Short video app Douyin expands e-commerce features

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Bytedance Douyin e-commerce TikTok short video
Screenshots of a product feed following a short video for a meal replacement milkshake with similar products (left) and other recommended products (right). (Image credit: TechNode)

Short video app Douyin has recently updated its e-commerce feature, allowing users to view an assortment of similar or related products in feed rather than just a single product after clicking on an advertisement, media outlet 36Kr reported.

Why it matters: In addition to boosting ad revenue by streamlining ad creation, deployment, and management across its content platforms, Bytedance also appears to be working on improving its user experience and optimization.

  • Bytedance launched a video ad-creation tool for Douyin in September, prior to which it also released two apps that track advertising and marketing campaign performance.

Bytedance overtakes Baidu, Tencent in H1 digital ad revenue

Details: Upon clicking product ads located at the bottom of short videos, users are directed to a feed consisting of videos containing ads with similar or related products. Before the update, users were only able to see one product after clicking on ads.

  • While some feeds rank videos according to number of user likes, others directly display videos selling similar products ranked by sales figures. Another type of feed contains unrelated products that users might be interested in placed in no specific order.
  • A short video advertising a meal replacement milkshake, for instance, leads users to a feed where the top six results are videos from other creators advertising the same product, followed by a list of recommended products such as fruit, alcoholic drinks, and seafood.
  • Users are not allowed to rank the feeds to display results according to sales or price.
  • It is unclear what parameters Douyin uses to dictate which type of feed to display for different users.
  • Bytedance was not available for comment when contacted by TechNode.

Context: Bytedance overtook search giant Baidu and gaming behemoth Tencent to hold the second-largest share of China’s digital ad market in the first half of 2019, powered primarily by strong performance from both Douyin and content aggregator Jinri Toutiao.

  • Bytedance’s digital revenue in the first half of the year jumped 113% year on year to RMB 50.0 billion ($7.1 billion), accounting for 23% of the total digital media spending in China.