Social media has taken China by storm in the last 10 years, starting with Weibo, and later on a more personal communications tool Wechat, onto the next wave of a more interactive approach: Livestreaming.
Initially being taken as a means for the ordinary individuals who aspire become internet celebrities, livestreaming breathes new life into the whole industry of social media and eCommerce. Many livestreaming APPs and platforms offer not only gaming, live sport commentating, singing and performance entertainment. A few years back, those who offer livestreaming entertainment online were usually rewarded by direct payments from users to the platform for the worthiness deemed by viewers. Below is a breakdown of the highest ranked livestreaming APPs in the Chinese market with 100 million active daily users.
Today 95% of e-commerce activity in China are conducted on smartphones. eCommerce giants such as Alibaba and Yang Ma Tou began to combine livestreaming with shopping experience back in early 2016. Today, Deloittein China estimates that the whole livestreaming revenue will hit $4.4 billion this year, up 32% from 2017.
As eCommerce consultant, DEXI Trading started the livestreaming experiment using Taobao Livestreaming to sell all things Denmark-related back in late 2016. Taobao Livestreaming is an application that combines a Taobao shop on Alibaba platform with real time shopping experience where customers can pick and choose from the available products from a physical store or location. This offers a great opportunity for those who wish to view the products before they commit a purchase, complimenting the drawback of any eCommerce in which customers usually have static pictures or short videos of a products to go along with.
Being one of the first real time shopping service provider in Denmark, 欧洲优品丹麦潘家has sold over 3 CNY million worth of goods in 2017 to customers in China, with products ranging from watches and jewelries of Danish design, home appliances, food supplements and other fashion accessories. By being the first mover in the market, participating in Alibaba event promotions such as Black Friday, Single’s Day and Christmas, our store has picked up over 20.000 followers during the first year through personal real time shopping. These followers form the basis for further business development and new brand introduction through the platform.
We recorded 40,000 views and over 200,000 likes back in Christmas 2016, when we livestreamed from a Christmas market in Copenhagen, Denmark. We quickly realized that this would be a great window to showcase Copenhagen as a city, as well as it being a great sales channel to promote Danish products. With the popularity of several Danish brands such as Pandora and Trollbeads, we began to livestream when we shopped these brands for our customers. Our highest sales record per livestreaming is around 40,000 CNY and our daily viewers in 2017 ranges from 3,000 to 8,000.
As China began to impose restrictions on livestreaming services, so did Alibaba and Taobao. But as we have accumulated a basis of followers that were strong and highly motivated to interact with us on a regular basis, our sales are still going strong. We kept experimenting with new products and contents by collaborating with different brands. In May 2018, we helped Stelton and Kähler with their brand promotion through Ehubnordic. Both sessions reached over 4,000 views and we completed these two sessions with our followers who later on conducted purchases on Ehubnordic’s Tmall Global Multi-brand store.
Livestreaming in collaboration with brands and the right KOL influence, is a very effective marketing tool in reaching out to audience and create great brand awareness to the Chinese market. Of course, it is only one of the means in a new era of eCommerce, complimenting all the eCommerce tools available for a brand to break through in a new market such as China.
Written by Deheng Xie, E-Commerce Consultant, DEXI Trading