We have already talked about DouYin, known in the West as TikTok, the short video app that is shocking the Western world but also and above all China.

In recent years, luxury brands like Gucci, Prada and Dior have jumped to the popular Gen Z platform, albeit with questionable levels of success. Now the game is being played on a new level, as the short video platform has expanded its e-commerce services with the launch of flagship stores dedicated to brands. The announcement does not come with great surprise after the launch of DouYin Pay in January. 

I know what you are thinking: “but it could have been sold earlier on DouYin”. That’s correct, but at the beginning, DouYin gave the possibility to link its official page to other platforms such as Tmall, Taobao and JD.com. A policy of restricting outbound commercial connections has been underway for about a year to push brands and KOLs to open stores on DouYin.

The difference between existing Douyin Stores and a flagship store is that anyone can apply for a Douyin Store while a flagship store requires brand verification, so it is more reliable for consumers. For those familiar with the Alibaba ecosystem, it’s like comparing a Taobao shop to a flagship store on Tmall.

Douyin’s “official brand flagship store” will help companies increase their conversion rates. The function includes the ability to create promotional banners, give “advice” on brands, produce coupons, give information on products and offline stores. You can use banners to promote new products, popular articles, live streams, and more. The Douyin brand vouchers, collected in the brand’s official flagship store, can be used online or offline.

According to Douyin’s predictions, this should increase the ratio of total page views to product views by more than 60% compared to now. The platform also said brands would see their click-through rate on the product increase by 250% monthly.

More than 220 brands, including Winona, Peacebird, Perfect Diary and Huawei, have already opened their stores. The platform has 600 million active users per day. More than 1,000 brand accounts are registered, the average number of followers on business accounts is 580,000, and more than 40 accounts have over one million followers.

DouYin is thus added to the already countless Chinese sites that offer the possibility of opening online flagship stores, such as Tmall, Little Red Book and WeChat. The difference? Compared to other platforms DouYin is like a teenager who has unlimited vitality and – most importantly – for now, there are no winners on the platform as he is still at an early age.

So far DouYin has been characterized by the sale of low-priced and mass-consumption products, but with the opening of the flagship stores, the micro-video app is making a strong statement to the market: we are ready to welcome luxury.

In March 2018, Dior became one of the first luxury brands to open a Douyin account. Since then many others have followed suit, opening their accounts on the platform, including Gucci, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Prada, Fendi and Burberry.

Behind the entry of these brands on the platform, there is, on the one hand, the desire to reach young consumers, on the other hand, to overcome the problem of “crowding” that has been created in the most inflated platforms, such as WeiBo and WeChat – the same phenomenon has led other social-commerce platforms such as XiaoHongShu to success.

A recent success story is certainly that of Cartier, which recently generated a campaign with over a billion views.

To become a reference point for fashion brands in China, Douyin has been involved in many fashion events over the last year. He collaborated with Shenzhen Fashion Week and supported brands with live streams.

Chinese designer brand LYNEE, which has 365k followers on Douyin, held a live stream during fashion week earning over RMB 1.28 million. The amazing thing is that the brand was founded in 2019 and its team has around 10 people. When I went looking for the brand on Taobao to see what kind of company it was, I found that it doesn’t have a Taobao or Tmall shop, just a shop on Douyin.

As always, we are faced with enormous potential that requires equally great efforts to be successful: deciding to invest in DouYin means adapting your content to its unique characteristics to reach a mostly young audience. Create engaging video content and understanding what could spark a new trend and go viral.

Perhaps the Douyin flagship store will open a new world for those luxury brands, and it is very likely that in the future it will become the norm for luxury brands to have not only a Tmall flagship store and a mini-program on WeChat, but now a flagship store as well. Douyin. We just have to stand and see.

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