Spot the Sellers: How to Find Trending Products on TikTok

Updated: March 01, 2024

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Published: January 18, 2024

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10 mins read

TikTok, a social commerce powerhouse, helps hungry merchants capture the next wave of consumers and turn trends into lucrative sales. Its undeniable reach of over one billion monthly users makes it a potentially transformative platform for selling.

Unlocking TikTok’s revenue potential takes more than a mere advertising presence, however. Instead, merchants today can take advantage of TikTok Shop, a thriving marketplace where users seamlessly discover and purchase products within the app.

Decoding what makes products trend on TikTok is the game-changing secret all sellers need. Read on to learn how to find top products on TikTok, uncover trends, and sync your marketing strategy with the platform’s distinct vibe to drive sales.

Trends are why TikTok thrives.

And we’re not talking about the latest dance craze or unhinged storytelling saga. TikTok and TikTok Shop are becoming prime destinations for discovering the latest must-have products that creators and brands share.

Popular products on TikTok offer more than likes. They elevate brand visibility, attract new customers, spur engagement, and drive sales. 

TikTok's viral power transforms well-marketed products into must-haves (#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt) and helps merchants make more money. 

The potential audience on TikTok Shop

With mobile spending expected to account for nearly half of US eCommerce sales by 2027, TikTok anticipates a surge in social buyers, targeting $17.5 billion in US eCommerce business this year alone.

Last year, 37% of US TikTok users directly made purchases, and estimates suggest the platform will attract more social buyers than Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest combined.

TikTok boasts a diverse audience spanning Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X, with a purchasing willingness comparable to Instagram. Given that users spend nearly double the daily time on TikTok compared to Instagram, though, it's evident that TikTok is significantly amplifying its impact on social commerce.

Image courtesy of Insider Intelligence

Boosting conversion rates with niche targets and tailored offerings

Nailing segmentation and personalization is critical to boosting conversion rates—just like in any marketing game plan. Niche targeting and tailored offerings help sellers build emotional connections with potential buyers while staying in tune with what they love. 

TikTok influencers know this is the key to creating an engaged audience. Creators already have huge followings on the platform, and brands are pouring more money into influencer marketing, with spending in this category growing at 14.0% compared to 4.1% in social ad spending.

Figuring out what makes a product popular on TikTok is like unraveling the secrets to digital stardom. It’s not just a stroke of luck (wouldn’t that be nice!). It takes strategic trendspotting, compelling content, a touch of ingenuity, and some savvy hustle. 

Unlocking a product's popularity on TikTok means you must evaluate some essential elements:

  • Visual appeal. Striking visuals are the initial magnet and key to capturing attention and creating a memorable experience.
@halara_official Packing for my workout outfits today.😝💗 #Halara #gymwear #foldingclothes #foldhack #gymsets #workoutset #fyp #ootd ♬ original sound - Halara_official

Clothing brand Halara (@halara_official) shows off its popular athletic clothing with an engaging flat-lay video. 

  • Trend alignment. Staying in sync with TikTok's trends elevates a product's visibility and allure. By aligning offerings with ongoing trends, sellers can tap into the platform's dynamic nature and resonate with the audience.
  • Engagement metrics. High engagement (i.e., likes, comments, shares, hashtag growth) shows how a product resonates with the audience, so monitoring these metrics can offer valuable insights.
  • User-generated content. Authentic UGC builds trust and credibility. Encouraging users to share real experiences creates a genuine connection with potential buyers and helps enhance a product's appeal.
@vprincemusic 😮‍💨 SLAYYYYYY #tiktokshopblackfriday #halara #halarawidelegpants ♬ original sound - Victoria Prince | Creator

TikTok creator Victoria Prince (@vprincemusic) relatably shares why she loves Halara’s viral wide-leg trousers.

  • TikTok's video style. TikTok's distinct video style, designed for effortless and binge-able scrolling, lies at the heart of its allure. Creators ingeniously captivate and engage users by packaging entertaining, informative, and relatable content into concise clips, typically under one minute, though longer-form content is gaining traction.

TikTok’s Discover page can reveal evolving trends, potential best-selling products, popular content, and trending hashtags. 

 TikTok’s Discover page shows users trending content based on their interests.

Sellers who dive into trends, consumer behavior, and engagement metrics can more easily decipher what users love, spot recurring elements, and predict the next big trend. 

Treating the Discover page as a strategic insights hub empowers sellers to anticipate opportunities, analyze content dynamics, and sync product offerings with trends while aiming for the coveted viral spotlight.

To research trending products on TikTok, use tools like TikTok's Creative Center to find top ads and trends.

TikTok’s Creative Center helps sellers find creators for potential collaborations.

Explore in-app tools like search capabilities to scout influencers for potential collaborations. See the products they’re currently promoting and how they do so.

Uncover insights by browsing popular hashtags like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt and #AmazonFind or category-specific ones like #fashion.

Searching popular hashtags, like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, serves up popular videos.

Expand your search with related product hashtags, and find even more hashtags by diving into related product posts. Then, continue by analyzing competitors and glean insights from brands you admire.

The role of KOLs, KOCs, and influencer videos

Creators and TikTok Shop influencers wield incredible power. They're the trendsetters shaping the TikTok landscape. Their nods give products instant credibility and help make them something consumers can’t live without—whether that’s true or not.

Brand-influencer collaborations build credibility, position products at the forefront of TikTok's marketplace, and help sellers see faster and more tremendous success on the platform than they might otherwise.

Merchants can use many tools to spot current trends, identify meaningful metrics, predict what’s next, and glean market insights. 

Trendspotting tools

Google Trends and AI-powered tools like TrendTok offer insights into emerging topics, regional interests, and TikTok behavior.

These tools help sellers predict trends and tailor strategies to TikTok's dynamic audience. They’re also handy for those who want to use AI for revenue growth

Adspy tools

Adspy tools like Minea, Flowspy, and Adflex.io help merchants dissect ad campaigns, decode competitors' strategies, and see what works. These tools empower sellers to refine their strategy and excel on TikTok.

Influencer identification tools

Tools like Upfluence, Influence Grid, and SocialBook simplify the hunt for TikTok influencers, categorizing them by industry, engagement, and location. These tools provide crucial insights to help sellers make smart decisions.


Not sure how to sell your products on TikTok?

Learn everything you need about how to start selling on TikTok Shop from our ultimate guide.


Stories from successful TikTok sellers

Brands in diverse verticals are hitting the TikTok jackpot. Take Stanley, for instance.

Stanley’s enduring brand became a TikTok darling (and national news) thanks to its Quencher H2.0 FlowstateTM Tumbler. This viral fame didn't just happen—it erupted through a wave of user-generated content, unboxing videos, and clever cup decorations. 

Stanley didn’t settle for simply being a beloved brand, though. They capitalized by strategically selling their products directly on TikTok, using the platform's features —like shoppable posts and influencer collaborations—to crank up buzz and sales. 

This approach fueled the viral sensation and contributed to their jaw-dropping revenue growth from $74 million in 2019 to $750 million in 2023.

@blancastucki I purchased a Stanley cup from the TikTok shop. Here is my unboxing! #stanleycup @Stanley 1913 #tiktokstanleycup #unboxingvideo #unboxingstanleycup #unboxing ♬ original sound - Blanca Stucki

Clinique is another TikTok brand success. 

The brand’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey saw a TikTok explosion after being linked to Liv Tyler's iconic Lord of the Rings look. Due to this revival, the 1972 shade became a cornerstone in Clinique's lineup. 

Clinique tapped into TikTok’s power by engaging creators and keeping the product in stock to strike gold. Despite the original creator's modest following, the #BlackHoney hashtag hit 552 million views, underscoring TikTok's impact.

Seeing the shift towards genuine content, Clinique views TikTok as a haven for skincare education, in line with its dermatologist-backed ethos. This social platform significantly influences beauty sales, drives insights, and shapes product development.

Clinique's ascent to the sixth spot among Gen Z's fastest-growing brands in Morning Consult's ranking underscores TikTok's pull, especially for nostalgic brands.

@geenahunt I’ve been seeing this everywhere and had to try it @Clinique #blackhoney #cliniqueblackhoney

Essential tips for a successful TikTok Shop strategy

Crafting a TikTok-specific product marketing strategy is your ticket to unlocking success. Here are tips for maximizing product visibility, understanding TikTok’s algorithm, and scaling your marketing strategy.

1. Optimize your product visibility on TikTok

Blending these strategic elements can captivate your audience and ensure your products get in front of their eyes.

  • Eye-catching visuals: Capture attention by making your content pop amid all the TikTok noise.
  • Craft compelling descriptions: Speak your audience's language, touching on their interests and aspirations.
  • Optimize tags: Incorporate hot keywords to boost discoverability.
  • Use TikTok's features: Engage with challenges, duets, or stitches to tap into the platform's interactive nature.

2. Understand how the TikTok algorithm can affect product popularity

Think of the TikTok algorithm as the gatekeeper to product visibility and popularity. It cherry-picks content based on user preferences, engagement metrics, hot topics, and trends. 

Likes, comments, and shares are its favorite signals, and they can propel your products into the spotlight, so craft engaging, top-notch content that’s in sync with what your audience loves to see your product visibility and sales potential soar. 

3. Scale your TikTok Shop marketing strategy

Supercharge your TikTok Shop strategy with strategic finesse.

  • Influencers and sponsored content: Enlist influencers or create sponsored content to expand your product’s reach.
  • Trending challenges: Participate in popular challenges or create branded ones to engage users.
  • User-generated content: Share authentic user-created content and glowing testimonials to build bonds with potential buyers.

Consistently publishing high-quality content in tune with your audience's preferences and TikTok's unique style helps you get your products in front of more potential buyers, build preference, drive engagement, and generate more sales.

Ready to start selling on TikTok Shop? Learn how AfterShip Feed helps merchants protect revenue and make order fulfillment hassle-free.

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