TikTok’s Anita Desai said effective engagement of prospective home and housewares consumers on social media requires a balance of authenticity and entertainment.
Desai, head of home and living for TikTok, discussed the growing opportunity for the housewares business to introduce products and drive sales through the popular social platform during an Innovation Theater session at the Inspired Home Show 2023.
Consumers interested in and influenced by authenticity want to connect with culture and communities, Desai said. With TikTok, she said, community has become akin to demographics in that learning about and addressing the concern of a group of people who are bound by common interests and preferences is the first step in
Desai said behaviors learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, when consumers increasingly embraced video and the creators who made them, haven’t faded. At the same time, she noted, consumers upgraded their homes and continue to value them in part for the changes they made to support lifestyles that evolved during the pandemic.
“We have all gone through that shift of working from home, kids in virtual schools and spending time in our homes, getting reacquainted with our homes, loving our homes, upgrading our homes,” Desai said. “We found that these new habits that people started to learn in the pandemic have remained and grown and become part of how they live lives today.
“We’ve seen that 61% of people on TikTok have developed a new appreciation of their homes coming out of the pandemic,” Desai continued. “Sixty-six percent have a home they want to be a place where their friends and family want to go. And nearly 80% of the people want to put more money in their homes next year.”
Among frequent TikTok users, Millennials are now heading up households; purchased more homes than any other generation in 2021; and account for the largest share of homes with kids at 46%, Desai pointed out. Millennials are fast-tracking lifestyles with, for example, one in three getting married this year.
Desai outlined four keys for businesses to consider when addressing Millennials through social platforms:
- Make it easy for them because they have a lot going on and favor products with clear benefits in a superior shopping experience.
- Authenticity remains critical for maintaining contact with consumers who want what they feel are real connections.
- Addressing wellness concerns in an open and positive way is important — with wellness encompassing body, mind, community and home.
- Millennials want to do things with purpose, including purchasing for their home, and they lack brand loyalty. However, they identify with companies that take a stand on issues they care about.
Desai said TikTok users embrace the social media platform because they favor the entertaining approach to a variety of subjects. They like it when brands reach out to the TikTok communities in which they participate in a way that demonstrates affinity.
She added 76% of people on the platform love how innovative creators get with home products on the site. What they seek includes point-of-view videos on tasks such as cleaning; reviews; home inspiration; satisfaction in use; and quick hacks and tips. She said 71% of users said that TikTok taught them something they didn’t know about home products.