Instagram and Tiktok are overtaking Google for product and service searches

I was riding the public transportation in Berlin when I realized that everyone had their eyes glued to their smartphones. I couldn’t find a single person that was not completely absorbed by their mobile screens. We are 8 billion people in the world. 5 billion of us (or 63%) are connected to the internet, 92% of those use their phone to get online. 4.65 billion users are on social networks, which represents 93% of internet users in the world and 58% of the entire population.

Humans are social and we love to spend our time on social media, especially Generation Z, the 15–25 year olds. They also turn to these applications for shopping: 28% look for inspiration for activities or purchases and 27% focus on finding products to buy. Today, more than 55% of Generation Z prefer to start their product and service search through Instagram and Tiktok compared to Google search. Many of them don’t even know the user journey through Google anymore. They don’t tend to type in keywords but rather look to discover content in new, more immersive ways. We are seeing a paradigm shift in how consumers interact with brands. It fundamentally changes the way where, when and how we shop. User journeys are becoming more interactive, entertaining and experiential.

Social media has given normal people an opportunity to build their own brand through stimulating and engaging content. Anyone whose fame stems from online channels and is earning income through that influence can be considered a digital creator. About 200 million people around the world fall into that category (despite the creator economy only being born a decade ago) and they are more relatable than traditional celebrities. In fact, 70% of teens trust creators more than traditional celebrities. 49% of consumers depend on creator recommendations and 40% had purchased something after seeing it on social media. In 2022 the creator economy market size reached an estimated $104.2 billion, more than double its value since 2019. Following the exponential growth of creator commerce, global brands and corporations have to adapt their marketing strategies to use the new media environment as an advertising and sales channel.

The rise of creator commerce is inevitable and the time to act is now. As creators move rapidly to incorporate innovative buying options, consumers are following with their wallets. Brands that fail to understand this transformation of the customer journey could be devastated by both competitors and smaller brands taking their market share. That’s why we’ve built zezam – an all-in-one creator commerce suite. Creators can customize their landing page in seconds and collaborate with the world's leading brands like Nike, Asos or Mango. Thousands of creators trust zezam as they can discover new paid brand collaborations and offer their followers a seamless way to transition from their content to their product recommendations. As more shoppers turn away from Google and start their user journey on Instagram or Tiktok, creators might be the biggest winners of this paradigm shift.

Niklas Schwake absolvierte seinen Bachelor und Master in International Business in Maastricht und São Paulo. Ende 2019 gründete der „Under 30“-Listmaker (2018) zezam – das junge Tech-Unternehmen bringt Influencern und Marken mehr Reichweite und mehr Umsatz.

Text & Foto: Niklas Schwake

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