Livestreaming is becoming mainstream

Tapping into livestreaming has become a hot trend in China. Short video platforms including Kuaishou and Douyin are banking on the country’s rapidly growing livestreaming e-commerce segment, which has become a powerful sales channel for traditional industries as more consumers switched to online shopping amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the coronavirus outbreak began, many physical store operators have turned to short video platforms to sell their products via livestreaming. The number of daily active users on Kuaishou surged 40 percent year-on-year during the Spring Festival holiday (Jan 24 to Feb 2). Douyin also saw a 26 percent rise in DAUs, according to QuestMobile, a mobile internet big data company.

Dong Mingzhu, chairwoman of Chinese home appliance manufacturer Gree Electric Appliances, sold over 310 million yuan worth of products during a three-hour livestreaming event via Kuaishou on May 10. Livestreaming shopping is a brand-new way of thinking and doing business, a win-win solution for brands, manufacturers and consumers, said Dong.

For the e-commerce function, categories that saw the most substantial increase in vendors were apparel, local services, household goods, automobiles, beauty products and cosmetics during the January-June period. Meanwhile, new businesses that took up livestreaming during this time primarily came from autos, smartphones, household goods, cosmetics and education service, the report said.

Zhang Xintian, an analyst from iResearch, said cooperation between short video apps and e-commerce platforms is an explosive commercial model as the former can drive online traffic to the latter.

As of March this year, users of livestreaming services in China reached 560 million, accounting for 62 percent of the country’s total internet users, said the China Internet Network Information Center.

Revenue from China’s livestreaming e-commerce market stood at 433.8 billion yuan last year, and is expected to more than double to 961 billion yuan this year, said a recent report from market consultancy iiMedia Research.

Ma Shicong, an analyst with Beijing-based internet consultancy Analysys, said the commercial use of the superfast 5G and ultra-high definition technologies has boosted the livestreaming industry, adding that she is bullish on prospects for the sector. “Short video platforms have entered a new phase by teaming up with online retailers and tapped into supply chain construction and the whole e-commerce ecosystem,” Ma said. Ma added that more efforts are needed to standardize the behavior of livestreamers and video-sharing platforms in response to mounting complaints over misleading or false information, substandard products and a lack of after-sales service.

Sun Jiashan, a researcher at the Chinese National Academy of Arts, said there is a lot of potential for e-commerce aspirations of short video platforms. “The introduction of professional MCN operators and paid knowledge services will generate profits for the short video industry,” Sun said.

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Post time: Aug-25-2020