafty quick stitches are racking up billions (with a B) of views and expanding the audience and reach of their creators. It even helps recruit people who previously thought crafting was inaccessible or those who couldn’t find a hobby that fits their interest in the art sphere.
Atlas Ceramics’ recent hack index highlights the most popular DIY trends and their staggering search volumes. One of the most recent popular hacks on the platform is DIY mirror trends. This could involve anything that gives a typical mirror more pizazz. Anything from crafting mirror frames out of wooden sticks to painting patterns on the mirror’s surface to adding a thick layer of foam around the frame has been everywhere. The search term “DIY Mirror” garnered 52.7M Tiktok views, 11,947 Instagram posts, and 78,900 Google searches between Q1 2021 and Q1 2022.
The second most popular search in this category is “DIY Vanity”. The hashtag and search term show posts on Instagram, TikTok, and Google that break down the DIY vanity building process, from constructing DIY mirror frames to building tables and drawers. The term has amassed 14.2M Tiktok views, 7,288 Instagram posts, and 73,500 Google searches in the same period. Additionally, the hashtag #diyroomdecor currently has over 11.5 million views on TikTok and has thousands of innovative new ways to spice up a home.
Like Old Times but with Broader Horizons
As the Craft Industry Alliance notes, a quick trip through the #diy hashtag on TikTok looks identical to a platform featuring short YouTube videos. Many content creators who are already comfortable creating videos for YouTube and Instagram are trying out the platform and vice versa.
Vanessa Vargas Wilson, the creator of the popular DIY YouTube channel The Crafty Gemini, pivoted to TikTok long after she started on YouTube. Wilson said, “I like that I can offer some crafty inspiration for a mostly younger crowd in just 15 seconds. It’s making me stop overthinking things because there isn’t much to do or show in a short video clip. I’m hoping to get more eyes on my videos that will turn into YouTube subscribers and eventually customers,” she continued, “TikTok is completely different, focusing on short and fast videos that have an element of being more direct and candid. This has helped me stretch creatively and forced me to distill tutorials down to their essence and use tools like speeding up the video and cutting unnecessary parts out.”
The candid approach to the platform, coupled with its astronomical reach, makes it a breeze for DIY creators to transport their content from platform to platform. With the current boom in secondhand/thrifty platforms like Etsy and Depop, crafters now have more options to profit from their hobbies.
TikTok seems to have the Midas touch. They can make anyone a millionaire in weeks if you have the right stuff and a bit of luck. Suddenly, hobby crafters can teach a trade, learn a new one, and sell their product right on TikTok. Platforms like Etsy bolster this market, but not without some concerns.
A few weeks ago, thousands of sellers on Etsy went on a weeklong strike to protest a range of new policies rolled out by the eCommerce company, like the addition of a 30% transaction fee increase—from 5% to 6.5%—that took effect on April 11 of this year. As the market becomes more saturated, platforms need to treat their creators fairly, which is an issue that seems to be ever-present in today’s self-made age.
Nonetheless, TikTok has changed the crafting and DIY industry, and the sector’s growth continues to exceed expectations.