In China, social video e-commerce even penetrates into the sales of agriculture products

It is said 2019 China’s 11.11 festival cemented the official arrival of short video as the key player onto the central stage of e-commerce extravaganza. 

From a traditional search-oriented platform (Tmall, Taobao), to immersive lengthy KOL live-streaming video broadcasting (Taobao LiveStreaming), all powered by Alibaba, this third wheel, short video social e-commerce adds a new form of art to trigger unintended purchase desires. Short video phenomenon took its shape around the year 2016, and in 2019 experts said its e-commerce capability started to release the full power amid this year double 11. 

Today two top tier players, represented by Kuaishou and Douyin are driving staggering new volumes of traffics for e-commerce conversion. 

But the two have slightly different market positioning.

So what do we mean by Douyin is creative content centric while Kuaishou focuses on e-commerce conversion? Let us look at two video examples of selling puffy jacket.

  • Kuaishou





  • Douyin


As you can discern,  Kuaishou allows a rather silly video of displaying the product, showing the logo, piles of inventory, etc. But it is going to be a big NO on Douyin. Selling a puffy jacket on Douyin actually demands a spy-romance kind of mini-episode to feed your audience. Many Douyin’s grassroots KOLs revealed if you bring a very direct sales strategy into your video design, Douyin’s AI algorithm will put you into scrutiny and give you a low weighting score on your video content. Once your account is below a certain level of the required score, you will be cast out as a pariah in the ecosystem, which means Douyin will no longer feed your video to any new audience.

Due to the conflict of interests between Tencent and Alibaba, the consumer journey within the two short video apps mark the difference as well. Kuaishou has set up its own storefront while Douyin often jumps to Taobao link.

Small ticket consumption items are the typical products being pushed into short video e-commerce. New data analytics constantly monitors the best selling products, for instance, the most popular one in the past week on Douyin is fruit at the price of RMB19.9 with accumulated sales volume at 166, 380.



Nevertheless, there is a substantial advantage of the direct sales strategy permitted by Kuaishou. It actually helps SME to promote not only B2C but also small B2B business. One impressive example is second-hand tractor trading, in which each transaction value could reach RMB 20,000~RMB 100, 000. Many small vendors said by showing the tractor videos on Kuaishou, it generates solid sales leads from the region which they could never be able to reach in the past.

One VC told even in the traditional manufacturing sector, small to medium factory owners are also scouting mechanical parts or equipment via Kuaishou for potential procurement.

Many believed the upcoming 5G should usher the short video e-commerce into full blossom.


By: Cecilia Wu