TikTok, E-commerce and Gen Z

- As a fast growing platform for the 16 - 24 age bracket, TikTok offers future opportunities to brands

- Exclusive Content and Competitions are likely to be winning tactics for brands on TikTok

- Brands which can help TikTok audiences enhance their reputation stand a better chance of succeeding

Whilst in the West the opportunity to shop social media platforms had a few false starts, China has shown the way in recent years when it comes to driving sales directly from these platforms and just this week it was announced that the emergent short form social content platform TikTok, developed by Chinese company ByteDance have now started to allow links to e-commerce sites.

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This news offers a notable opportunity for brands to access and drive revenue from younger audiences, since TikTok sees the most usage from the 16 - 24 age group as data from GlobalWebIndex above confirms.

Furthermore this TikTok audience, whilst still concentrated most in the Asia-Pacific region is growing in Europe and America, especially following the companies acquisition of Music.ly, a social content platform with a similarly young audience two years ago.

Convenience, Content and Competitions

Brand opportunities are better understood by examining what drives an audience and so we at EntSIght analysed the purchase and brand behaviours of TikTok users compared to those of global audiences. The first key insight was that when it came to features, a requirement for a ‘Buy’ button on social platforms was in fact the key requirement for TikTok’s audience - which strongly suggests the new e-commerce features will see a positive reaction here since it responds to the audience requirement for quick and convenient purchase.

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Other features which we of interest to TikTok’s audience included access to exclusive content, which brands should strongly consider investing in to drive interest as well as the opportunity to enter competitions - a tactic that has often been used effectively on other platforms. Another notable aspect was ‘knowing the company / product is environmentally friendly’ and so we’d recommend that TikTok could well be the place for brands to demonstrate their sustainability credentials.

Exclusivity and Reputation Enhancement

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When asked ‘Which of these qualities do you want your favoured brand to be?’ TikTok’s audience response indicated again a preference for exclusivity and, unsurprisingly for Gen Z audience, to be ‘Young’. Interestingly enough, reliability was an area where there was an under index in interest as was authenticity, which is of course often championed as a key requirement for Millennial audiences - but maybe not so much for the generation which follows them?

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In terms of what would drive TikTok audiences to advocate brand, which in turn would drive increased e-commerce purchases via the platform, the most favoured requirement was for them to improve audiences online reputations. This was especially the case for the TikTok audiences in the Far East and MENA, and one which we often see in our research of audiences in these regions.

The need for exclusivity once again was apparent when it came to advocacy and with this an indication of how this could be achieved - namely by providing audiences insider knowledge of the brand, which could be facilitated via an active and engaging presence on the TikTok platform.

As brands take their first steps into e-commerce on TikTok it is vital they understand their audience, and so we'll continue to explore this opportunity and share our discoveries here on the EntSight blog.

If you're interested in learning more about the Audience Intelligence solutions we offer here at EntSight then take a look at our website to find out more or drop us a message.

Edward Bass

Edward Bass

EntSight Founder & Director