TikTok Says Its Users Are Keen to Buy Products via the App

The platform’s mesh of community, shopping and entertainment forms a looped path to purchase, not a funnel.

February 16, 2022

TikTok on Smartphone

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—TikTok users are 1.5 times as likely to immediately go out and buy something they discovered on the platform as other platforms’ users, according to a new study by TikTok. The study, in partnership with Material, shows how the platform is part of the path to purchase for users.

TikTok explains that community, shopping and entertainment sync, so the traditional marketing funnel is “outdated and irrelevant.”

“Today's consumers rarely go from the top to the bottom of the traditional funnel to make a purchase. They often enter, exit and re-enter at different stages of the purchase journey based on their needs and wants,” writes TikTok.

TikTok says that rather than the marketing funnel, the retail path to purchase is an “infinite loop, with no start or end point, and it empowers brands to establish more meaningful relationships with consumers that result in communities of brand loyalists, repeat purchases and greater spending,” according to TikTok.

According TikTok’s study, 44% of daily TikTok users want branded content to be fun and entertaining. The study also showed that TikTok users are 1.4 times as likely as other platform users to say posting on TikTok allows them to show their creativity.

“When our community connects and creates together, they present real brand opportunities, drive massive engagement, help products sell out and lead brands to success,” writes TikTok.

Forty-nine percent of TikTok users surveyed say the platform is a source for discovering something new, while 35% says it’s a way to learn something new. Twenty-nine percent say TikTok is a source of inspiration.

“When consumers see brands authentically on TikTok, they're empowered to put more trust and more loyalty into the brand. As a result, the study showed that people spend more money when TikTok is a part of the retail journey,” the company said.

TikTok says it presents three themes of the path to purchase that drive results. The first is that TikTok impacts every stage of the purchase journey, with the platform being 1.7 times as likely as other platforms to be the source for product discovery. The study showed that TikTok users are 1.4 times as likely as other platform users to research products and brands that they find on the platform.

The second theme is that TikTok’s influence continues after the purchase. TikTok users are 2.4 times as likely as other platform users to create a post and tag a brand after buying a product and are 1.5 times as likely to convince someone else to buy a product they’ve seen on the app.

TikTok says the third theme is that TikTok’s consumer journeys are powered by joy. Thirty-nine percent of users surveyed say “lifting spirits” is a key factor when they decide to buy a product.

Brands are utilizing TikTok more than ever to make their advertisements seem like just another video, with the New York Times calling it the “digital equivalent of home shopping channels,” as it allows users to engage with ads instead of quickly scrolling past them. The hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has been viewed billions of times.