Social Media

Research Reveals TikTok’s Impact On Consumers’ Purchase Journeys

TikTok has shared the second part of its Path to Purchase report, a study that shows the impact of TikTok on consumers’ buying journeys — from discovery to post-purchase consideration.

Recent research gives the brands many interesting insights into how they can harness the platform to not only drive culturally relevant conversations but also increase their sales.

Additionally, the report shows how the TikTok platform and its community can make an impact beyond momentary impulse purchases.

Consumers tend to share exhilarating content about expensive purchase items like vacations and new cars, which in turn drives other consumers eager to engage in the conversation on and off the platform.

Key takeaways from the latest research include the revelation that TikTok has a powerful and positive influence throughout the buying journey. TikTok turns out to be a word-of-mouth marketplace driven by post-purchase actions where users turn to trending brands, creators, and topics to discover new products.


  • 50% of users reported that they were more likely to feel joy, excitement, or happiness with the products they purchased.
  • 58% of TikTok users discover new brands and products on the platform.
  • 44% They discovered something that they immediately went to buy.
  • Discovery happens on TikTok 1.1x more than other platforms.

It should also be noted that what happens on TikTok does not stay on TikTok.

TikTok users are 56% You’re more likely to search for new brands or products on the platform than on other platforms, even for larger-ticket purchases like cars and travel.

However, these comprehensive excursions of TikTok also see:

  • 65% From users who do more research online.
  • 57% From users seeking more details on where to purchase products.
  • 54% of users also conduct personal research.

TikTok’s unique discovery patterns and strong search engagement behavior also mean that satisfied customers amplify brands and products after purchase, as evidenced by the following:

  • 58% of TikTok users have convinced another person to use a product
  • 49% of TikTok users recommend products to those who shop for them.
  • 47% of TikTok users convince others to buy products they saw on the platform,

Matt Southern, Senior News Writer for Search Engine Journal, covered the first part of the global research study of TikTok in February in an article titled, “TikTok is a key part of consumers’ buying path.”

This research found that the buying path on TikTok is more like an “endless loop” than the traditional buying path.

Screenshot from, February 2022

And in an article I wrote in December 2020, “The Future of SEO Lies in the ‘Chaotic Middle’ of the Buying Journey,” research by Google’s Consumer Insights team in the UK also found that consumers cycle between exploring and evaluating available options until they are ready. to purchase.

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

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

I was inspired to create this form to find and share videos by reading about research that was done before I was even born.

Research reveals the impact of TikTok on consumers' buying journeys

In 1948, Paul Lazarsfeld, Bernard Perelson, and Hazel Judit published it Audience choiceA study of the 1940 US presidential election.

They find a two-step flow of communication. The first step, from media sources to opinion leaders, was the transmission of information, but the second step, from opinion leaders to their followers, also involved influencing interpersonal relationships.

Over a decade ago, I used the two-step streaming model to explain how YouTube works.

Harnessing this insight has allowed creators and marketers to harness YouTube’s unique strength as the world’s largest video search engine as well as the world’s largest video sharing site.

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

This means that whether you want to build brand awareness, generate qualified leads, increase traffic, or improve conversions, social video works much like word-of-mouth marketing and much less like media marketing.

And recognizing this is key to creating digital marketing strategies that can leverage TikTok’s impact on consumers’ buying journeys — from discovery to post-purchase consideration.

Featured image: Luisa Kamalova/Shutterstock

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