Livestream shopping presenters have become social media superstars in China, as half a billion online shoppers tuned in to spend $63bn on livestream shows last year.
The e-commerce delivery specialist ParcelHero believes it’s a retail revolution that will hit the UK very soon and be worth £millions to innovative brands that embrace livestream shopping first.
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT, says livestream shopping is perfect for Brits still reluctant to return to the High Street:
‘Livestream ecommerce in China accounted for around $63 billion last year, according to financial services expert Everbright. Live shopping shows generated $28bn on Alibaba’s Taobao Live platform alone. Young Chinese shoppers have embraced this as a return to the social side of shopping, without having to leave home.
‘Stars such as Lipstick Brother, otherwise known as Li Jiaqi, regularly attract several million viewers and sell hundreds of thousands of dollars-worth of products during a single programme. Influencers like Lipstick Brother have ensured Taobao Live’s sales volumes are growing 150% a year.
‘Kim Kardashian sold 150,000 bottles of her KKW perfume in just a few minutes when it was featured on top live streamer Viya’s show last year on Tmall, the main rival to Taobao Live. An incredible 13 million viewers watched the event.
‘As a result of numbers like this, the US is also beginning to tune into this latest online shopping phenomenon with the launch of Amazon Live – a QVC-style platform where viewers can see products demonstrated and leave comments before buying with a single click.
‘Amazon frequently trials new services in the UK shortly after (or even, sometimes, before) they first appear in the US. For example, Amazon Logistics, its own delivery arm, and Amazon Fresh groceries were both launched early in the UK. It will not be long before Amazon Live is pioneered here as well.
‘However, Amazon Live in the US is still far from the slick ‘entertainmerce’ – entertainment and e-commerce fusion – that is Chinese live shopping, with US presenters yet to attain celebrity status. In China, these micro-influencers are genuine stars in their particular markets and engage very closely with their audience. During flash sales, presenters call out their followers by name and say, “You need to take advantage of this deal now.”
‘There’s no doubt that Generation Z will fall in love with the idea here in the UK. It’s a perfect mix of marketing and entertainment. In 2019, there was a 79% increase in shoppers discovering new products on social media compared with 2017. Instagram, Facebook, Google and YouTube inspired many thousands of purchases after shoppers viewed posts from bloggers, celebrities and friends.
‘Britain’s young shoppers are just waiting for an Amazon Live or a similar livestream shopping platform to land in the UK. While it’s frustrating that there’s still no checkout on Instagram here in Britain, Facebook Pay is being rolled out. In addition, Facebook says its Shops feature, which is soon to appear on WhatsApp and the company’s other messaging apps, will fully integrate with livestreams.