Live video broadcasting has proven to be a fun, engaging way to connect with followers and grow the audience. 78% of online viewers are watching video on Facebook Live as of 2018. In China, live streaming has stepped up the game and become a useful tool to drive e-commerce traffic and sales.
Audiences are quite active in live streaming in China, which makes it a good channel for marketing. 50.5% of them would make comments, over 40% of them would like it, reward hosts (free-to-play), and share videos to others, according to a study by iResearch.
86% of users thought positively about live streaming marketing. Among them, those younger than 24 years are more likely to be attracted by new products release and buyer’s sharing.
In 2018, Taobao’s live broadcasting platform Taobao Live delivered more than 100 billion yuan sales of products, a year-on-year growth rate of nearly 400% according to Alibaba.
A total number of 81 live rooms on Taobao Live reached 100 million yuan sales; a total of 5 organizations broke 1 billion yuan sales. Taobao Live aims to deliver 500 billion yuan sales in the next three years.
80% of the broadcasters are female. The number of Taobao Live broadcasters with a monthly income of over one million yuan has exceeded 100 people.
Meet Viya, a top broadcaster on Taobao Live
Viya used to be a small star in the entertainment industry. She, born in the “fashion family”, circled back to the apparel industry while working as a model and operating offline apparel stores. In 2011, she saw the business opportunity and closed all offline stores and moved to the Taobao platform.
Her fifth year on Taobao, 2015, had a total sales of over 10 million yuan on Double 11 but suffered a net loss of three million yuan.
In May 2016, Viya started the first live broadcast on Taobao. She managed to close 20 thousand sales orders by one live broadcast in the second month.
And, her live broadcast on October 10, 2017, made her a top sales girl.
This very broadcast helped drive 70 million yuan (US$10.6 million) sales to a Taobao store who has zero followers. It started at 7 pm until 40 minutes past midnight and attracted over 1.53 million viewers with 12.3 million likes.
Live video broadcasting is now a critical part of a successful e-commerce operation on Alibaba’s e-commerce ecosystem. Many stores have hired a team of broadcasters with many simultaneous broadcasts of different products.
There is now a group of online shoppers who don’t check out the product details pages. They just watch live video broadcast and place orders.
Said Mr. Zheng during my interview with him, an e-commerce business owner in south China.
E-Commerce Live Broadcasting in WeChat Ecosystem
Tencent launched a live broadcasting tool for WeChat Official Account (OA) in March 2019, currently supporting audio and video broadcast. Influencing WeChat OA can utilize their fanbase on WeChat, in combination with quality live broadcasts, to drive e-commerce sales.
A fashion digital media Ta Du (She Reads) did a live broadcast e-commerce show in April for two hours. It attracted 11,951 viewers and received 1,228 orders with a conversion rate of 18.32% according to 36Kr.
This broadcast utilized both a mobile app and a WeChat mini-program. It started from the mobile app to generate a mini-program card or embeddable code for an official account article. Users can click on that to book, watch, and interact.
Tencent Live serves WeChat’s Official Account. The mobile app can be used to create and operate live broadcasting while the mini-program client serves users for booking, watching, and interacting with the live video broadcasts.
It’s in testing and not available yet in the App Store. WeChat Official Account (OA) owners can get the app download link from Tencent Live Assistant WeChat OA and apply for an account before being able to test it. With about 1.1 billion monthly active users, WeChat could be potentially a massive platform for e-commerce sellers.
Other e-commerce live video broadcasting platforms
Some other leading e-commerce platforms in China run their own live video broadcasting channels as well, including Jingdong, Vipshop, Mogujie, etc.
Seeing over 500 million live broadcasting users in China, businesses can also utilize independent popular live video broadcasting platforms and social media to drive brand awareness and product promotions.
Tik Tok has been testing e-commerce integration for over a year, starting from a Taobao e-commerce traffic driver to building its e-commerce ecosystem.
Kuaishou, another top short video platform in China, has integrated with multiple e-commerce platforms including Taobao, Tmall, Youzan, etc. Sellers can drive the traffic directly to the online store and complete the purchase.
Others you could consider include Weibo Live, Momo, Douyu, YY, etc.
If you haven’t started, you should focus on one platform, build your success, and expand from there. Different platforms could have very different demographic users; so, make sure you conduct your research and identify the channels with users meeting your audience profiles.
E-Commerce Live Broadcasting
Live video broadcasting for e-commerce is now a game for professional operations. Broadcasters are carefully tested, selected and trained with a mix of celebrities, Taobao owners, and the professionally trained.
Alibaba recently launched a tool to enable broadcasters to select products from 12 pools of 5 industry categories and about 130 thousand products. Broadcasters can either broadcast anywhere after receiving a product sample or visit the Taobao with additional services.
It appears easier than it actually is when it comes to driving e-commerce sales with live video broadcasting. Merchants must figure out the whole process including personas analysis, products selection, post-sales service, delivery, logistics, etc.
Delivering quality products with a relatively lower price is the key. You need to develop demographic and psychographic profiles of your fans to select the right product. Another critical factor for a successful live broadcast is the content.
Live video broadcasting is a valuable channel that consumer brands should tap on. Working with one of the influencer broadcasters whose fans match the same profile of your audience is a quick way to get started. Alternatively, you can outsource to companies who specialize in this area.