The new era of e-commerce live streaming
Insights | Jul 2020

Live streaming has been a growing trend and a more popular preference for Chinese consumers for a while now. Live streaming has been foreseen as the new upcoming era for long especially due to the continuous high online competition between the different marketplaces. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, e-commerce live steaming has quicker than ever reached a new break point. Due to the outbreak, stores have been forced to be closed and therefore businesses have had to find alternative solutions by utilizing the digital opportunities even further. During this year’s Mid-Year promotion also called 618-Shopping Festival, all marketplaces took live steaming to a total new level, both in connection with celebrity and KOL types and the quantity of live streams provided.  

Almost Everyone Joined Live Streaming

Besides the usual marketplaces like Taobao, JD.com, Pingduoduo, Kuaishou and Douyin, various platforms invested heavily in live streaming during the 618-shopping festival. The investments were not only put into the quantity of the live steams but also the quality of the live steaming hosts. Tmall invited over 300 celebrities and over 600 CEOs and top management to their live stream to promote their products such as management from brands like Huawei, Lenovo and L’Oreal.

Chinese Consumers Love Live Streaming

According to the recent research by Data100, over 66% of people have watched live streaming in the last month which made live streaming to the top five list of things to do online within the past month. The top four things to do online before live steaming are Online Shopping, Watch Short Video, Use Online Chatting APPs, and Watch Movie &TV Series. If we look at the statistic on what Chinese consumers have watched in the last three months, then over 82% of people have watched E-commerce Live Streaming.

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The audience of live streaming is large and selling through live streaming is a very efficient sales method which provides high conversion rate. According to Data100, there are differences on performance from category to category but the top three categories for e-commerce live steaming conversion are food, cosmetics, and fashion. This is a clear indication that live streaming has become very successful in China and is therefore important for businesses to consider when doing business in China not only for the sales and promotion perspective but also for the branding perspective.

Still Potential to Growth

The sales data released for 618-Shopping Festival by JD.com and Taobao shows huge potential of E-commerce live steaming. Prior to the festival, JD.com was a relatively newcomer to live streaming but still had a GMV which reached CNY 10 million within 2 minutes and in cooperation with Kuaishou and brought CNY 1.42 billion sales in one day from live streaming only. JD.com total GMV during the 618-Shopping Festival was CNY 269.2 billion.

Taobao, the pioneer of e-commerce live streaming also made the new record with over 250% growth compare with last year.

Are You still Waiting?

The China digital market is more active than anywhere else in the world and changes can be expected every second. Some brands have already fully joined the battle while other brands are waiting for the right moment. With the growing importance of China globally and the rapid changing market, there is no right moment. One thing is for sure, if you plan to enter China or already in China, online presence is inevitable and necessary to succeed in the market. So, are you still waiting?

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