Tik Tok engagement grows, along with shopping on the app: YouGov survey

HIGH POINT — Brands and marketers seeking to make use of Tik Tok, and in particular its new shopping platform, should keep the app on their radar despite the uncertainty surrounding its future. Its loyal user base is undeterred by the controversy surrounding it,  growing in size and spending money on the platform.

Traffic on the popular short video app has surged in recent years, as has use of its new e-commerce platform Tik Tok shop, according to a study just released by YouGov. The study tracks the shifting demographics on the platform, consumers use of Tik Tok Shop and their attitudes toward a potential ban. The study is based on continually collected data from 27 million YouGov global panel members.

YouGov’s “Stop, Shop, and Scroll: US Tik Tok Report 2024” reports that the number of respondents using Tik Tok weekly has increased threefold since 2021, which includes a marked increase in the number of young adults aged 35 and older and a slight decrease in the established Gen Z user base of the platform.

The study found that weekly users aged 35-44 have grown by 3% since 2022, while those aged 18-24 have decreased by 10% in the same time frame. The study defined weekly TikTok users as respondents aged 18 and older who use TikTok at least once per week.

Engagement on the platform is up as well; more weekly TikTok users aged 18-24 posted or commented last year than did in 2022 (a 37% increase). Users are also more likely to be employed full-time and have a four-year or postgraduate degree.

One bright spot for brands and marketers staring at a potential ban of the app: Its user base is active across other platforms and generally receptive to ads on social media in general. 61% of respondents self-report being more likely to engage with advertisements on social media than traditional websites.

Awareness and use of Tik Tok Shop is also growing, with 58% of users having either purchased something from or browsed the store. Trust in the store is a slight issue, with 41% of users saying that sellers on the platform are less trustworthy than those on other ecommerce platforms.

The issue of underdeveloped trust bears itself out in the kinds of goods that users say they would be willing buy on Tik Tok shop. Users aren’t yet turning to the app to make big, expensive buys. Customer preference skews heavily toward smaller purchases such as clothing, which tops the list with 43% of respondents saying they would be willing to make a purchase in this category. Home décor is second at 33%, with arts, crafts and hobby supplies a very close fourth at 31%.

The user base of Tik Tok shop also expects deals and wants to support small businesses, with 58% of respondents saying that they want coupons and special discounts, and just under half expressing a desire to help small businesses.

The prospect of a Tik Tok ban in less than a year’s time also has Americans divided, largely based on their use of the platform. Only 27% of the general population oppose a ban of the platform, with the same percentage saying they are not sure.

Just under half (45%) of Tik Tok users oppose a ban, with 21% saying they are not sure. Another notable and interesting stat: 34% of Tik Tok users say they support a ban on the app.

See also:

  • Senate passes, Biden signs bill that could spell trouble for Tik Tok
  • How can online retailers prep for a potential TikTok ban?

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