What happened: Douyin’s beauty division achieved gross merchandise value (GMV) exceeding $15.4 billion (113 billion RMB) in the first three quarters of this year, up 43.5 percent year on year. It’s the first time the business’ sales have topped $13.6 billion (100 billion RMB) in just three quarters.
Brands on Douyin are also breaking records. Take domestic skincare brand Kans (韩束) for instance, Feigua Data shows that its GMV on Douyin in the first three quarters reached $232 million (1.7 billion RMB). The one-month sales of Kans‘ GMV on Douyin-only was about one-twelfth of Han Shu’s annual performance target in 2022.
Analysts estimate its GMV will exceed $273 million (2 billion RMB) by the end of this year, considering the upcoming Singles’ Day (11/11) shopping bonanza.
The Jing Take: New brands Dai An Di and Joyruoo have emerged on Feigua Data’s monthly Douyin top 10 best-selling beauty brands list. Neither has an official presence on China’s social platforms, such as Weibo and Xiaohongshu, where brands tend to operate their official accounts and release official statements. They are fully relying on Douyin to generate traffic for their livestreaming sessions.
It has been reported that the two brands are Original Equipment Manufacturers, or OEMs, which means they don’t have their own research laboratory, or manufacturing company, and rely on third parties’ formulas and production capabilities and only rebrand the final product for sale.
This shows how Douyin is hugely powerful in influencing consumers’ opinion and decision-making process. It lowers the entry barrier and provides a shortcut for emerging brands, especially Chinese ones that know how to leverage the short video app to generate buzz.
Yet, success is also a trap for the platform as consumers will become increasingly skeptical about purchasing new labels on it. Many brands like Dai An Di heavily invest in Douyin promotion and campaigns, but do not develop skincare formulas to retain consumers for the long term.
Domestic brands benefit from home-turf advantage. Alongside Kans, homegrown beauty device brand Jmoon and local skincare brand Proya took spot in the top five list, respectively third and fourth place.
Paris-based L’Oréal, which has topped Feigua’s top 10 list several times during the first half of the year, did not perform well in Q3 2023. In July, it fell to seventh place. Meanwhile, luxury skincare brand Helena Rubenstein, which ranked first in June’s list, dropped to 14th place in July.
July was the low season for beauty companies as they prepared for the upcoming Chinese Valentine’s Day, known as Qixi festival, in August.
Given the interest-based e-commerce platform’s ability to push new labels and boost sales, it is expected that an increasing number of brands, emerging and established, will invest in Douyin for this year’s Singles’ Day shopping festival.