TikTok is driving Gen Z spending trends, especially among women

TikTok is driving Gen Z spending trends, especially among women

The popularity of TikTok among Generation Z women is proving to be a driver of consumer trends and financial behavior. The app, popular for its short videos, captures the attention of its female audience in particular, with a notable impact on purchasing decisions.

In the United States, Generation Z women are more likely to use TikTok. Three quarters spend time on the app, compared with 62% of men of the same age. This difference may explain why young women are driving trends in purchasing and financial behavior. It may also explain why the consumption patterns of Gen Z women are more likely to be influenced by TikTok.

More buyers among women

According to a survey conducted by Morning Consult, from November 2 to 8, 2022, among a sample of 1,000 Generation Z Americans aged 13 to 25, 53% of women in this age bracket buy beauty products featured on TikTok, versus 13% of men. Women are the biggest spenders on fashion accessories, jewelry and watches, at 35% versus 21% of men, as well as home decor (26% versus 17%), clothing (49% versus 41%) and shoes (34% versus 32%). Men are more keen on books and games (48% vs. 38%), electronics (30% vs. 19%) and sports equipment (16% vs. 15%).

Morning Consult analyst, Ellyn Briggs, points out that TikTok, as a platform centering around Gen Z women, defines what is considered “trendy” on the internet. This effect is reinforced by influencers who create aspirational content, notably through “haul” videos showing recent purchases, often sponsored by brands.

Growing debt

However, this display of wealth can be misleading. Although these influencers are roughly the same age as their audience, their often high incomes don’t reflect the financial reality of the majority of their followers. Research from LendingTree reveals that Gen Z’s non-mortgage debt almost doubled between March 2021 and the first quarter of 2023. On average, young consumers accumulated over US$21,000 in debt, an increase of US$10,797 in two years. While auto and student loans account for nearly 80% of their debt, personal loans and credit card balances have risen sharply since 2021 (+207.4% and +174% respectively).


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