The Closure of Dmonstudio Won’t Stop ByteDance’s Commerce Ambition

What Happened: Dmonstudio, a retail website for women’s fashion and accessories, has shut down after just three months in operation. The company, created by TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, was on track to reach over 100 countries and was set to launch 500 new products per week.

On February 11, Dmonstudio posted a notice of its closure on its home page, stating that it will continue to provide after-sale services to users that have already purchased items on the platform. As of yet, the platform hasn’t outlined the reason for shutting down. 

ByteDance’s Dmonstudio was likened to fast fashion giant Shein. Photo: Screenshot, 36kr

The Jing Take: ByteDance has been aggressively expanding into e-commerce. Last year, it launched TikTok Shop (offering live video shopping) in Indonesia and the United Kingdom. This latest initiative, Dmonstudio, was reportedly created to go head-to-head with fast-fashion industry titan Shein, which is similar in terms of website positioning, product category, and design style. It was even rumored that the latter recruited almost 100 employees from the market leader.

Although ByteDance hasn’t given a reason for the failure, the lack of users is most likely one of the main reasons. According to e-commerce and industry digital knowledge service platform ebrun, before it shuttered, the website only had 8,000 visitors per day and web page views of 16,400. 

Undoubtedly, Dmonstudio’s dramatic closure won’t stop ByteDance’s ambition to expand global e-commerce. In addition to TikTok Shop, the company has also ramped up e-commerce expansion through the Fanno shopping app (launched in Europe in 2021) which provides global users with cost-effective and comprehensive discounted categories such as clothing, 3C products, fashion accessories, and beauty products.

This is a worldwide trend that is being replicated by foreign giants like YouTube, Instagram, and Amazon. As rivalries in the e-commerce sector pile in, each platform must have a unique trait and operation to attract and retain customers. Otherwise, they will meet the same fate as Dmonstudio.

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.