Chinese tech giant Bytedance has reportedly formed a self-operated clothing team and launched an online fast fashion boutique called “Feiyun Zhishang” on the Douyin app.
The store mainly sells fashionable women’s clothing, including but not limited to down jackets, knitted sweaters, hooded jackets, and more with prices ranging from tens to hundreds of dollars. At present, delivery is limited to Zhejiang Province, with supported compensation for late delivery and seven-day no-reason return.
This is not the first time ByteDance has ventured into the fast fashion apparel business. In 2019, it acquired a menswear brand and launched a store on Taobao, selling T-shirts, coats, and more. In 2022, ByteDance also launched fast fashion women’s clothing platforms Dmonstudio and IfYooou abroad.
Other major Chinese internet platforms have also shown interest in the clothing business in recent years, entering the market in various ways such as investment, self-operated research and development, and opening clothing stores. At present, JD.com’s fashion business unit plans to create a top 100 fashion benchmark brand by combining brand stratification and subdivision of the track in 2023. Other tech giants such as Tencent and Alibaba’s Taobao have also dabbled in launching fast fashion apparel stores offline and online, with cross-border fast fashion e-commerce overseas.
According to a report released by iiMedia Consulting, the retail sales of apparel products from large-scale enterprises in China reached 997.46 billion RMB (145 billion USD) in 2021. The report also predicts that the Chinese clothing industry will experience a shift towards high-end and brand-oriented development, resulting in a surge of national acceptance of these products, and an estimated revenue of 1,107.18 billion RMB (160 billion USD) by 2025.
Additionally, survey data suggests that the majority of Chinese consumers will opt for e-commerce platforms to purchase clothing, with an anticipated 67.9% of sales occurring online in 2022. These findings indicate that online channels will eventually become the dominant platform for consumers to shop for apparel.
Given the withdrawal of a number of foreign brands from physical stores and online stores, ByteDance has more market space than ever to continue experimenting with the clothing industry. Meanwhile, as the size of the apparel market in China continues to grow, internet companies are expected to accelerate their deployment in this trillion-level market by virtue of their own advantages in traffic and channels.