Creative Stationery Gains Popularity on TikTok, Even Without Barbie

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Release time:2023-08-12 10:50

Creative Stationery Gains Popularity on TikTok, Even Without Barbie


The live-action Barbie movie released in July has ignited a global "pink storm," boosting sales of related products. Barbie-related items have claimed up to 8 out of the top 10 spots on Amazon's doll category sales ranking. As back-to-school season arrives, the consumer trend among students and teachers is further fueling the expansion of this "pink storm."


However, during this back-to-school season, the phenomenon is not solely limited to Barbie-related products. Colorful and uniquely designed stationery items have already gained significant popularity on various social media platforms. A small British seller has leveraged the power of short videos to earn over a hundred thousand dollars annually by creatively marketing stationery items, with most of her products not having any Barbie elements. Nonetheless, within this "pink storm," she might also be brewing new creative inspirations.


Creative Stationery Makes Waves on TikTok


On Instagram, the sales of aesthetically pleasing "Instagrammable" stationery products have surged, particularly creative notebooks and diaries becoming sought-after items. The #planneraddict hashtag has been mentioned nearly 4.5 million times. Competitive keyword analysis shows that "pencil case" receives over 60,000 monthly searches.


On TikTok, an account named @bungustore, which showcases stationery products, has become immensely popular. This account primarily posts videos featuring pens, mechanical pencils, and multi-functional pens. Recently, these videos have garnered impressive exposure, with several videos reaching tens of millions of views.


One video showcasing "multi-functional highlighters and mechanical pencils" reached 8 million views and garnered over 1.1 million likes. Another video about a "pencil case" received 3.4 million views in just a day. A video showcasing a "multi-functional marker pen" that combines a ballpoint pen, eraser, and mechanical pencil also unexpectedly went viral, reaching 7.7 million views and 947,000 likes. A video about "creative mechanical pencils" gained tens of millions of views. According to backend data, this video's views skyrocketed to 10 million in just a few days after its release, receiving 1.3 million likes.


British seller AieshaRana has been obsessed with stationery, especially pencil cases, since childhood. She recognized a market gap for Japanese "kawaii" stationery products in the UK, particularly as the popularity of kawaii products continues to grow in the US market. After graduating from high school in 2020, she turned her passion for stationery into a business.


Initially, she purchased a series of "kawaii" erasers and popsicle-shaped highlighters from other platforms for marketing on Instagram. While the erasers didn't perform well, the highlighters unexpectedly received overwhelmingly positive reviews.


In 2021, AieshaRana joined TikTok, created the brand account @coralandink, and launched her own brand's latest products. In April of the same year, one of her TikTok videos went viral, leading to a significant boost in her sales for that month, ultimately earning her $130,000 in 2021.


Back-to-school season has sparked stronger interest among overseas consumers for stationery products. On the Amazon platform, many links to stationery items have experienced increased order quantities over the past month.


Although inflation is slowing down, parents are still budget-conscious. Due to price hikes, back-to-school spending has increased for a second consecutive year. Industry analysts note that consumers who make purchases closer to the start of the school year often have tighter budgets and are more price-sensitive. As such, Temu, which emphasizes high cost-performance, might be a platform many parents look to save money. On the Temu platform, various high-quality and affordable study stationery products have garnered numerous reviews.


Profit Surge in the Cultural and Creative Sector


Data indicates that from 2021 to 2022, back-to-school spending per child increased by 8.01%. In 2022, American families spent $36.9 billion on back-to-school shopping for K-12 students. Market research firm JLL recently released results from a survey of over a thousand American parents of school-age children, showing that due to rising prices, 55.2% of respondents plan to increase their budget for necessary back-to-school items.


Indeed, as an essential daily life commodity, the explosiveness of the stationery market is remarkable. Predictions suggest that the global stationery products market will reach $128.5 billion by 2025, with popularity surging in various specific product segments.


During the three-year pandemic, with the strong rise of DIY and customized gifts on TikTok, personalized stationery like handwritten letter scrolls, custom wax seals, personalized name labels, handwritten and embossed envelopes, and other individualized items have become not only nostalgic but also warmly appealing to consumers, enjoying popularity for their cuteness and cherishable qualities.


Cultural and creative powerhouse Chuangyuan Stock has solidified its overseas market presence with the fashion stationery category. Data shows that in 2022, Chuangyuan Stock achieved a net profit of CNY 74.94 million, a year-on-year increase of 691.65%. After deducting non-recurring gains and losses, the net profit attributable to shareholders was CNY 65.95 million, a year-on-year increase of 10,568.73%. In 2022, Chuangyuan Stock's revenue was divided among fashion stationery (51.28%), social and emotional products (11.3%), handmade puzzles (12.03%), home furnishings (8.08%), and sports and fitness (11.46%). Fashion stationery held the largest share.


In reality, back-to-school season targets a broad range of consumers, including many schools and educational institutions, who often make large-scale purchases of educational supplies in one go, resulting in high repeat purchase rates. Excellent product quality and a positive post-purchase experience are crucial in appealing to this kind of customer.


Simultaneously, one can also consider clothing and accessory pairings for back-to-school season, along with electronic products, dormitory/apartment furnishings, and more. Many teachers also purchase classroom decorations during this time, all of which are products with exceptional sales during back-to-school season.


Overseas back-to-school season is divided into spring and fall, with the spring season occurring from January to February and the fall season from July to September. Back-to-school season is unique, with many parents and students accustomed to making centralized purchases before school starts, creating a consumer peak season primarily focused on educational supplies. Cross-border sellers who leverage this "pink storm" and back-to-school season, while keeping up with market trends, might reap significant rewards.


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