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Baby Boomers TikTok Tiktok Shop

2024: The year boomers turn to TikTok shopping?

By Alex Bodini, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Spin

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January 25, 2024 | 6 min read

Here’s a prediction for you: older demographics will keep flooding to TikTok this year, and start buying stuff there in droves. Alex Bodini of social agency Spin explains the opportunity.

An older gentleman enjoying snacks and a beverage in a coffee shop

Will older social media users flood to TikTok shop in 2024? / Jeff Sheldon via Unsplash

At the time of writing, #tiktokmademybuyit has 88bn views on TikTok.

No matter how you look at it, that’s a staggering amount. It tells us, in the most concise way possible, that an enormous amount of people are being driven to action by what they see on TikTok. It shows, in short, that social commerce is finally landing and changing how we consume and behave online.

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Social shopping: A mature market?

Let’s zoom out for a moment. Wasn’t it just yesterday that nobody was taking TikTok seriously? A lot of predictions this time last year believed that TikTok faced an existential threat in the form of US regulation. That seems to have gone, and now we’re seeing two massive (but barely noticed) trends that will shake marketing at its very core.

Firstly, ‘boomers’ (The Baby Boomer generation) are using TikTok – and getting just as hooked as everybody else. According to GWI, there’s been a 57% increase in boomers using TikTok since 2021. They have a bigger spending power than other generations and have felt chronically under-served for years.

But TikTok truly now has content for everyone; if you thought algorithms worked to give you personalized content on Instagram, just wait and see what the TikTok algorithm can do for you: finding a wonderful blend of content, inspiration and laughs you never knew you needed. If you still think TikTok is just teenage girls replicating choreographed routines, think again.

Secondly (and whisper it), marketers have realized that TikTok shops currently represent the latest ‘golden era’ of commercial opportunity and the first since Facebook Ads in 2016/2017. Almost every discussion board I visit now involves at least one person dumbstruck by the impact of a TikTok shop on sales. These moments are fleeting and the impact will spread and wear off in time, but for now, it’s a feeding frenzy as more TikTok shops spring up all over the world.

OK, boomer

I could write a book on the other virtues of TikTok shops, but here’s the TL;DR version: TikTok is pushing this hard, and when a platform pushes something, it tends to work. The checkout process is as friction-free as it gets. The platform takes shipping and trust as seriously as Amazon does. And it has an enormous affiliate network built in (anyone can promote most products).

Most importantly, people love to shop there.

As I look ahead, my prediction is clear: the growing number of boomers joining TikTok this year will bring more than just casual browsers. This is a demographic set to become active shoppers, drawn in by the platform’s compelling shopping experience. This pivotal shift will not only change their shopping habits but also signal a broader transformation in the social commerce landscape.

With this shift towards boomers on TikTok, the entire social media landscape braces for change. Industry giants like Meta, Snap, and Google now face a crucial challenge to adapt and innovate. In an era where TikTok successfully engages a broad demographic spectrum, from gen X and millennials to boomers, the success formula lies in creating the most integrated and seamless customer journey, blending social interaction with e-commerce. The platform that excels in this arena is poised to redefine (and potentially lead) the digital marketing domain.

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Baby Boomers TikTok Tiktok Shop

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Spin

We are Spin, a social media agency, operating globally based in London. We're a team of social natives you can trust to unleash your brand on social. Offering 360...

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