Do TikTok’s Trending Products Live Up to the Hype?

Quilt.AI
Quilt.AI
Published in
7 min readJun 27, 2023

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Brand Insights in 3 Sentences: If you’re on TikTok, we’ve all been tempted to buy things we’ve seen on it, but how do we know if it actually works? We put six trending products through the test by using Sphere to diagnose the product experience. Brands who have products going viral on TikTok must not be reliant just on the platform for its popularity, but also be aware of the narrative around it, and use the opportunity to build relationships with their consumers and continue to meet consumers’ needs by leveraging on AI.

The hashtag #Tiktokmademebuyit has over 57.5 billion views on the video platform so you’re certainly not alone in being influenced, or de-influenced into purchasing viral products. From beauty game-changers to quirky gadgets, TikTok has a massive influence on consumer behavior and users have taken on the role of product testers themselves. The constant question on our mind however is: Do these products actually work?

Using our AI-powered tool, Sphere, we selected 6 trending TikTok products and began our analysis on Amazon, where we analyzed hundreds of reviews per product and identified sentiments, as well as a few key themes.

  1. EZCO Mini Bag Sealer and Cutter

There’s nothing worse than a stale bag of chips and having to find the perfect-sized clip for your half-eaten bag is a hassle. This little device saves you the trouble by resealing it with a bit of heat, and doubling as a bag cutter to open it again.

However, sentiments within the reviews show that this device may not work as well as people expected. Only about half of the reviews expressed positivity about the device, while the rest were left disappointed. Customers found the product to be useful and liked that it was cute and compact, but most admitted that it took a few tries to get it right. The reviews from the lowest ratings were mostly from people who had a difficult time figuring out how to use the product, and admitting that it wasn’t as functional as they’d hoped.

Check out another one of our articles using Sphere’s text emotion and other interesting analysis.

2. Hatch Restore 2 Sunrise Alarm Clock

The Hatch Restore 2 is an alarm clock, noise machine, bedside lamp, meditation guide and even bedtime storyteller all rolled into this quarter-mooned shape device. The gadget allows you to customize your morning and bedtime routines with the goal of creating better sleeping habits.

The clock has become the stuff of the #thatgirl aesthetic dreams, with hundreds of TikTok videos of people placing it in their list of morning essentials and explaining how they include it into their daily rituals.

The ratings for the Hatch Restore 2 are pretty high, with 40% of reviewers being happy with the product. If you’re someone who struggles with anxiety and bad sleep, this may be helpful for you, since it comes with some pretty cool features and ability to customize settings to your liking. However, the 30% of reviews that expressed sadness about the clock cited faultiness, such as light functions not working properly or alarms not going off when set, and the lack of good customer service from the brand.

3. Stardrops The Pink Stuff

This bubblegum pink multi-purpose cleaning paste, appropriately named ‘The Pink Stuff’, first took off on #CleanTok and has made the idea of cleaning kind of, well…fun? The product claims to be so versatile, it can be used to clean heavy duty dirt or grime from virtually anything. Dozens of TikTok videos show the paste being used to clean stained kitchen floors to muddy sneakers, which inspired the company to adapt it into different forms like sprays and liquids.

This “miracle” paste had mostly raving reviews, with our analysis showing that about 64% of people felt happy and optimistic about the product. The paste really does work, it seems, with people experimenting on every surface they can find, from bathtubs to cooking pans. Unlike other cleaning supplies, the scent is also described as being quite pleasant and not too overwhelming. Even reviews with slightly lower ratings admit that the paste still works better than other ones they’ve tried.

4. CORATED Heatless Curling Rod Headband

Getting bouncy, voluminous curls without the heat damage and breaking the bank is the formula everyone on the Internet has been trying to crack for years. Heatless curls are nothing new, think your grandma’s hair rollers and flexi rods, and techniques like literally wrapping hair in socks or even bathrobe belts being introduced as hacks.

The latest curling product to take over TikTok is this pool noodle-like silk headband, where all you have to do is wrap your slightly damp hair around it before bedtime and remove it the next morning for perfect waves.

We found that about 55% of reviewers were happy with the product, while 44% were left unsatisfied. Reviewers who gave high ratings, however, swear by the product. They mention using it on a daily basis because of how well it works and how easy it is to maintain the curls once they take it out of the headband. The one thing customers couldn’t agree on but was mentioned multiple times in reviews? Whether or not the product was easy to sleep with.

5. Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops

The idea of self tanning can be scary, especially the thought of being stuck with a streaky, orange tan for days if not done correctly. These game changing tanning drops by Isle of Paradise could not make the task any easier. Available in three shades, light, medium and dark, all you need is a few drops in your lotion or moisturizer for a sunkissed glow. The drops claim to be easy-to-use, streak-free, hydrating and doesn’t come with that funky smell some other tanning products have. Sounds too good to be true? Amazon reviews show that it may not be.

Over two hundred reviews analyzed showed 0 negative emotion for the product, only joy and optimism. According to reviewers, the price point, how natural looking it is and ease of use are some of the best features of the product. Their only gripe is that the product does take a little trial and error with the number of drops to use.

After discovering how TikTok fans were adding the drops into spray bottles, a technique first discovered by creator Erica (@foamy3), the brand took note and created the mist version of their drops, making it easier to build a more professional-looking tan.

6. Go Youth Under-Desk Electric Treadmill

Working-from-home has many perks. We can run a few loads of laundry during the day, snuggle our dogs through a long virtual meeting, and now, get our daily steps right from our desks. People on TikTok are showing off their home office spaces and their handy desk treadmills, where they walk and send out emails, all at the same time. While there are a number of different desk treadmills available, The Go Youth Treadmill really was the one to take off on TikTok.

Sentiments from over a hundred reviews were mainly positive. Customers liked that the machine had wheels and could be moved from one place to another, and that the treadmill was quiet and had adjustable noise settings.

Ultimately, these products are so subjective that it’s difficult to come to a final verdict for them, but we hope that Sphere’s analysis has helped to paint you a better picture of the different consumers’ perspectives. Our analysis also shows that while #Tiktokmademebuyit may be dangerous for our wallets, it’s ultimately a very interesting avenue for trend exploration and product discovery for consumers today.

Write to anurag.banerjee@quilt.ai for more information on how Sphere can radically transform the way your company understands online data.

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Quilt.AI
Quilt.AI

We are a culturally rooted, AI powered insights firm that converts millions of data signals into human understanding. Visit us: https://quilt.ai