Live Commerce

live commerce

The convergence of ecommerce and livestreaming is transforming shopping. This convergence is called live commerce. This new trend of mixing two technologies is revolutionizing shopping. Amazon popularised ecommerce and has enabled people to buy products that they could only see in TV ads, magazines or just imagine. No doubt Amazon and other similar shopping sites have made shopping easier but still something was missing. Going through a list on Amazon is often like window shopping. A rich user-experience is missing. Guess what, live commerce fills that gap.

Like in many other domains, China is revolutionizing online shopping. Live commerce is very popular in China. There’s Taobao that has live streaming used by farmers, self employed entrepreneurs, students and business owners. Taobao’s live streaming app Taobao live converts static images on your mobile phone to real-life product reviews. You can get an up close 360-degree review of the items before you buy. Popular brands are using this live streaming technique as an essential part of consumer journey. So which type of products are popular for live streaming? Obviously, fashion, jewellery, womens’ wear, apparel and skincare. 

Telegenic personalities speak to shoppers in real time and answer questions about size, material and colour. Shoppers are encouraged to place quick orders using the time-tested marketing trick of ‘limited-time discounts’. Models will try out different outfits, as per the description of size, style and material given by the customer and all this is Live streamed on your 6 inch mobile phone. Live stream hosts can also pick out different styles and mix and match them in a variety of ways for viewers. Certain live-commerce sites employ models to live-stream from 9 am to 11 pm daily. These live sessions go on for hours and especially so during Single’s Day on 11/11 and “Double 12” in December . Alibaba group used live streaming to sell nearly 20 billion yuan of products on Singles Day.

It’s not just clothing and jewellery  brands that are getting in on the action. Beauty brands like Lancome are also using live streaming to showcase their services and products. They use live streaming to show the different shades of make-up products and answer viewer’s questions. 

It’s not just China though that’s on to live commerce. South Koreans also seem to be bitten by the Live commerce bug. LFCorp uses real-time chat, live streaming and a single click purchase method for a very consumer friendly shopping experience.

Other Asian and Pacific countries like India, Japan, Malaysia and Philippines are seeing an exponential growth in use of mobile phones and use of mobile content. So it’s just a matter of time before big brands in these countries also start using live commerce to enhance shopping experience and their own revenues.

With so much happening in this domain, can Amazon be far behind? No. Amazon has started Amazon Live in 2019 and I found the experience more seamless on their site. 

What do you think is the future of live commerce? What other enhancements do you think will be made to make this experience richer and more like traditional shopping? What employment opportunities does this leap in shopping create? Do share your views. 

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