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Gen Z shoppers prefer to start their product searches on Amazon over TikTok

The insight: Amazon remains consumers’ top choice to begin their product searches, per separate surveys by CivicScience and Jungle Scout.

  • Almost half—49%—of US adults start their online shopping journey on the ecommerce site, per CivicScience, although Jungle Scout’s Q2 Consumer Trends report puts that figure at 57%.
  • Amazon’s ascendance comes at Google’s expense, which saw its share fall slightly to 34%, according to CivicScience.

Social search takes off: While Amazon remains comfortably on top, TikTok is quickly climbing the rankings, helped by younger users’ affinities for social search.

  • Seventeen percent of US adults start their online shopping journeys on TikTok, although the platform still lags behind Instagram (18%), Facebook (21%), and YouTube (23%), according to Jungle Scout.
  • But there is some evidence that Amazon is successfully winning over younger shoppers at TikTok’s expense, possibly due to its wide product selection and speedy purchase and delivery options. The proportion of Gen Z users ages 18 to 24 that use TikTok to begin product searches fell to 11% in June 2023, down from 18% in 2022, per CivicScience.
  • At the same time, 45% of shoppers ages 18 to 24 listed Amazon as their preferred starting point for product searches.

The big takeaway: Even if TikTok isn’t always shoppers’ first port of call, it remains a hugely valuable channel for product discovery. And TikTok and other social platforms have an advantage over Amazon in that users rely on them to discover not only products, but also trends, restaurants, recipes, events, and other destinations.

Go further: Read our report on Social Search and its opportunities for marketers.