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How Douyin became an Undisputable Live Shopping and E-Commerce

Douyin is a short video social media app booming in China, with more than 600 million daily active users. According to the South China Morning Post, Internet users spent an average of 125 minutes a day on short videos in 2020, a sharp increase from 76 minutes in 2017. This app is becoming more and more important in the daily lives of its users.

Chinese Internet users are fond of consumption. They know no boundaries between entertainment and purchase. They like to see what they buy and buy what they see. Brands must take advantage of this opportunity. Brands have to adapt and innovate to capture the consumer’s attention and make them buy. Furthermore, this attention goes through social networks, where they spend most of their time on their smartphones. Brands must therefore be present online and offer content adapted to what is being done online.

Douyin, with its short video format, is a social network exceptionally well adapted to e-commerce and this way of consuming. Indeed, the format and the algorithm have understood everything to attract and keep the attention of the Internet user. All that is left is for the brands to make the user want to buy the product or the service offered.

In 2021, Douyin created its own e-commerce ecosystem, launched flagship stores for branded accounts, and created platform-owned payment solutions to facilitate its online sales.

What makes Douyin different from other Chinese e-commerce giants such as Tmall or On traditional e-commerce platforms, the sales format is like a supermarket where products are displayed on shelves. The main way to search for products is through an intention to buy and, therefore, an active search for the desired product. On Douyin, on the other hand, the buying behavior is much more unconscious and passive. Users will be influenced by the content they view, and if users want to buy a specific product, they can enter keywords to search for videos on that topic.

Therefore, this format and this type of transaction are innovative and work worldwide. Douyin is more meaningful to most under its international name. Tiktok is also a sensation in the rest of the world, but with fewer commercial dimensions because the target market is not yet at this stage.

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