Online shopping rise considerably on TikTok; Market Study

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Chinese video-sharing app TikTok has observed a substantial rise in online shopping on its platform among users from Saudi Arabia (90 percent), UAE (83 percent), and Egypt (79 percent) and its numbers across markets are at an all-time high.

A study was conducted by the Chinese video sharing platform with UAE-based Feedback Market Research to know the impact of COVID-19 on online shopping behavioral shifts among users of the TikTok platform in the region.

A significant increase in credit card and contactless payments among TikTok users across markets indicates an audience of early technology adopters, the studies revealed.

The study conducted by TikTok covering the areas Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), UAE and Egypt highlights expenditure activity among its early tech adopter audience and how they made the transition to online purchases and contactless payments.

Shant Oknayan
Shant Oknayan
General Manager
Global Business Solutions (MENAT)

“2020 has been a year of constant change and with the change, comes huge insights and learnings for us all. With this in mind, and as a unique marketing platform with a thriving community, we wanted to better understand the changing consumer behaviour in the region in relation to online shopping to help our partners to drive engagement and achieve their goals. What this study has shown is a huge spike in the frequency of online shopping across markets and our TikTok users are leading the charge when it comes to digital adoption. TikTok users have a higher potential to purchase online when compared to users of other channels, this is due to them having an experimental mindset and a willingness to test new approaches such as a cashless economy before others do so”.

As customers are settling and adjusting to a ‘new standard’ they spend a lot of time at home, and as a result, the internet has become their favorite starting point to begin their purchasing journey.

When it comes to advertising, the number of ads on digital platforms affects consumers. TikTok users, however, showed a willingness to click on advertisements with a higher intent to buy. 66 percent of users in KSA, 65 percent in the UAE and 68 percent in Egypt stated that an advertisement convinces them to purchase the products.

Not surprisingly, as a result of COVID-19, every mode of payment except cash has seen a massive surge in usage. More and more customers are now choosing contactless payment methods and the old barriers to online shopping have almost removed.

TikTok consumers are more open to using these payment methods as they look at the change in the usage of emerging technology and payment options. 70 percent of KSA TikTok users are now paying for transactions using credit cards and 63 percent have moved to contactless payment. Whereas 45 percent of TikTok users now use credit cards in the UAE and 53 percent rely on contactless payments. Credit card adoption for online payments in Egypt stands at 48 percent and contactless payments hit 42 percent.

While online payments and contactless cards have accounted for a minority of payments in the past, the pandemic has driven customers to change their behavior and companies/brands to accelerate their adoption of the technology to meet consumer demand.