By Ramesh Redekar, Service Line Leader - Brand Health Tracking at Ipsos, and Mahmoud Shammout, Head of Research & Insights TikTok METAP
Why we (humans) do what we do has to be one of the most researched, reported, and reflected on topics amongst psychologists. Admittedly, quite a complex one and, something we marketers are fixated on. And... Rightly so.
Can you remember the last thing you bought?
You certainly remember how you felt after the purchase, perhaps even during the purchase, but can you delve into your thoughts and motivations to articulate out how you felt before?
Can you remember if you bought it because you needed it - or just really wanted it? Was it a checklist errand? Were you filling a desire for some thrill? Or maybe you wanted to stay on trend and didn't even know that about yourself?
Too many questions and too many matrixes to create. But... What if it were simpler?
The e-comm industry is forecasted to reach a market size of around $94 billion in MENAT by 2024 and the retail industry to reach $434 billion in MENAT by 2024. 
So, we are on a mission to make sense of these so-called shopping triggers and, I believe, there is no better way to do so than to start from the beginning, from once upon a time.
Once upon a time, we were need-driven shoppers
Shopping was based on necessities, we shopped for the essentials. And our understanding of what is essential was pretty much shared - groceries, household & cleaning products, food, or the occasional furniture uplift. Today, electronics like TV and mobile phones have also started to weave their way into essential needs as per our recent research Brand Shopping Triggers. 
Our shopping journey was also far less complex than it is today. We shopped at convenience stores or eventually supermarkets and hypermarkets - there was a tangible and physical path to purchase and the decision or moment of truth took place at the aisle. The options of brands available were limited. And the experience was basically transactional.
Today, the line between needs and wants is blurred
Obviously, today, there are multiple touchpoints that can influence our decision [and] that no longer occur in the aisle. We've become such sophisticated shoppers - we do our research, we check packaging information, we take recommendations from friends, we are experimental, we shop from different stores online.
With accessibility no longer being a rare commodity, the line between needs and wants is blurry and that is something marketers can leverage. Surely, you've heard someone discover a smartwatch or a new pair of shoes and say "I need this" when in reality it's not an essential need. The drive behind that confession is purely emotional. And it all boils down to the relationship the shopper has with the brand and the way the brand communicates in today's reality.
In today's reality, shopping has evolved from a transaction to an interaction.
The emotional buy
In the latest research Brand Shopping Triggers conducted by Ipsos (2022), we have identified 15 key shopping triggers that motivate people’s purchase decisions. Of course, there are what we call "functional" motivations such as limited offers or promotions that are important. But it's the emotional motivations that caught our attention.
FOMO (fear of missing out), belonging, inspiration, word-of-mouth, exploration, keeping up with trends, gifting, contributed to 96% of what we call emotional triggers (Shopping Triggers, Ipsos, 2022). And emotional triggers have 1.5x more impact on impulsive buying and higher spending than functional triggers. 
The most intense emotional motivation: inspiration
61% of shoppers report that inspiration prompts them to buy something even when they aren’t actively shopping . Inspiration is what triggers people to feel like they really need this product. And the impact of inspiration is higher when they are consuming short-form video content on TikTok.
TikTok is 1.6x more inspiring compared to other digital channels.
Shoppers spend 1.1x more and are 1.4x more impulsive when TikTok is part of the purchase journey. 
Why #TikTokMadeMeBuyIT, #BookIt, #TryIt
Naturally, we were curious to discover why TikTok inspires people to shop. I'm sure we're all familiar with the phenomenon #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt.
#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt garnered 27B+ video views. 
Actually, beyond shopping, it spilled over and TikTok inspires people to take all sorts of action: #TikTokMadeMeReadIt or Book it (for travel) or Try it (for experiences) or Clean it and the list goes on.
Inspiration reveals that a new form of commerce is emerging that is rooted in entertainment.
The next evolution of commerce fulfills these emotional needs through shoppertainment. Entertainment is beyond whatever stereotypical description we may have of it. Entertained means you are interested, you are present, you are compelled and mostly - you are invested. Content created with people, through people, and most importantly for people is the key to creating entertainment that inspires people to shop. 
Don't just be on their wish list - inspire them to 'need' it
Inspiration is the brand's most effective way to connect with its consumers and enhance the emotional connection. There is a new form of commerce emerging and consumers want to enjoy their shopping experience and be entertained. It makes them go from I want this to I NEED this, now.
TikTok is built to satisfy consumers functional and emotional needs more than any other platform. It's the place where entertainment meets commerce.
 Adage, How your customers' feelings influence what they buy
 IIpsos Brand Shopping Triggers - Mar 2022 – MENAT. The research was conducted by Ipsos for TikTok across UAE, KSA and Turkey using online panel methodology with a combined sample size of 3000 participants.
 Euromonitor 2021 & Ipsos Industry Interactions, Independent Analysis & Desk Research, 2022
 TikTok Internal Data, MENAT, 2022