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TikTok Takes the Crown as South Africa’s Top Digital Platform for Holiday Shopping

TikTok has become the number one digital media channel for product discovery in South Africa, according to a recent Holiday Season Shopping Report for 2023 conducted by Redseer Strategy Consultants. 

The platform has gained immense popularity among users of all generations in the country and now exerts the highest influence on purchasing decisions compared to other digital media platforms. With 71% of the adult internet population in South Africa using TikTok, it has become a major player in the digital media landscape.

South Africans look to TikTok not only for entertainment but also for shopping recommendations. The report reveals that more than 40% of local consumers use TikTok for product searches, seeking trendy products, a personalized experience, and diverse results. 

Additionally, nearly half of South African consumers discover products through trending videos on TikTok, and 44% engage with videos from creators on the platform when deciding to make a purchase.

During the festive season, TikTok’s role as a source of inspiration increases, with 55% of users seeking inspiration during normal times and this figure rising to 64% during the holiday season. 

TikTok content inspires a staggering 95% of the platform’s South African users to make purchases, and nearly 70% of them expect to increase their spending during the holiday season.

Peer reviews and “digital word-of-mouth” are central to the TikTok journey. The report reveals that 66% of TikTok users influence their communities to make purchases after seeing TikTok content, and 20% prefer searching on TikTok over other platforms due to better reviews and recommendations.

Brands can leverage these insights to boost their sales during the holiday season. TikTok offers a unique opportunity for brands to engage with their target audience and tap into cultural and social moments. 

Over 60% of shoppers make immediate purchases after discovering products on TikTok, emphasizing the platform’s role in the entire purchase journey.

Content preferences during the festive season on TikTok indicate that more than 40% of users prefer entertaining and creative content. Tapping into interactive storytelling is also crucial, as users form communities or “digital campfires” based on shared interests, making word of mouth and peer reviews highly trusted sources of information.

Furthermore, brands that can align with TikTok trends or even set new ones showcasing their creativity and unique voice on the platform can stand out during the competitive holiday season. 

TikTok users are 1.5 times more likely to follow trends and almost twice as likely to interact with trending videos when considering a purchase decision during the holiday season.

Content creators on TikTok play an increasingly significant role in users’ purchase decisions. In South Africa, 43% of users discover products through videos posted by creators on TikTok, and during the holiday season, 48% of users want to find out more about a product after seeing it in creators’ content. 

Real-life situations and personal experiences portrayed by creators can have a substantial influence on users’ purchasing decisions.

As South Africans continue to turn to TikTok for product discovery, the report highlights the tremendous opportunity for brands, regardless of their size or industry, to connect with their unique audiences and make an impact during the holiday season. 

TikTok has become a pivotal platform for product discovery and influence in South Africa, shaping the way consumers make their purchase decisions.

Source: TikTok Marketing Science South Africa, Holiday Season Shopping Report 2023, conducted by Redseer.

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