CareCredit - Women's Health April 2024

Adding Up Impact of TikTok’s Girl Math on Retail Spending 

There’s a personal finance trend on TikTok that is reshaping spending habits humorously, and it’s being referred to as “girl math.” 

So, what is girl math all about? To put it plainly, it’s the way females rationalize their spending. Female TikTokers are explaining that in this world of girl math, cash isn’t actual currency, sale purchases equate to savings, and cosmetic procedures are considered an “investment in your future self.” 

Another widely embraced girl math idea is that attending a concert is essentially cost-free since you bought the tickets so far in advance. Similarly, returning an item is viewed as a means of saving money. 

The intention is humor, employing flawed calculations to validate buying decisions and spending behaviors, but is this thinking having any impact on the rate at which they spend and their choice of spending partners? 

According to PYMNTS, women’s silent purchasing influence has exceeded Barbie, who grossed over $1 billion at the box office and is poised to claim the title of the year’s top-grossing domestic film, along with Taylor Swift’s “Eras” tour, which has the potential to become the highest-grossing tour ever, with an estimated $2.2 billion in North American ticket sales alone. 

Read more: Women’s Silent Spending Power Reaches Farther Than Barbie and Taylor Swift 

Reinforcing these discoveries is another PYMNTS report, which asserts that consumers are indulging in “once in a lifetime” expenditures despite the presence of inflation. 

Per PYMNTS, in August, Americans increased their spending by 5.8% compared to the previous year, driven by a surge in “experience” spending, with Delta Air Lines achieving record revenue during this period, while Ticketmaster observed nearly an 18% increase in sales. 

Nonetheless, the report indicated that a challenging housing market compelled consumers to abandon their plans for acquiring their first home, prompting consumers to invest in “once in a lifetime” experiences they fear they may not have the opportunity to pursue in the future. 

In fact, PYMNTS Intelligence found that, despite their hand-to-mouth financial circumstances, consumers still engage in nonessential spending, with more than 60% of consumers rely on each paycheck and 21% attributing their financial situation to nonessential spending, and 1 in 10 citing it as the primary reason. 

For those consumers who are not bound by paycheck-to-paycheck living, it seems that they indulge in nonessential purchases more frequently, with 85% and 78%, respectively, showing a preference for grocery and retail shopping. 

Following these findings, PYMNTS pointed out that indulgence can manifest itself in various ways. Food suppliers have observed that consumers continue to invest in minor indulgences, even as their capacity to purchase larger nonessential items diminishes. 

Some of those luxuries might include makeup like Il Makiage and Spoiled Child. In fact, on Oct 2, Oddity Tech reported revenue growth of 29% to 31%, credited in part to repeat sales within their two brands.  

The company has raised its gross margin expectations to 68.5% (up from 67.5%) and adjusted EBITDA margin is now anticipated to fall within the range of 21% to 21.5% (revised from 20% to 21.5%). 

Read more: Oddity’s AI-Powered Product Development Spurs Repeat Purchases 

Some luxuries could even be a new pair of Levi’s, which has seen  traction enough to place major bets on its direct-to-consumer (D2C) strategy. 

“Over the last decade, the company has made phenomenal progress, more than doubling our D2C revenue while engaging consumers … in our stores, and we see a clear line of sight the midteens D2C growth rate target of our long-term financial algorithm,” said Michelle Gass, president of Levi Strauss & Co., during the company’s third quarter earnings call Oct 5

Read more: Levi’s Puts Its Faith in D2C Strategy With Loyal Shopper Support 

Another luxury could be getting a Travis Kelce jersey, considering Taylor Swift’s new relationship with the Kansas City Chiefs’ tight end. 

During the call an analyst asked Nike, “What’s the bigger tailwind to the business right now? Is it the Travis Kelce jerseys or the Colorado football merchandise?” 

While the Nike team did not provide a direct answer, it’s noteworthy that, per sports apparel and fan merchandise retailer Fanatics, Travis Kelce’s jersey ranked among the top five in NFL jersey sales on the Sunday Swift appeared at the game. In fact, a representative from Fanatics relayed to The Associated Press by email that Kelce saw an almost 400% increase in sales across the Fanatics network of websites, including NFLShop.com. 

Read more: Nike and the Travis Kelce Jersey Effect