How TikTok is becoming a mainstream holiday shopping tool

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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TikTok Shop
Many holiday shoppers plan to use TikTok.

A new survey shows a growing number of consumers will use TikTok as a holiday shopping resource in a variety of ways.

According to a new survey of U.S. consumers from direct-to-consumer  e-commerce company ESW, 53% of respondents ages 18-29 (including older members of Gen Z and the youngest millennials), will use TikTok as a holiday shopping resource, and 25% will leverage TikTok to source specific gifts.

The “ESW U.S. Holiday Shopping Report 2023” shows that TikTok will prove a popular holiday shopping asset across all generations, as 36% of all respondents will use it during the holiday season. This includes 10% of respondents who plan to make holiday purchases from the short video platform, which recently launched e-commerce operations in the U.S. with its TikTok Shop offering.

Surprisingly, older respondents are most likely to order gifts from TikTok Shop, with 16% of those ages 40-60 planning to purchase gifts from TikTok, but only 8% of respondents ages 18-29 planning to purchase gifts from TikTok.

Online shopping in general will be prevalent this holiday season, with 90% of all respondents planning to purchase holiday gifts online and 40% saying they plan to shop more online this holiday season and only 10% planning to shop online less.

The average budget for holiday shopping among all respondents is $827, and 65% of respondents who said that they will do more online shopping this year also plan to spend more overall.

Other findings

  • Respondents will only pay an average of $6.43 for expedited shipping, below the $9.35 starting price for Priority Mail from the USPS.
  • Respondents say that they will wait on average of nearly one week for their purchases in exchange for free shipping.
  • Sunday, Oct. 22 was the average day that respondents planned to start their holiday gift buying. Nearly one-quarter (23%) of shoppers surveyed are “early birds” who started prior to October. These respondents also spend almost 10% more, on average, than all shoppers, and 22% more than last-minute shoppers. Last-Minute shoppers on average start shopping in November or later and have an 11% lower budget than all respondents and 17% lower than early birds.

ESW conducted an online survey of 890 U.S. adults from Sept. 22-23, 2023. The panel consisted of “consumer shoppers” who were primary decision-makers in the household and planned to purchase holiday gifts this year. The panel was balanced for age, gender and household income.