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From Discovery to Purchase: TikTok Brings Growth Opportunity for Brands

TikTok was the most downloaded app globally in 2021, with 656 million downloads, and today has over one billion monthly active users. Many of those users are moms – one in four, in fact1.

With a spending power of $2.4 trillion, moms control most household purchases, and they’re using their smartphones throughout the shopping process, so it’s no surprise that 40% of TikTok moms discover brands through social media1.

This data highlights TikTok’s potential from a marketing standpoint, with many moms now reachable through the app. The platform can benefit your brand at every stage of the funnel, from awareness to sales and loyalty, because it leaves your target audience engaged and wanting more. Ninety-two percent of users say that after watching a TikTok, they take action such as liking the content, sharing it with friends, following the brand, or researching or buying a product2.

What’s more, TikTok has become an important place for consumers to discover brands. Seventy-nine percent report they have discovered new brands through TikTok, while 54% have purchased a brand after seeing it on the platform3.

When your brand is featured on TikTok, it’s an opportunity to drive awareness, credibility, and purchasing. Since the launch of Zulily’s organic presence on TikTok earlier this year, we’re able to help brands capitalize on a valuable customer segment – moms – by creating unique content that features information about their products and showing it to a community who is most likely to actively engage with it.


There’s a shift away from long-form content to snackable content, meaning content that is short-form, easily digestible and visually engaging; it’s designed to communicate the message as quickly as possible and be consumed and shared on social media.

TikTok started its upward ascent into relevancy and popularity by providing users with snackable content, consisting primarily of 15- to 60- second videos – and now it’s shaping social commerce and redefining how we shop.

The future of social commerce is already here with 68% of consumers making at least one purchase directly from social media in 2021 and nearly all (98%) consumers plan to make at least one purchase through social shopping or influencer commerce this year4. By 2025 alone, social shopping is set to become a $1.2 trillion channel5.

TikTok’s own research into user behavior reveals their power of their influence over users’ shopping habits. Thirty-seven percent of users discover a product on the app and immediately want to buy it, while 67% say TikTok inspires them to shop6.

We know moms juggle a busy schedule and are short on time, so we focus on giving them a renewable five-minute shopping experience that invites them to snack on Zulily throughout the day, on their mobile device. TikTok helps us reach moms in those in-between moments, when they have a couple minutes of discretionary time between daily life responsibilities.

By capturing moms’ attention, we’re simultaneously forming connections between the brands that sell on our platform and the millions of moms on TikTok. These connections are key to driving stronger brand affinity, brand equity, and top-of-mind familiarity.


Leveraging social media platforms is vital to business success. In 2021, over 4.26 billion people (53% of the world’s population) were using social media worldwide, a number projected to increase to almost six billion in 20277.

To capture today’s mom consumer, we have prioritized focus on finding ways to engage with them by sending the right message, and the right time, and on the right channel. Recognizing the popularity of TikTok among our core customers, we ventured onto TikTok in June 2022 to ensure we were able to meet moms when and where they prefer to shop. 

We know that consumers prefer an emotional connection to their lives when they engage with brands. TikTok enables us to create emotional engagement through authenticity and serve moms the content that’s most relevant and interesting, all while reaching them in meaningful moments.

From showcasing their favorite brands to mom hacks and tips, all packaged up in bite-sized content, we aim to make discovery fast and easy, and hook moms’ attention, so she feels compelled to engage.


TikTok’s engagement is the highest of any social platform — 15 to 18% on average. Zulily is leveraging TikTok for increased social brand awareness and engagement by providing the following benefits to brand partners:

  • Access to Influencers: When it comes to TikTok, collaborations with influencers on the social media platform can go a long way. We work with over 1,000 influencers to reach moms on channels like TikTok, which means you have access to their loyal following.
  • Curation and personalization: Moms want to see a message and merchandise that is curated and personalized, so we show them the most important products and brands that are relevant to their specific life and lifestyle, to make discovery fast and easy, so they can elevate everyday moments. 
  • Discovery and entertainment: Entertainment shopping is at our core. We help moms discover her favorite brands every day, we drive urgency and excitement with discounts and limited-time deals, and we capitalize on trends that are relevant to our business target audience. For brands, this translates to potentially more eyes on your products.  
  • Mobile-first mentality: When the business launched in 2010, we were always mobile minded. Now, 75% of orders are placed via mobile device. It’s where our target customers spend much of their time and it’s where they go to visit us when they needs a little entertainment.

We do this all while developing engaging, mom-relevant content that reaches her in meaningful moments, to ensure her experience is fun and cohesive across all customer touchpoints. In doing so, we aim to build community and credibility, which in turn improves visibility of your brand.


Social media is one of the most powerful tools to create brand awareness, engagement, and traffic, which ultimately brings conversations for your brand – and it will continue to play a key role in brand building for the foreseeable future. This upcoming holiday season, for example, 56% of Gen Z consumers plan to buy their gifts via social media, followed by 49% of millennials and 43% of Gen X8.

The $492 billion global social commerce industry is expected to grow three times as fast as traditional ecommerce to $1.2 trillion by 2025. Meanwhile, live shopping is predicted to be worth $25 billion by 2023, giving brands another platform for showcasing and selling their products to massive markets that were not accessible before9.

With new advancements on social media platforms comes new opportunities for ecommerce companies to connect customers to brands they love. As one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, TikTok will continue to be a key part in consumers’ path to purchase and helping brands drive sales.

Zulily continues to explore ways to harness the power of TikTok to meet moms where they are and work with influencers who are relatable and come with an audience who trusts their opinions and recommendations. By connecting with moms through her trusted community, on their platform of choice, with a message that is unique and easily digestible, we build credibility of your brand, and accelerate moms’ buying decisions, so your products sell faster.

Interested in selling on Zulily? Let’s grow your business together. Get started here


1Social Media Today, TikTok Shares New Insights into How Users are Engaging Around Mother’s Day in the App


3MarketingWeek, How to use TikTok for brand building – and get millions of likesv

4Sprout Social, Social Shopping in 2022: Consumer Behaviors in the Social Shopping Cart

5Accenture, The future of shopping and social commerce

6Hootsuite, 23 Important TikTok Stats Marketers Need to Know in 2022

7Statista, Number of worldwide social network users 2027 | Statista

8RetailDive, Nearly half of Gen Z, millennials to rely on buy now, pay later this holiday: report

9Yahoo! Finance, Livestream shopping could be the future of retail