Douyin E-commerce: The New Way to Boost Your Sales in China

When TikTok is getting crazy in the western world, more and more people are putting their eyes on Douyin, the Chinese TikTok. Although they are very similar apps, e-commerce on Douyin is becoming the new playground for brands. How does it work? How can I make sales in China with Douyin? You will find a complete Douyin guide about all the e-commerce features and opportunities for your luxury or fashion brand.

How Does Douyin E-commerce Work in China?

Douyin E-commerce is Becoming a Top Online Market

Douyin is one of the biggest Chinese social media. Until April 2022, the monthly active users of Douyin reached 680 million. Compared to its biggest competitor Kuaishou, the platform reached 400 million monthly active users. After Double 11 in 2022, Douyin became the king of short video apps… but also of e-commerce sales.


Based on the huge user base, the e-commerce of Douyin is getting developed at a fast pace. In the first half year of 2022, the number of products on Douyin has exceeded 100 million, with a 109% YoY growth rate. More than 300K brands are now selling in Douyin while the number of Douyin stores has reached 1 million.

Douyin VS Tiktok: What is Special for E-commerce?

When we talk about Douyin, it is always compared with TikTok. Although most people think that they are the same app, it’s not the truth. Both are owned by the Chinese company Bytedance yes, but Tiktok is the international vision of Douyin. Due to the limit of legal reasons, Douyin is more advanced in e-commerce than TikTok.

Douyin is allowing sellers to create their own Douyin store which makes it super easy for customers to make purchases in several clicks. It also provides more advanced advertising tools such as video ads and location tagging.

Here are some special features of Douyin:

  • In-video research
  • Shopping in the Douyin store
  • Location tagging
  • In video ads
  • Pinned posts
  • Business accounts
  • Accurate targeting ads

Latest Trends you Need to Know About Douyin

Customers are Moving to Douyin from Other Platforms

The traditional e-commerce platform is Taobao, Tmall, and JD. But recently, customers are moving from these platforms to purchase on Douyin. Before, Chinese netizens used to discover new brands on Douyin, search for them on Taobao, and purchase on Tmall. Today, they implement the stay-in-app consumer journey. According to the report of CBN Data, the sales revenue of Douyin has a 150% year-on-year growth in the first half year of 2022. This pattern is showing a demand for a diversity of e-commerce among Chinese customers. They are now willing to buy different kinds of products on different platforms.

Chinese Sinking Market and The Lift on the Average Product Value on Douyin

Douyin e-commerce was targeting the “Sinking market” in China, referring to the lower-tier cities with a strong demand for cheap products. Due to the variety of economic situations in different regions of China, this “Sinking market” counts for a huge market share under the large volume.

Targeting this market, Douyin was promoting special offer sectors with a fixed low price. In this sector, the prices of products are usually from 4.99 to 9.99 CNY (0.66-1.33 Euro), some products are even sold at 1 CNY (0.13 Euro). This strategy successfully attracted millions of users from lower-tier cities but also resulted in the common image of Douyin. Most customers are now expecting cheaper products on Douyin.

This fixed image made most people less willing to buy high-end products on Douyin e-commerce, but things are changing now. In recent years, the average product value on Douyin is raising. Although currently, the majority of products on Douyin are still cheaper ones, we can expect a continuing lift on the average product value.

Top 10 Brands Sales on Douyin by Revenue

This is the list of the top 10 brands selling on Douyin by their revenue in the first half year of 2022. Apparel brands and sportswear brands are definitely winning on Douyin. We can also find some jewelry and accessory brands taking over a good market share:

  1. Adidas/阿迪达斯
  2. FILA/斐乐
  3. ROMON/罗蒙
  4. YAYA/鸭鸭
  5. V/雅鹿
  6. Feiyu/妃鱼
  7. NIKE/耐克
  8. China Gold/中国黄金
  9. ANTA/安踏
  10. WARRIOR/回力

Top 10 Categories on Douyin Live-streaming Sales During 2022 Double 11 Sales

Double 11 is one of the biggest sales festivals in China with a strong power of promotion. Douyin is also participating in the Double 11 sales festival, and the following are the Top 10 categories in the Double 11 of 2022. While in the past all the Chinese customers were purchasing on Tmall for Double 11, the major shift happened in 2022 when they decided to purchase on Douyin.

From this data, we can see that facial skin care became the most sold category on Douyin with 34.4% of revenue and 19.4% of SKU (Stock Keeping Unit). Following category is perfume and cosmetics, with 7.7% of revenue and 8.8% of SKU. The overall performance shows that Chinese customers are more willing to buy daily consumables on Douyin during Double 11.

How to Make my Sales on Douyin

Open your Own Store on Douyin

To open a Douyin store, firstly you need a Douyin account. Your store will be applied under the account either as an individual or a brand. You will need to proceed with a series of qualification processes. This is one of the most complex parts since you need to upload a variety of paperwork as required to make sure you have the legal qualification to open a store on Douyin.

After your qualification info is submitted, you will be able to fill in all the information including your store name, logo, and category. Brands need to be extremely careful about the categories they choose because a store will only be able to sell their products in a maximum of 3 categories. A business license is also required for your chosen category.

The third step is your banking information, Douyin will need your banking information for settlement. After all the information and documents are submitted, you will need to wait for their review. This review is really strict, where most brands were rejected because Douyin wants only the valuable brands. Any kind of assets can be a plus including your brand reputation, sales revenue, and cooperation with top celebrities will matter.

If your brand is approved after the review, you will be able to:

  • Pay the deposit
  • Link your Douyin store with your bank account
  • … And finally, open your Douyin store

2 Kinds of Paid Ads for Brands to Target their Customer

There are 2 ways a brand can show their ads to Douyin users: Splash Ads and In-feed Ads.

Splash Ads are pop-up ads when users open the app. This usually last 3-5 seconds, in the format of a video or picture. This kind of ad is paid per thousand impressions (CPM), with no limit to the number of times the ads can be presented.

In-feed Ads are videos or images that will be presented to the users while they scroll through their feed content. Brands can set a maximum number of 60 in-feed ads in which they can redirect the user to a certain product in your Douyin store. The distribution of your In-feed Ads will be done based on the Douyin big data. This tech can enable you to target a certain group of users by age, location, or interest.

KOL Advertising is Promoting your Brand in a Wider Range

Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) are becoming more and more important in the game of Douyin e-commerce. Chinese influencers in different fields have a strong influence on their followers. Selecting the right KOL depending on your brand identity can help you generate leads from their followers as well as build up a positive brand reputation. The interaction between KOLs and their followers can also help your potential customers know your brand better before making their first purchase.

A Combination of Regular Video Posts and Live-streaming

To sell on Douyin, having only an account and a store is not enough. You need to create content to attract your customers. A combination of short videos and live-streaming is a common strategy used by brands on Douyin. Your video quality can highly affect your sales, even as a new player on Douyin with a few followers, you can boost your sales with a viral video. Staying creative and showing your brand identity is always a good thing for brands on Douyin to stand out from your competitors.

Live-streaming is also an important way to attract customers. Thanks to the mini-program inserted in Douyin, customers can place orders during live streaming with a few clicks. According to the CBN Data, until June 2022, the live-streaming sales revenue of brands on Douyin has taken 38% of the total revenue. With continuing growth, live-streaming sales have become as important as regular posts.

Matrix Live-streaming Strategy is Pushing Douyin E-commerce

A Matrix strategy in live-streaming sales refers to the use of several live-streamers with diverse strategies and styles. Forming such a matrix can help brands generate more leads among different audience groups. This strategy can not only help grow your revenue but also build up your brand reputation among a wide audience.

The Matrix live-streaming strategy is now used by more and more brands on Douyin. Compared to the first half year of 2021, the percentage of brands with more than 3 live streamers has grown from 5% to 10%. More and more brands are seeing the long-term benefit of building up their matrix of live-streamers, this strategy is pushing the Douyin live-streaming e-commerce to the next stage.

GMA: Your Best Partner on Douyin

About Us

GMA is a digital marketing agency with more than 10 years of experience in China, committing to helping foreign brands win the Chinese market. With a team of more than 70 experts in marketing and branding, we have been working with hundreds of brands internationally. We have a special agreement with Douyin to enable western brands to open a Douyin store without a Chinese business license.

How Can GMA Help your Brand to Sell on Douyin

GMA has rich experience in the use of digital marketing tools including Douyin. We will analyze your brand identity and your current situation for your better launch on Douyin. Our support will start from the very beginning when you create your store to the daily operation of your Douyin store. You will be completely freed from the complex paperwork of qualification, and GMA will take the charge. You will also be relaxed from your daily operation and promotion, GMA will manage it for you!

ROI Focused Agency, For your Long-term Benefit

We don’t want our clients to lose money on unnecessary spending, and GMA is always willing to win with you. Focusing on the ROI, our object is to walk you to the best result at the least cost. We don’t only fight for your immediate growth in revenue, but also take care of your long-term image in the Chinese market.

At the same time, we are proud to announce that GMA is one of the very few agencies having an exclusive contract with Douyin. Your brand will be able to share this benefit and make a fast start and performance on Douyin. Contact us

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