After a month of market testing, China’s booming video-sharing platform Douyin officially unveiled its supermarket business on its own app during the Spring Festival break to compete with rising competition in the already fierce online grocery arena at home.
Douyin made a relatively low-key debut in the new business segment and did not set up a specific entrance on its app, therefore, users have to search for “Douyin Supermarket” themselves in order to access grocery shopping. Up to nine categories of self-operated products ranging from beverages and personal care items to household goods are available at the supermarket, with same-day delivery service provided for orders placed before 4pm.
Apart from the Douyin payment method which enables users to complete payments by linking their bank cards to the app, other online transaction options such as Alipay and WeChat Pay are also supported to make consumers’ grocery journeys more convenient. The online grocery sector has already drawn in many domestic e-commerce giants due to its exceptionally lucrative climate, and the total revenue in 2022 witnessed a 4% increase even when the country was struggling with an economic downturn.
In comparison to the major players in the supermarket battlefield like JD.com and Tmall, there is still some room for Douyin to enrich its product varieties especially within the alcoholic beverage category which only has 4 brands available to choose from. The fresh food sector has always been the main focus for supermarket players but is not yet covered in Douyin’s grocery business. This is likely due to the demanding requirements in regard to post-harvest preservation and logistics storage.
Despite the existing hurdles, Douyin possesses an absolute and incomparable advantage regarding its enormous userbase which reached 800 million as of Q3 of 2022. As a new player in the arena, Douyin needs to further build up its logistics chain and enrich its products categories so as to elevate consumer experiences and open up more possibilities.