China’s live-streaming boom drawing interest from abroad

China’s live-streaming boom is starting to attract interest from abroad with an Australian company bullish about its prospects.

The phenomenon – where individuals build an online following and sell products by endorsement using social-media channels – is growing so fast, one of the nation’s top live streamers recently achieved sales of RMB 6 million yuan (about US$1 million) within just three minutes. 

“His success is just the tip of the iceberg in China’s live-streaming boom, which has become a new e-commerce retail model that can make huge profits,” says Kevin Zhang GM at Australian marketing agency ConnectX. 

“The incredible market momentum from the Chinese e-commerce live-streaming industry has led to a ton of foreign enterprises to take advantage of this opportunity to enter the Chinese market.”

ConnectX seized the opportunity last month to try out the live-streaming channel during the midterm shopping festival, organising a live broadcast called “Live! Australia We Love” in Australia. It invited four influential KOLs who top the ratings in Australia and New Zealand , some of whom won Taobao Excellent Live-streamer Awards.

Cooperating with leadingAustralian brands and introducing best-selling local products to the Chinese end-consumers, the KOLs offer foreign brands a means to raise brand awareness among Chinese consumers and boost sales. 

Such was the success of the trial, Zhang now plans to cooperate with top-tier Chinese KOLs like Austin Li to come to Australia to join future events later this year.

The Lipstick Boy

In China, the Lipstick Boy is just the beginning of the new wave in Chinese Live-streaming industry. Austin Li (his real name) is a millennial male in China who has become a famous live-streamer testing up to 400 lipsticks per day during live-streams. Most products he introduces sell out quickly. 


During a Women’s Day live-streaming this year, Li sold 7000 sets of facial masks and 30,000 bottles of essence from an obscure local brand.

Zhang says traditional e-commerce has been losing its advantage to live-streaming due to its simple merchandise display model and a lack of social engagement. While users can shop without leaving home, they still cannot have an augmented interactive shopping experience. 

“That’s the reason why live streaming is in the spotlight, becoming a rapid growth retail mode in China.”

On Taobao, e-commerce live streaming generated a sales volume of RMB 100 billion in 2018, growing nearly 400 per cent year on year, according to Yicai.com Financial Review.

Another media outlet, PEdaily.cn stated Taobao’s conversion rate of entering pertinent e-stores exceeds 65 per cent, and the number of daily live broadcasts exceeded 60,000 last year. 

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