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TikTok, Influencers Biggest Influences On Gen Z Shopping: Study


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In the rapidly evolving landscape of online shopping, a new KPMG study has highlighted the profound impact of TikTok and fashion influencers on Generation Z’s shopping behaviors, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. This generation, distinctively shaped by the internet and digital devices, is redefining traditional shopping paradigms, steering away from department stores and malls in favor of social commerce platforms like TikTok and Instagram.

The study, which surveyed 7,000 consumers across 14 markets, including China, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, revealed that nearly half of the respondents were aged 18 to 24, falling within the Gen Z demographic. This generation is not just tech-savvy but deeply integrated into the digital ecosystem, using it as a primary means to discover and purchase new fashion trends.

“Where past generations visited department stores or shopping malls to buy basics or check out new styles, Gen Z are looking for trends online, following idols and influencers and aspiring to wear the same clothing,” the KPMG report stated. The fusion of social media and e-commerce is particularly appealing to Gen Z, aligning with their digital-first ethos and desire for instantaneous, visually driven content.

Social commerce, a blend of social media and online shopping, has emerged as a dominant force among Gen Z consumers. According to the KPMG study, 63% of Gen Z respondents ranked social commerce as a crucial part of their shopping experience, while 57% emphasized the importance of livestreaming commerce. This trend is most pronounced in markets such as China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines, where social commerce is not just popular but a primary mode of retail interaction.

The influence of TikTok on Gen Z’s shopping habits cannot be overstated. Described by KPMG analysts as a “juggernaut,” TikTok continues to grow exponentially, captivating a massive audience with its engaging, bite-sized video content. Fashion influencers on TikTok are particularly influential, using their platforms to showcase the latest trends and products, effectively turning their followers into eager consumers.

“TikTok business – strong in Asia – gets businesses to advertise on TikTok, using influencers and key opinion leaders and serving ads to direct viewers back to websites,” the KPMG analysts noted. This strategy not only drives traffic but also enhances the credibility of the products being marketed, as influencers often serve as trusted voices within their communities.

Irwan Djaja, partner and head of advisory at KPMG Indonesia, highlighted the need for brands to adapt their supply chain strategies to cater to this new dynamic. “The fusion of social media and e-commerce represents the frontier of engaging Gen Z in a way that resonates with their ethos,” Djaja explained. Brands are increasingly leveraging platforms like TikTok and Instagram to connect with Gen Z consumers, relying on influencer endorsements to drive sales and brand loyalty.

Eric Pong, co-founder of AfterShip, an e-commerce experience software-as-a-service company, emphasized TikTok’s unparalleled influence. “TikTok is a juggernaut. It is still growing and has an unbelievable number of viewers and influence,” Pong said. This sentiment echoes the broader understanding that TikTok and similar platforms are not just social networks but powerful commerce tools.

In conclusion, the KPMG study underscores the transformative impact of TikTok and fashion influencers on Gen Z’s shopping habits. As this generation continues to navigate the digital landscape, social commerce platforms will play an increasingly vital role in shaping their purchasing decisions. For brands aiming to capture the Gen Z market, leveraging the influence of TikTok and online shopping trends is not just an option but a necessity.

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