Chinese TikTok Douyin e-commerce: A new playground for brands


Douyin, the Chinese counterpart of TikTok, has experienced explosive growth as a popular short-video app in China, boasting more than 600 million daily active users. In 2021, Douyin expanded its capabilities by establishing its own e-commerce ecosystem, introducing flagship stores for brand accounts, and developing in-house payment solutions to enhance its e-commerce operations. Today, Douyin serves as a platform for brands to engage with affluent Chinese consumers, attracting an increasing number of international brands who are exploring its e-commerce services. Notably, established brands like Lancôme, Estée Lauder, Make Up For Ever, and Coach have recognized the potential of Douyin and strategically opened official accounts, stores, and promotional campaigns within the app.

Public data suggests that Douyin’s annual gross merchandise value (GMV) for 2021 is projected to reach a staggering 800 billion RMB ($126 billion US). The past year witnessed significant growth for new brands leveraging Douyin’s e-commerce features, allowing them to efficiently connect with potential consumers and establish relationships through short videos and livestreaming. Douyin’s official data indicates consistent monthly growth in transaction volume for these emerging brands, with an average month-on-month growth rate exceeding 24% from January to November 2021.

As a dominant social platform capturing the attention of younger generations, Douyin presents an intriguing testing ground for brands looking to expand their e-commerce ventures. This article delves into how brands have harnessed this new battleground to attract consumers and drive business growth.

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