Date of Award
Verification status, Gen Z, technology, social media, TikTok, influencer marketing, word of mouth, electronic word of mouth
Prior to the introduction of technology and surge of web 2.0 platforms, word-of- mouth (WOM) was the principal way for society to adopt and relay information to others. Given the onset of social media platforms, TikTok for example, information such as feedback on a person, product, or service, has been made accessible worldwide, giving rise to electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM). Popular eWOM comes from social media influencers, with many followers and are favored for their perceived experitise in a certain area (beauty, fashion, gaming, etc.). Generation Z (1997-2012), Gen Z for short, are the main users of the TikTok app and are known to make purchases influenced by others on the app. This study investigates the impact of TikTok user verification status on Gen Z consumers' willingness to pay for or buy a product reviewed on TikTok. Data was collected through a 2x1 between-subject design surveying 576 participants aged 18-2. The study found a positive but insignificant relationship between the verification status of a user and participants' willingness to buy or pay for the good. Additional variables measuring the demographics (race, gender, household income), participant perceptions of the TikTok user (relatability, trustworthiness), and other importance factors that influence TikTok induced purchasing (price and trendiness of product, and follower count of TikTok user) proved to have a greater impact.
George, Justen, "To Buy or Not to Buy? Investing the Impact of Verification Status on Gen Z Purchasing Decisions" (2023). Honors Theses. 2710.