What is Happening?
The combination of ecommerce and livestreaming, known as ‘live commerce’, is a huge and growing trend which is seeing significant growth in mobile-first markets like China.
Live commerce (see an example) combines live video streaming with the ability to interact with sellers and to buy immediately, whether that be from selling an actual product during a stream or receiving support from a social community.
On Singles Day (a Chinese shopping holiday that originated as an unofficial holiday for bachelors), live commerce broadcasts brought in 20 billion RMB worth of sales for Alibaba, making up 7.5% of the company's overall Singles Day sales. While JD.com (Chinas largest online retailer) enjoyed a livestreaming audience 36 times larger than the previous year, with five times the total sales volume.
What Does it Mean?
Just as online shopping transformed retail, live streaming has the potential to reshape ecommerce.
And it's not just Asian markets that are starting to wake up. In 2019, significant ecommerce players like Amazon also launched new products in this space - Amazon Live.
In the future, we expect to see more platforms integrating aspects of live commerce (👋 Instagram, we're looking at you..), the emergence of technologies to facilitate improved live commerce, and the potential integration with augmented reality technologies to help shoppers better experience products prior to purchase.