Douyin: What Brands Should Know About the Chinese Version TikTok

In this article, we will present a comprehensive overview of Douyin and actionable strategies to harness its potential for international brands’ business growth.

by Azoya

In the ever-evolving landscape of global e-commerce, China stands out as a lucrative market for international brands and retailers. Among the various platforms available, Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, has emerged as a powerhouse for brand promotion and sales. In this article, we will present a comprehensive overview of Douyin and actionable strategies to harness its potential for international brands’ business growth.

Douyin, a short-form video platform owned by ByteDance, has taken the Chinese social media scene by storm. Launched in 2016, Douyin has grown exponentially, boasting over 743 million monthly active users as of December 2022. It has become an integral part of the daily lives of Chinese consumers, offering a unique avenue for brands to connect with their target audience through engaging short videos.

While Douyin and TikTok share the same parent company and core features, they cater to distinct audiences due to regional restrictions. TikTok is the international version, accessible globally except in China, where Douyin takes its place. This distinction is crucial for brands aiming to tap into the vast Chinese consumer market.

Douyin E-Commerce Surged in the Last Two Years

Recent trends show a significant surge in Douyin's e-commerce activities over the last two years. Chinese consumers are increasingly turning to Douyin not just for entertainment but as a vibrant e-commerce platform. Users migrate from other platforms, seeking a more immersive and personalized shopping experience. The seamless integration of short videos and shopping features makes Douyin a one-stop shop for entertainment and commerce.

Douyin reported $274 billion in e-commerce sales in the first ten months of 2023. This Single’s Day, it achieved a 119% Year-on-year and is rapidly gaining market share from rivals Taobao and Tmall.

Douyin Ads Are High-Efficient but Also Competitive

Douyin's advertising ecosystem is highly efficient, offering various ad formats to cater to different marketing objectives. The advanced algorithm is the key of Douyin advertisement, which could automatically adjust exposing audience groups, regions and times according to collected data from users. This will make the advertisement more accurate and increase the conversion rate. With features like sponsored content, branded challenges, and precise targeting options, brands can achieve remarkable results.

However, due to the large traffic and high efficiency of Douyin, the brands competition is fierce. More similar or high quality content are emerging, so distinguishing your brands or products from others is significant to a successful promotion.

Douyin Beauty is Booming

The beauty industry on Douyin deserves special attention. It is reported by Shanghai Securities that the GMV of beauty products on Taobao is $2.2 billion with a 6.1% decrease, while Douyin beauty saw a 60.4% surge to $1.9 billion from 2023 January to August. With a dedicated community of beauty enthusiasts, brands in this sector can leverage Douyin to showcase products, tutorials, and engage with consumers directly. Beauty brands can capitalize on the platform's visual nature to create compelling content that resonates with their target audience.

How Should International Brands or Retailers Leverage Douyin to Grow Business in China

Entering the Chinese market through Douyin requires a strategic approach that aligns with the platform's dynamic nature. We provide some key strategies for international brands and retailers:

1. Embrace Short-Form Video Content:

Create visually appealing and entertaining short videos that showcase the selling points of your products. Leverage storytelling and trends to capture the attention of the audience.

2. Collaborate with Douyin Influencers:

Partner with popular Douyin influencers who align with your brand. Influencers have a strong impact on user purchasing decisions and can significantly expand your reach.

3. Optimize for Douyin's E-commerce Features:

Make the most of Douyin's in-app shopping features, including "Shop Now" buttons and product tags. Ensure a seamless shopping experience within the platform.

4. Leverage Douyin's Advertising Solutions:

Craft compelling ad campaigns that align with Douyin's unique ad formats. Utilize precise targeting options to reach specific demographics and maximize ad efficiency.

5. Understand and Adapt to Local Culture:

Tailor your content and marketing strategies to resonate with Chinese cultural preferences. Understanding local trends and traditions is crucial for building an authentic brand presence. A Chinese expert team may help you deal with that efficiently.

6. Monitor Analytics and Improve:

Regularly analyze Douyin analytics to assess the performance of your content and campaigns. Use data-driven insights to refine your strategies and adapt to changing consumer behaviors.

In conclusion, Douyin presents a golden opportunity for international brands and retailers to establish a strong foothold in the dynamic Chinese market. By understanding the platform's unique features, leveraging e-commerce capabilities, and crafting engaging content, brands can unlock the full potential of Douyin to drive brand awareness, engagement, and sales.


More information about Douyin, please read this article.

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