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All About the Origins and Impact of the 'Wirecutter Effect' That Drives Online Consumer Behavior

The Wirecutter and TikTok have changed how people shop. The Wirecutter, founded in 2011, is a trusted source for product advice, testing items thoroughly and focusing on what readers want.
Image Source: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels

Social media influencers as well as popular pages are a driving force behind consumer behavior in the age of e-commerce. Among such platforms, Wirecutter has grown to be one of the US's most dependable sources for product recommendations and reviews. Retailers frequently see a significant increase in sales when one of their editors selects a product as a Wirecutter Pick because of how trustworthy it is. To gain this level of credibility, Wirecutter has spent years putting items through rigorous testing by an unbiased panel of specialists. Out of over a thousand products, their main goal is to identify and confirm the best ones, before amplifying them. Now the anytime a product experiences overwhelming demand following social media reviews, the phenomenon is dubbed as a result of the wirecutter effect.

Image Source: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels

Thanks to the enormous demand triggered by the wirecutter effect, prices for the X100V soared on online retailers like Amazon. The X100VI, the newest model in the X100 series, has been released by Fujifilm and is now up for preorder. Users of TikTok frequently choose the X100VI because of its small size and superior video quality. Some photographers, like Kostas Garcia, have already tested the X100VI even though it isn't yet available, and they have documented their experiences on TikTok.

Image Source: Fuji Film
Image Source: Fuji Film

Rhode: Hailey Bieber's Cosmetics Line Success Story

Rhode, Hailey Bieber's cosmetics line, is highly sought after and frequently runs out of stock, ever since it received endorsement via user reviews. For a lip balm, the brand even had over 314,000 customers on the waitlist. Rhode's astute marketing strategy is responsible for its success in the beauty business. Utilizing Hailey's widespread following and collaborating with marketing gurus such as Lauren Rothberg, Rhode deliberately employed social media to advertise not just its merchandise but also its principles, emphasizing genuineness and openness. 

Rhode's success may be seen in its sales figures, where its best-selling product, Peptide Lip Treatment, is expected to sell one million units. All of Peptide Lip Treatment's products sold out in three days of its June 2022 launch, creating a 440,000-person waitlist. Rhode went viral partly thanks to Hailey's partnership with Krispy Kreme on the "Strawberry Glaze" promotion. The collaboration, which got underway in 2021, emphasized Hailey's vision and commitment to building a distinctive brand.

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Another product that became well-known on TikTok, Trader Joe's frozen kimbap is a novel offering consisting with rice, bulgogi or fishcake, omelet-style egg, pickled radish, carrots, spinach, and seaweed. People from different backgrounds tried it and shared their experiences on social media, especially TikTok, despite reservations about the texture of the contents when frozen and reheated. These positive takes triggered the wirecutter effect, and resulted in demand so high that there is a shortage of the frozen delicacy. With almost 11 million views, Ahn's TikTok video probably contributed significantly to the dish's appeal.

Image Source: Exterior of Trader Joe's grocery store with parking lot and flower display |Photo by Smith Collection Gado | Getty Images
Image Source: Exterior of Trader Joe's grocery store with parking lot and flower display |Photo by Smith Collection Gado | Getty Images

TikTok's FYP (For You Page) algorithm, according to trend forecaster Coco Mocoe, favours products with high engagement, instilling a sense of urgency and a desire to buy before it's too late. This tendency is also influenced by shifts in our online buying behaviours and production slowed down during the pandemic. However, particularly for smaller firms, viral success isn't always a sure thing. For example, restaurants may face difficulties coping with unexpected internet celebrities, like large crowds and hard-to-accommodate menu hacks.