Douyin Tests Food Delivery Function, Which is Different from Meituan

Chinese media TechPlanet reported that short video platform Douyin is now testing a food delivery function “Xindong Waimai” and has put it into limited operation.

On July 14, ByteDance set up a team exclusively for a food delivery business and, at the same time, launched a food delivery mini program named Xindong Waimai in its Douyin app. The slogan of the new function is “Xindong Waimai, Eat What You Love”. The mini program is in its “alpha testing stage” and the company has not been seeking outside investment just yet.

Recently, Douyin has made progress in its food delivery business. According to TechPlanet, the portal of Douyin food delivery is found through its live streaming channels while anchors can also recommend different food delivery services to their viewers. Evidently, Douyin hopes to bring food delivery to the live streaming market and give products a more prominent role. 

The move is intended to increase consumption that is integrated with Douyin app rather than have users navigate away from the app to place an order. The app presents food delivery services by live streaming, giving the products a stronger sense of reality, increasing users’ desire to buy, and transforming the static food delivery advertising market into a more dynamic one. 

It is worth noting that users could order food delivery on Douyin through live streaming and the mini program.

The alpha test has the Douyin food delivery portal button will emerge at the lower right of the live streaming channel with a small menu image. Users will be able to find restaurants offering food delivery service nearby by clicking the picture. 

After clicking on the food delivery portal on the live streaming channel, users will see recommended food delivery cards containing the name, address, and types of food on offer at nearby restaurants. Users can switch restaurants, view details and place orders. In addition, the food delivery card also shows the approximate delivery time. A source says restaurants are responsible for the delivery so they can choose the best method possible.

Food delivery stores on Douyin look similar to those on Meituan, as both display store information on the top, menu bar on the left, and price and a menu in the middle.

Users also follow the same procedure to buy food on Douyin as on Meituan by selecting the food, flavors, size, and quantity. After filling in the receiving address and other information, users pay for their order. Booking services are also available. It should be noted that apart from paying for their order, users need to pay packing and delivery fees. The instructions on how to place an order can be found in the Douyin food delivery mini program.

Douyin has grown into a platform of over 600 million DAU. With such a large audience base, the company is constantly trying to monetize it. Over the past year, Douyin has increased its investment in e-commerce and local life businesses.

Earlier, Chinese media outlet Latepost reported that Douyin set the annual GMV target of local life business in 2021 at 20 billion yuan ($3.097 billion). But later that same evening, Douyin announced the report was untrue.

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According to TechPlanet, ByteDance is expecting to see revenues from the localization of products and services to top about 6 billion yuan in 2021 alone. This combination of local life business and the food delivery market might very well be a new avenue for growth for the company.

At present, the food delivery market is rather fixed, with Meituan and occupying a large part of the market share. Meituan‘s Q2 Financial Report shows that the number of new active users of Meituan is 59 million, and the total number of active users is close to 630 million.

Douyin still faces tremendous difficulties in developing its food delivery business. Its current strategy focuses more on empowering its own resources and building a food delivery platform that collects a variety of merchants, thereby avoiding direct competition with Meituan and