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TikTok becomes the UK's most shopped social channel

TikTok has outpaced Instagram and Facebook to become the UK's most shopped social channel.

Original research of over 1,000 UK shoppers by Retail Technology Show revealed that the average consumer now makes 10 purchases on TikTok each year. This has outpaced the number of purchases made on Instagram and Facebook, where shoppers make nine purchases a year on both the platforms.

And this indexes even higher when it comes to Gen Z, with the poll showing this demographic makes an average of 19 purchases through the TikTok platform every year - almost double that made by the average UK shopper. This compares to 18 purchases on Instagram and 15 purchases this demographic makes on Facebook.

Having reported a a five-fold surge in revenues last year, growing to $1billion turnover across its international markets, TikTok's UK and European sales rose by 477% in 2022, as it continues to grow its market share of the coveted 18-25 year old demographic, which are estimated to make up 60% of the social channel's users.

And this burgeoning demand, which is being driven by Gen Z consumers, is seeing TikTok's ad revenues flourish. In 2022 analyst Insider Intelligence estimated that it generated $5.96 billion from advertising sales - more than Twitter and Snapchat combined.

While Gen Z's social channel adoption and usage continues to grow, so too is their adoption of the Metaverse when it comes to shopping, with 42% of Gen Z already interacting with brands through this channel, according to the Retail Technology Show's research.

While on average UK shoppers had made just over 8 purchases in the last year on Roblox, Gen Z now makes almost 17 purchases each year, surpassing the number of purchases this demographic makes on Facebook (currently 15 per annum), suggesting the Metaverse is now very much entering the commerce mainstream.

Last year, for example, Nike's Nikeland, one of the very first proof of concepts for mainstream metaverse commerce on Roblox, saw 21m users visit its Roblox store, while beauty brand NARS said it saw 19.6million redemptions of virtual goods on the platform via its NARS Color Quest activation.

Matt Bradley, event director for the Retail Technology Show, commented: "Social media's star has been rising for some time as both a viable and lucrative commerce platform for retailers. However, as this sales channel matures and adoption amongst shoppers continues to grow, we're now seeing a shake-up of the status quo.

"With new platforms and new evolutions of social commerce itself, such as the Metaverse, becoming more mainstream, shoppers are migrating towards these new formats, with TikTok now leading the way as the most shopped social network."

The evolving role of social channels will form a key focus in the Retail Technology Show conference programme, when the flagship event for retail opens its doors to over 8,500 senior retail visitors in April at London's Olympia.

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