Is TikTok a New Tool to Discover Products?
Even as Google remains a significant search market, TikTok is becoming an alternative. Its transformation from mere dance videos to a trusted source of information for millennials and GenZ is building a unique consumer experience to discover new products.
TikTok's Path to Purchase report released in June 2022 reveals that 49% of its users find products through videos created by brands, creators, and other users. And at least 37% immediately bought the TikTok products soon after discovering it.
Interestingly, its strong engagement and unique discovery algorithm have made the e-commerce store Shopify jump on the bandwagon early.
To power up TikTok marketing for its merchants, Shopify has introduced organic product discovery and shopping tabs. Merchants in the US and UK having TikTok for a business account can add this shopping tab and sync their product catalogues — a mini-storefront linked directly to their online store.
So, why is this social media channel a notch above Instagram, YouTube or Facebook?
TikTok vs Other Social Media Channels
1. Higher engagement rate
TikTok has the highest social media engagement rate per post. Data collated by Nielsen shows that TikTok influencers bring an engagement rate of 20% compared to Instagram's 6.15% and YouTube's 5.22%.
Having the highest social media engagement rate per post makes it possible for brands to reach a broader audience and boost their awareness and sales.
Instagram and YouTube have been trying to duplicate TikTok's content format to retain the users on their platforms. Instagram launched reels and YouTube its short videos right after TikTok gained popularity. Yet, TikTok remains to stay at the top of all major platforms.
Read more: TikTok Analytics: 6 Important Metrics For Your Campaigns
2. Robust algorithm that finds related content
Unlike other social platforms, Tiktok has a game-changing algorithm that shows content based on the user's interests and activities on the app. It expands the possibility of discovering products users are interested in buying.
Like Instagram's 'Explore' page, TikTok has a 'For You' page that displays fresh content for the users. The only difference between TikTok and Instagram's page is that the latter shows content based on people you know and follow, limiting the possibility of discovering new content like products, videos, etc.
On the other hand, TikTok's algorithm shows content based on the user's interests and interactions on the app. The algorithm ignores the profile of a brand and its popularity, which means even relatively unknown brands can become viral on the platform and sell products.
3. Niche user communities
With 800M+ monthly active users, TikTok's niche communities like LGBT TikTok, Skater TikTok, Twilight TikTok, etc., create a sense of belonging in the user. Their fun and entertaining content drive users to purchase products. At least 39% of its users say that the 'feeling of joy' created from the humorous content has driven them to buy a product.
4. Viral hashtags
If the popularity of hashtags has dialled down on Instagram, then it has gained prominence on TikTok. #BookTok, #BusinessTok, and #TikTokMadeMeBuyit have millions of views and show a catalogue of TikTok products, reviews, tips, lessons, and live streams, created by influencers on the app.
These hashtags help in search and impact the users' purchase decisions. Popular hashtag challenges used for TikTok marketing encourage other users to participate in creating content for the hashtag and go viral.