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Why TikTok Is Another Retail Competitor

New report from NIQ and the social media platform highlights the reach of the TikTok Shop
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
TikTok Deals
The TikTok Shop is a newer avenue for brands to connect with shoppers, including through its upcoming sales event in July.

As TikTok has become a large and influential social media platform, it has also encroached into the retail space with its TikTok Shop. The platform is joining the ranks of Amazon, Walmart and Target in touting major sales over the next month, recently announcing its Deals for You Days starting July 9. That online sales event features discounts from brands including L'Oréal Paris, Maybelline New York and Our Place, among others.

New research shows that the TikTok Shop is gaining steam among consumers. This week, insights firm NIQ released a report created in collaboration with TikTok showing that the TikTok Shop is engaging younger Gen Z and Millennial consumers as well as mature cohorts in the Gen X and Boomer generations. 

According to the report, video views with the hashtag “#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt” have reached 8 million. The survey revealed that 62% of respondents are familiar with the TikTok Shop experience, 68% are open to making a purchase in that channel and 48% of users are more likely to discover and immediately purchase new products than users of other social and video platforms.

[RELATED: Albertsons Unlocks Combined Value of Retail Media and TV]

Brands and grocers can leverage the platform to fuel their own growth. The NIQ report affirms that the app’s influence lingers, as 71% of TikTok users said they are likely to explore a brand or product further when they are off the platform. Additionally, two in five respondents who find a product on TikTok choose to visit physical stores to make purchases.

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Such responses exemplify the influence of the platform in today’s crowded marketplace and underscore opportunities for brands and retailers to use TikTok to connect with shoppers. "At TikTok, we've seen a shift in consumer behavior where entertainment, personalized discovery, and authentic voices seamlessly converge to inspire a community ready to shop. Our research indicates this organic behavior is driving unprecedented engagement and commerce everywhere," said Rachael Ryan, head of research and insights at TikTok. 

Added Jacqueline Flam, SVP, U.S. beauty, for NIQ: "Combining the creativity and engagement of TikTok with data-driven insights from NIQ is a game-changer for brands. Understanding and measuring performance on TikTok Shop isn't just about tracking numbers; it's about unlocking the power of consumer behavior in real-time. This empowers brands to connect with their audiences strategically, driving meaningful outcomes and staying ahead in today's dynamic marketplace."

Although the NIQ/TikTok report shows that health and beauty and apparel are the hottest categories in the TikTok Shop, applications in grocery are expanding. In late 2023, TikTok’s Mike Westgate, head of home, living and retail for TikTok Shop U.S., said that the platform is exploring partnerships that would enable it to distribute perishable groceries.

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