You may be used to either watching short videos, such as TicToc OR shopping via Amazon. A nice clear, clean line of demarcation. But perhaps that is about to change. The possibility is that soon, you will be able to watch your favourite TicTok, shop on line, send the link to a friend and also earn commission when she buys the same thing. In the near future?
In China, that future is now.
With the rise in popularity of Live Streaming in China, Chinese consumers are shifting their shopping habits to include video apps. Perhaps partially drawn by the convenience of being able to everything in one app. A trend that was probably initiated and popularised by Tencent when it Launched WeChat. The now, ubiquitous app in China that practically holds the key to live in China in one ecosystem.
In fact, it could well be WeChat that has also given rise to, or inspiration at least, the current phenomenon when, a few years back, they added a WeChat shop to their family.
Beijing Byte Dance is best know internationally for TikTok, but domestically, in China, it is the TikTok sister, Douyin that is currently making all the noise with its E-com ability. Last year, 2020, the app saw its revenue for e-com more than double. As did many on line shopping platforms. No surprise there really.
Current figures show that consumers who used the app shopped mostly on the existing and leading market heavy weights: Alibaba and JD MALL. The % of sales via Douyin’s one e-com site were comparatively minuscule. So might this grow to became more of a challenge to the top two?
Perhaps Douyin, alone might struggle to have any real impact, but the recent highly successful IPO of Kuaishou last week adds another possibility to the mix. We can be pretty sure that as 2021 unfolds and Chinese consumers on line shopping appetite shows no sign of be satiated any time soon that we will see more opportunistic players entering this field. Hungry for their share of the pie.
So much for China, what about International?
Well it seems that so far Facebook’s Instagram which recently added a similar feature, pretty much has this market to itself. And Amazon shows no signs of wanting to enter the short video or live streaming market . Yet. But all that may change in the coming months. Byte Dance are now talking of emulating Douyin’s success with TikTok in the International area. So if you’re TikTok short video fan and a compulsive on line shopper, to boot, this may be your idea of heaven.
For more information on the state of short vid cum e-com apps in China please see this article from CNBC; Watch out, Alibaba. Chinese video apps are quickly becoming e-commerce players too or for an update on TikTok’s potential expansion into U.S. e-commerce scene, check out this Caixin Global premium article: TikTok to Import Popular Social Shopping Models from China.
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