How TikTok Has Changed The Way Gen Z Shops Online

How TikTok Has Changed The Way Gen Z Shops Online

By Jon Clark, managing partner at Moving Traffic Media, a New York digital agency offering SEO, PPC and Amazon marketing services.

You do not need to be an avid social media user to know that TikTok is a major hit. I’m sure you have walked down the street and seen a group of kids filming themselves doing the latest TikTok dance craze.

TikTok has taken off over the past few years, with the platform now boasting over one billion active users. This is something businesses cannot afford to ignore, especially when engagement rates on TikTok are higher than on both YouTube and Instagram. Micro-influencers on YouTube have an average engagement rate of 1.63%, and 3.86% on Instagram. On TikTok, this figure stands at 17.96%.

But how has TikTok impacted the way Gen Z shops online? Below, I will take you through the impact this social media platform has had on Gen Z shopping habits.

See the sheer power of TikTok.

TikTok was born in 2017 as a consequence of a merge between Musical.ly and Douyin. Since then, the platform has never looked back, reaching huge levels of popularity, which especially increased throughout the Covid-19 pandemic when we were all cooped up at home with little to do.

TikTok has developed its own stars who have millions of followers and views on their content, as is the case for other social media networks like Instagram.

A great example here is Addison Rae. Forbes has estimated that Addison earned $8.5 million in one year purely from her TikTok fame.

TikTok stars typically generate such revenue via sponsoring brands, yet some release their own products as well.

TikTok Shopping is popular with Gen Z.

Today, virtually every popular social network has an efficient social commerce element that drives users directly to the purchasing point for a product. The first social media platform to add social commerce features was Facebook, and naturally, others followed suit.

On TikTok, the shopping feature means that creators can add a shop tab to their profile, which will sync and display all of the products for sale on their store website. This means that customers can purchase these products with extreme ease. They do not need to go searching; they can simply complete the process from TikTok.

Aside from this, creators can tag products in organic posts. When adding a video to the platform, for instance, products can be tagged, and viewers can then click on them and be taken to the relevant landing page.

Engagement levels are high on TikTok for those looking to sell. TikTok has made it creative yet easy for you to share your process in terms of making a product or delivering a service. You can take users on a journey with you, which is critical in terms of driving higher levels of engagement.

Gen Z enjoys TikTok’s Live Shopping option.

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Data has revealed that 88% of customers have bought an item after they watched a video of the company in question advertising it. Furthermore, 96% of people have watched a video to find out more in-depth information about a specific brand or item. This is where the live shopping feature on TikTok comes in.

Live shopping gives merchants the ability to integrate the products from their TikTok shopping experience into a live stream. This is an extremely powerful tool. In fact, research has indicated that product returns are 50% lower when an item was been purchased via a live stream in comparison to basic social commerce.

How do you reach Gen Z on TikTok?

When creating content on TikTok, it is imperative to create a personal connection with your audience by putting together something engaging that appeals directly to Gen Z.

The popular face mask from The Ordinary provides a great example of TikTok content done right. The brand shows customers the exceptional results people have already experienced after using the face mask. “Get ready with me” content videos resulted in outstanding engagement levels with the audience.

• Promote your content effectively.

When making the most of promoted content on TikTok, make sure it is in trend with the general flow on your feed. It certainly helps to add the right hashtags underneath your videos to ensure that relevant users are able to find your videos with greater ease.

• Remember that Gen Z has short attention spans.

A critical trait for social media creators is to ensure that the content on TikTok is fun and engages the Gen Z demographic who have shorter attention spans in comparison with previous generations and consequently require more entertaining content from businesses.

Research has shown that when it comes to capturing the attention of your audience, the first two to three seconds are always the most vital.

• Make the most of influencer marketing.

Finally, influencer marketing can be exceptionally powerful when appealing to Gen Z on TikTok. In fact, 44% of Gen Z customers have bought a product based on a recommendation from an influencer when compared to the rest of the population. Because of this, we know that Gen Z is the audience that is most affected by influencer marketing.

A lot of businesses write off the prospect of using influencer marketing because they assume it is going to be out of their budget. However, you do not need to pay for a celebrity to showcase your goods. You simply need to find someone who has a highly engaged audience that is made up of the consumer base you are targeting.

Appeal to Gen Z on TikTok effectively.

There is no denying that TikTok is having a massive impact on Gen Z and their shopping habits. Leveraging the shopping features that are available can help you make more direct sales from the platform. At the same time, influencer marketing and quick-fire content that captures attention immediately can help you to appeal to this demographic.

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