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May 17, 2022

Has TikTok Changed The Way You Buy?

By HJ-PR Intern, Ophelia Luchin

Every day when I wake up, I have the same routine. I roll my face with an ice roller, make some sort of smoothie concoction, and I go on a walk with wrist weights. What do these all have in common besides promoting wellness in some way? I found all of the products on none other than Tik Tok. 

Tik Tok as a platform has exploded in the past few years and more specifically, during the pandemic. Everyone was locked in with nothing else to do besides consume mass amounts of media and subsequently, the products users within this media were promoting. According to Psychology Today, there are three reasons that Tik Tok has influenced consumers. Primarily, the “advertainment” aspect of it.  Not only do we get to watch influencers dance around or give daily vlogs, but they use and promote products within their content. This brings us to the second reason: the bluntness of the ads. I couldn’t tell you the first ad I’ve ever seen in a movie, but I can tell you when and where I first saw an influencer I like use a face roller and essentially, what exactly they said about it. Third, there is a communal aspect to it all. The hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt currently has 10.8 billion views. However, it’s not just the videos that get all of the credit. Comments, shares, likes, and really any form of interaction of the videos increases their chances of coming out on top in terms of algorithm and reaching a wider audience. This in turn, allows for even more interactions, more purchases, so on and so forth. 

These numbers are no slight feat either. In March of 2022, there was a global shortage of feta as the “feta pasta” recipe went viral, accumulating about 1.1 billion views. Little Moons, a mochi ball company, saw their sales increase 700%, which in turn allowed the company’s sales to reach sales of about £26 million in that year. Again, with these products or recipes, the intriguing part was that of sharing one’s individual take on a communal trend. 

So how many users exactly are influenced by TikTok’s catchy ads? According to a 2021 Adweek survey, 49% of TikTok users said they have purchased a product after seeing it in a Tik Tok video. I, myself fall into that category, my friends fall into that category, and my coworkers fall into that category. So essentially, the larger question is who isn’t somehow impacted by the constant engaging advertisements put forth by a vast array of companies. 

Whether you’re an influencer, consumer, or company looking for inspiration for products or experiences, Tik Tok is a reliable source to satisfy your material needs. However, with great power comes great responsibility. Tik Tok will continue to be very relevant in the foreseeable future so it’s important to vet out which brands support a form of consumerism that is more conscious ethically and also, brands that are more sustainable. Supporting small businesses or brands that align with your moral values is a huge part of the TikTok consumer base and one that I personally am constantly trying to be aware of. So the bottom line is, scroll responsibly and have fun shopping!

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