Research reveals the impact of TikTok on consumers’ buying paths


TikTok shared the second part of its report on the path to shopping, a study that shows the impact of TikTok on consumers’ shopping paths – from discovery to reflection to evangelization after purchase.

The latest research gives brands some interesting insights into how they can leverage the platform not only to promote culturally important conversations, but also to increase their sales.

In addition, the report shows how the TikTok platform and community can maximize impact beyond inclined purchases at the moment.

Consumers tend to share cheerful content about shopping items with big tickets, such as vacations and new cars, which in turn encourages action among other consumers who want to engage in conversation both on and off the platform.

Key highlights of the latest research include the revelation that TikTok has a strong and positive impact on the entire shopping journey. TikTok has proven to be a word-of-mouth market driven by post-purchase actions as users turn to brands, creators and trendy themes to discover new products.


  • 50% users report that they are more likely to feel happy, excited or happy about the products they have bought.
  • 58% TikToka users discover new brands and products on the platform.
  • 44% discovered something they immediately went to buy.
  • The discovery happens on TikTok 1.1x more than on other platforms.

It is also worth mentioning that what happens on TikTok does not stay in TikTok.

TikTok users are 56% they are more likely to explore new brands or products on the platform than on other platforms, even for purchases of larger tickets such as car and travel.

However, these trips, which include TikTok, also see:

  • 65% users conducting more online research.
  • 57% users looking for more details on where to buy products.
  • 54% users who also conduct personal research.

TikTok’s unique discovery patterns and strongly engaged behavior in the research process also mean that satisfied customers increase their brands and products after purchase, as evidenced by the following:

  • 58% TikTok users persuaded another person to use the product
  • 49% TikTok users recommend the products to those who buy for them.
  • 47% TikTok users persuade others to buy products they have seen on the platform

Matt Southern, senior news writer at Search Engine Journal, was in an article in February entitled “TikTok is a key part of consumers ’path to purchase. ”

This research showed that the way to buy in TikTok is more like an “endless loop” than the traditional way to buy.

Screenshot from, February 2022

And in an article I wrote in December 2020, “The future of SEO is in the “messy middle” of the buying path”A survey by the Google Consumer Insights Group in the UK also showed that consumers revolve around researching and evaluating the options available to them until they are ready to buy.

Research reveals the impact of TikTok on consumers' buying pathsScreenshot from, July 2020

In my book, I described a similar process for discovering new videos and sharing compelling content, YouTube and video marketingwhich was published in November 2011.

To create this model of searching and sharing videos, I was inspired to read about research conducted before I was born.

Research reveals the impact of TikTok on consumers' buying paths

Published in 1948 by Paul Lazarsfeld, Bernard Berelson and Hazel Gaudet Human choicea study of the 1940 U.S. presidential election.

They found a two-stage flow of communication. The first step, from media sources to opinion leaders, was the transfer of information, and the second step, from opinion leaders to their followers, also included interpersonal influence.

More than a decade ago, I used a two-step flow model to explain how YouTube works.

Leveraging this insight has allowed creators and marketers to harness the unique power of YouTube as the world’s largest video search engine and the largest video-sharing site.

So, the latest TikTok research is backed by a series of similar findings over 80 years.

This means that whether you want to increase brand awareness, create qualified leads, increase traffic, or improve conversions, social video works much more than word of mouth and much less than mass media marketing.

And recognizing this is key to creating digital marketing strategies that can take advantage of TikTok’s impact on consumers ’shopping paths – from discovery to reflection to post-purchase evangelization.

Selected image: Luiza Kamalova / Shutterstock


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