Entertainment-based China social e-commerce and Douyin/ Tiktok: How to attract customers within seconds

April 17th, 2021

Douyin is an unstoppable force in social e-commerce nowadays. In just seconds, people can find their favorite goods through fun…


Scrolling through your phone, you came across this short 30-second video of a person gobbling down a delicious instant hotpot and you couldn’t help but drool at how attractive that hotpot looks. You were not thinking about eating hotpot and did not know about instant hotpot. With great curiosity, and feeling hungry, you discover more about the instant hotpot. You found that it was from a renowned manufacturer. Without a thought, you bought the item. In this simple scenario, we have showcased how Douyin uses its platform to boost an entertainment-based e-commerce through short videos.

What is Douyin?

You may have heard of Tiktok, a famous short video platform that took the wave around the world. Douyin is the original form of Tiktok, created in China to provide fun short videos to record “beautiful moments of life”. 600 million of the 1.4 billion population in China are on Douyin daily with 400 million searches for videos per day. Douyin has been popular among the younger generation (over 85 percent of users are below 30 years old) as they could spend hours swiping through 10-30 seconds videos. In the China social e-commerce platform, Douyin’s short videos can provide a direct, fun and less pressurized way to purchase goods. In recent years, there is a flood of creators also coming onto Douyin to provide their one-of-a-kind entertainment to people. Brands use this prompt to find KOL or use short skits to help promote their products.

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__Why is Douyin important in China social e-commerce? __

Douyin has been growing in importance based on the “FACT” algorithm – Field, Alliance, Campaign, Top-KOL. These are the key points that help brands on Douyin broaden their sales on the Chinese social e-commerce platforms. First, Field. By doing live videos now and then, brands can directly contact their customers and form a good relationship with them. Give live updates daily, they could be a part of their customers’ daily life, feeding new content and new value packages for their customers.

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Second, Alliance. Creators of Douyin have a massive fanbase and followers who love the entertainment and skits creator show. The reliance between the creators and fans are unbreakable. The fandom is an attractive force for brands. Collaborating with creators, putting products into part of their skits, can not only build a strong level of trust between brands and creators, and also allowing customers to trust the brand more due to their love for their fellow creators. Content creators are becoming the glue between brands and clients.

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Third, Campaign. Like Taobao, Douyin has a lot of campaign activities that push discounts and package deals for customers. Thus, it helps boost massive sales in a short period.

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Fourth, having Top-KOLs. Collaborating with signed KOLs of Douyin, with their recognition and place in the industry, is a sure measurement of the selling of products to customers/

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The goal that Douyin is aiming at in social e-commerce is to build a tight-knit relationship with customers. Making them attracted to the brand, become customers of the brand, to fans, to an unbreakable relationship with the brand. This way, not only do the brands benefit, but customers also benefit by receiving customized products based on their interest.

__What is entertainment-based social e-commerce, its relationship with Douyin and how is it so different from typical Chinese social e-commerce platforms? __

In theory, people look for items for survival, living, then entertainment, to lastly self-growth. Entertainment-based social e-commerce is a new way Douyin implements to attract sales. Different from most typical e-commerce platforms, Douyin looks to entertainment and self-growth in their customer’s purchase.

When consumers buy, what do they look for? Three things: Need, Attention and Trust. The sequence of these three factors differs in how and where customers purchase.

If a customer needs something, they would head to “search e-commerce” like Taobao, T-MALL. Needs come first. The way they help customers purchase is that the customer searches for something they need and be attracted to a certain product within millions of listing. After clicking into one they are most interested in, they read real-time reviews for trustworthiness, and if everything is good, they purchase.

If a customer was socializing with people, and suddenly came across something they needed, this is “socializing e-commerce” like purchasing through WeChat. Trust comes first. For example, a woman had friends who were doing baby clothing. She never thought she needed baby clothing then. Later, she conceives a child. She now requires baby clothing. Under the trust of friends, she purchases baby clothing for her need.

What Douyin does is an entertainment-based social e-commerce. Attention comes first. Going through Douyin’s short videos is like going on window shopping. Compared to spending hours walking around the mall for one item, Douyin lets you shop within the comfort of your home. You swipe through billions of 10-30 seconds videos with diverse and amusing content. This entertainment attracts you to keep wanting for more details about the brand and products. People are not in a pressured condition in purchasing, thus anything that catches the eye of the customer could cause an immediate urge to purchase. This is the most attractive aspect of Douyin with e-commerce.

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With this attractive feature of short videos and live shows everyday, in 2020, Douyin have assisted and raised 4.1 billion dollars to help with the social e-commerce in China. Marketing on Douyin for your brand is simple, easy and relatively fun. All you need is to take effort to build a relationship with your customers through entertainment. Making short 30 second videos and holding live shows are the key aspects to bring your brand into the sight of China social e-commerce platforms.

Douyin is an unstoppable and impactful force in e-commerce nowadays. In just seconds, people can find their favorite goods through entertainment. The way to present the product is unlimited. The relationship between brands and consumers are close-knit and trustworthy. Douyin can provide brands a fresh new way to attain social e-commerce, as well as giving customers a fun, easy way to shop.

If you would like to try Douyin to increase your brand visibility and sales in China social e-commerce, contact us.