TikTok: almost half of GCC users shop for emotional boost


Nearly 50 per cent of TikTok users in the Gulf region are resorting to ‘shopping therapy’ to boost their mood, according to TikTok’s first ‘What’s Next: Shopping Trend Report’.

The findings suggest that TikTok has become a hub for online community e-commerce interactions.

With mounting economic pressures becoming apparent, the data indicates many consumers are using hobbies as an avenue for emotional release.

The study evaluated shifts in shopping behaviours and culture on the video-sharing platform. 

Community role in purchasing decisions

By 2022, the Tiktok app has accrued more than 1 billion active monthly users globally, with estimates exceeding 1.4 billion users in early 2023 alone, according to Statista.

 According to the data, 44 per cent of the app users in the GCC decide to buy products to fit in with friends.

Head of retail and e-commerce business partnerships at TikTok, Mena, Aref Yehia, said: “By blending community, entertainment, and shopping, TikTok is reimagining the face of modern retail.”

Regarding advertising, the report shows that TikTok promotions can significantly bolster sales. Brands that actively invested in ads witnessed a 41 per cent rise in trust levels. Noteworthy, Saudi Arabia residents trusted advertised brands 24 per cent more while being 42 per cent more loyal to them.

 TikTok is ahead of other social media platforms

Users are markedly more likely to create and share content about the items bought through TikTok than other social networks, the report indicates.

 A whopping 57 per cent of users in the Gulf region document purchases, doubling other platforms’ post-purchase rates. Repeated buyers are also more common, with the app involvement raising retailer repurchasing 1.2 times.

“We hope the ‘What’s Next: Shopping Trend Report’ will help brands seize this opportunity and build lasting relationships with customers,” added Mr Yehia.