As a business looking to succeed in the Chinese consumer market, you already know about mobile payments and e-Commerce, ubiquitous in Chinese customers’ daily lives. But what about Livestream Shopping? Here are 10 things you need to know about this new way of shopping that is changing the face of e-Commerce in China.
- According to Pete Lin, social media expert, and Managing Director for Northern Asia at We Are Social, a global socially-led creative agency, Livestream Shopping is more than a trend. It is currently the most established way of shopping in Asia, particularly in China where live platforms dominate the consumer market.
- Livestream Shopping is a mix of entertainment and e-Commerce. Viewers buy products online from people who show off their latest finds through live demonstrations and direct sales pitches. But unlike traditional TV-based home shopping, viewers are not passive and interact with the host and other viewers during live sessions, which create a sense of community.
- Livestream Shopping has been part of the Chinese online shopping culture since 2016 when major platforms like Taobao and JD.com started offering channels on their e-Commerce sites. But it really boomed during the pandemic when people could not visit physical shopping locations.
- The biggest Livestream Shopping site in China is Alibaba’s Taobao, but shoppable livestreams can be found on many other platforms ranging from JD.com, Weibo, and WeChat, to TikTok (Douyin) and video game live streaming platforms that offer a shopping function. Livestream can happen in many different locations; it all depends on the brands. Shoppable livestreaming has been offered in wineries, farms, and even homes for sale.
- Chinese celebrities, influencers, and KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) are typically hired as Livestream Shopping hosts, but there are plenty of other livestreaming stars who started off in make-shift studios out of their apartments. Anyone who can research and talk enthusiastically about products they love and engage a large audience can make a career out of it.
- Livestreaming is the fastest growing digital marketing channel in China. It started off as an entertainment medium but has evolved into a platform for education, business, communication, marketing, and now Live Commerce—the name given to the combination of Livestream Shopping and e-Commerce.
- Livestream Shopping that converts into online sales is more successful when it happens on a brand’s e-Commerce site or else viewers/customers get distracted. That’s why big companies like Alibaba offer a complete package including mobile payments.
- Chinese customers love Livestream Shopping because it’s creative and modern, but mostly for the real-time aspect. They’re also concerned with the safety, quality, and authenticity of the products they buy, and Livestreaming Shopping gives them the opportunity to see the products being used in real-time, to ask questions, and to validate the quality beforehand.
- Real-time is also the biggest benefit for merchants as it increases sales conversion and offers powerful insights about customers. Also, starting a business from scratch in China can be hard and Livestream Shopping eliminates barriers.
- Livestream Shopping has been labeled the future of Chinese e-Commerce and is catching on in other parts of the world, where retailers are inspired by the spike in e-Commerce sales. In Europe for instance, pure play e-Commerce revenue growth rose 40-80% in Q1 of 2020, compared to the same time in 2019. In North America, Amazon launched Amazon Live in 2019, a Livestream Shopping platform that brought in big-name celebrities like Jessica Alba to headline live shopping streams. Facebook is currently developing a live shopping section for its app that it plans to expand to Instagram. And online luxury fashion retailers like Moda Operandi, have also launched livestream shopping on their websites.
OTT Pay is a leading payments provider in Canada. We have a unique understanding of China’s consumer landscape when it comes to e-Commerce and mobile payments, and we’re proud to add “Livestreaming” to the list of services that we currently offer to our merchants! Check out our Livestreaming event on December 12 at 8 pm on Instagram Live and RED (小红书)!
To learn more about OTT Pay’s New Livestreaming Service and how it can help your business promote its products or services to Chinese consumers, give us a call at (+1) 800-688-9838 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.