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TikTok is changing the way Gen Zs shop

The insight: More Gen Z consumers—43%—start their online product searches on TikTok than on Google or another search engine, per Jungle Scout’s Q1 2023 Consumer Trends Report.

  • Both millennials and Gen Zs are more likely to begin product searches on social media platforms than their Gen X and Boomer counterparts.

#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt: While Gen Z consumers have not been immune to the effects of inflation, they’re less likely to cut back on fun or impulse purchases, dining out, or leisure travel than millennial, Gen X, and Boomer shoppers.

  • Nearly one-third (32%) of Gen Z consumers report shopping online at least once per day, the most out of any generation.
  • Many of those purchases are being influenced by #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, which continues to be an incredibly potent sales driver: As of this writing, the hashtag has over 48.6 billion views and counting—which averages out to more than 50 views per TikTok user.

The big takeaway: While the majority of consumers are reducing discretionary spend due to inflation, Gen Zs are exhibiting less restraint, encouraged by the fast-paced nature of social media trends and a growing number of retailers (like Amazon and Shein) that can supply goods quickly and cheaply.

  • At the same time, their predisposition to start their shopping journey on TikTok signals a broader shift away from Google and Amazon as the primary platforms for product discovery, and highlights social media’s growing utility as a discovery engine.