CHINA VIEW | China’s E-commerce Livestreaming Wave
On the first day of the Chinese Double 11 shopping carnival this year, the cumulative transaction volume of the two top live streamers, Li Jiaqi and Weiya, totaled nearly 20 billion. Among them, the cumulative transaction volume of Wei Ya’s 14-hour livestreaming reached 8.25-billion-yuan, Li Jiaqi livestream for 12 hours and 26 minutes, and the cumulative transaction volume reached 10.65 billion yuan, successfully detonating Double 11.
Beginning in 2016, after more than four years of development, more and more e-commerce platforms, live platforms, MCN agencies, and brand manufacturers have participated in the livestreaming e-commerce industry. The livestreaming e-commerce industry chain has basically taken shape, and the ecosystem has become increasingly complete. From the initial start with the purpose of content construction and traffic monetization, the industry is currently in an explosive growth stage, and the transaction volume has increased sharply. The head traffic platform and trading platform continue to tilt resources to livestreaming, and live streaming has almost become the standard configuration of all major platforms. This article will explain the trend of China’s e-commerce livestreaming from the background, current situation and changes to the supply chain.
The development background of China’s e-commerce livestreaming
The first year of livestreaming is 2016. In this year, e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, JD.com, Mogujie, and Vipshop have launched livestreaming functions, livestreaming platforms such as Kuaishou and Douyu have joined e-commerce platforms and cooperated with brand owners to deploy livestreaming e-commerce business. More than 300 live webcast platforms have emerged in China, and the number of livestreaming users has also grown rapidly.
The reason is nothing more than the following:
1. The maturity of livestreaming technology
Internet bandwidth technology, the popularization of smart phones and 4G, and the improvement of basic resources provide good basic conditions for livestreaming. Clear and smooth picture quality, beautiful filters and special effects, millions of people can watch and refresh the screen at the same time, the development of livestreaming technology provides more possibilities for livestreaming e-commerce to create a user experience comparable to offline shopping. The application of cloud computing and the rapid development of CDN technology ensure that Internet livestreaming is more beautiful, smoother, and timelier, and provide users and anchors with a better experience at the same time.
2. The publicity of short video platform
The growth of short video users has slowed down, and livestreaming has become a new module for short video traffic monetization. According to iResearch’s data, after the rapid growth in 2018, the number of monthly independent devices of short video platform slowed down in 2019, which promoted the acceleration of the commercialization of short video platforms such as Douyin and Kuaishou. Among them, the e-commerce livestreaming helped short video platforms to further stimulate user consumption and increase user value. The proportion and importance of livestreaming services on short video platforms has gradually increased.
3. Impact of the epidemic
At the beginning of the 2020, a sudden epidemic cooled down the offline economy, and the online economy slapped a prairie fire. The epidemic has made livestreaming a new consumer trend. In this trend, Internet celebrities and influencers entered the live one by one. During the closed period when there were no outfield activities, they relied on the livestreaming to refresh their presence in the public eye, bringing goods to the product and increasing the popularity. In addition, farmers, entrepreneurs and even party members and cadres have also stepped into the battle to bring live products for their own products and increase their profits.
Nowadays, China’s epidemic prevention and control has achieved certain results, and the economies of all regions are slowly recovering, but consumer consumption habits have been formed, and the momentum of livestreaming e-commerce remains.
Current status of e-commerce live streaming
From 2016 to 2019, the scale of China livestreaming market has continued to expand. In 2020, under the influence of the epidemic, the era of “livestreaming for all people” is coming. The scale of China’s livestreaming e-commerce market exceeds 1.2 trillion yuan, with an annual growth rate of 197.0%. It is estimated that the compound annual growth rate in the next three years will be 58.3%, and the scale of live e-commerce will exceed 4.9 trillion yuan in 2023. At present, with the hot development of livestreaming e-commerce, China’s e-commerce industry is also ushering in some new changes.
1. Live e-commerce users continues to grow, and nearly 40% of the netizens
As of the end of 2020, the number of live users in China has reached 617 million, accounting for 62.4% of the total netizens. Among them, the rapid development of live e-commerce has become the livestreaming category with the largest user scale in the web livestreaming, with a user scale of 388 million, an increase of 123 million from March 2020, accounting for nearly 40% of the total netizens.
The users who placed orders on livestreaming accounted for 66.2% of the users who watched the livestreaming, that is, nearly two-thirds of the users had made a purchase after watching the livestreaming. With the further expansion of my country’s netizens, consumers’ awareness of the interactive, social, and entertaining features of livestreaming has deepened, and livestreaming have provided viewers with more favorable prices, more intuitive introductions, and higher levels of trust. The group’s acceptance of webcast and livestreaming e-commerce is gradually increasing. The average daily time users watch livestreaming continues to increase. The proportion of live e-commerce users in the overall netizens has increased significantly, and more and more people accept the way of shopping in livestreaming rooms.
2. The livestreaming business is blooming everywhere, leading the “new normal” of China’s e-commerce
Webcasting has fully penetrated into all the industry chains of China’s real economy, including retail, wholesale, and production. New business models such as live streaming, B2B live streaming, production live streaming, and livestreaming conferences are plenty, and will lead the new normal of China’s e-commerce development. According to incomplete statistics, the time spent watching videos on mobile phones has increased by nearly 10 million minutes in the past two years. It is estimated that about 82% of global network traffic will be in the form of videos in 2021.
3. All-round developed livestreaming e-commerce, ecological agglomeration is beginning to appear
According to incomplete statistics, in 2020, the number of MCN organizations in China has reached 28,000. There are more than 1,000 MCN organizations stationed in Taobao livestreaming, and more than 100 MCN organizations stationed in Douyin platform. The number of online e-commerce livestreaming rooms in the whole network is about 7 million. The number of e-commerce livestreaming rooms on the Douyin platform is more than 1 million. In 2020, nearly 1,000 livestreaming rooms with sales of more than 100 million yuan was created.
Ecological prosperity also means fierce competition, which drives the industry chain update.
Live changes the Ecommerce supply chain
1. Shorten supply chain, promote the reform
Livestreaming e-commerce can skip middlemen and directly connect factories and consumers. The reduction of links shortens the time for user information feedback, reduces information gaps, and at the same time helps brands discover and cover potential consumer groups. At the same time, livestreaming is a real-time interactive, flexible and fast sales method. The anchor exercises the right to choose on behalf of the fans. The livestreaming result of a single product can be quickly feedback to the factory, which indirectly accelerates the survival of the fittest in the industry. At the same time, anchors need a wealth of high-quality SKUs to support the frequency and appeal of livestreaming, which forces the supply chain to increase the response speed and increase the frequency and number of new updates.
Livestreaming e-commerce has more real, fast, accurate, and stable demand feedback, and the anchor has an efficient matching team to help brand owners share the obligations and after-sales tracking. On the other hand, the anchor has strong bargaining power and an understanding of the industry’s cost structure. More reasonable pricing adjustments can be made. Consumers enjoy cost-effective and good products, and the factory guarantees a reasonable profit margin, which benefits both ends of supply and demand. Livestreaming e-commerce and upstream manufacturers have more long-term and closer cooperation.
2. Enterprise livestreaming is a trend, accounting for more than 30% of the transaction volume in 2020
As one of the two main formats of live e-commerce, influencer livestreaming was adopted by merchants early due to its professionalism, high traffic, and high conversion rate, bringing traffic to brands and increasing sales in a short period of time. But short-term traffic is loyal to the anchor, which is a phased increase in sales. Since 2019, more and more merchants have adopted corporate livestreaming (store livestreaming) and the proportion of store-livestreaming has increased year by year. Merchants provide targeted services through instant interaction with consumers to help consumers make purchase decisions and gain loyalty. Consumers of the brand can obtain more controllable cost input and more stable sales growth through normalized store livestreaming. At present, corporate self-livestreaming has become one of the main sales scenarios for many brands. In 2020, corporate self-livestreaming will account for 32.1% of the overall livestreaming e-commerce, and it is expected that the proportion in 2023 will be close to 50.0%.
LinkieBuy stores cross-border livestream help global merchants gain Chinese market quickly
Due to the restrictions of the epidemic, more and more companies are entering China through cross-border e-commerce. Of course, e-commerce livestreaming cannot be avoided.
The well-known Japanese retailer Mitsukoshi Isetan entered the Chinese market through the LinkieBuy WeChat mini program store. When preparing to launch the livestreaming, Isetan found there were restrictions of language, culture, publicity, technology, etc., which did not give Chinese consumers a good livestreaming experience.
But its partner LinkieBuy, China’s largest cross-border e-commerce service provider, with a professional operation team to help Mitsukoshi Isetan solve the obstacles of livestreaming, allowing Chinese consumers to communicate and purchase in the livestreaming room of the store unimpeded. The LinkieBuy operation team has made Chinese consumers feel the excellent quality of Mitsukoshi Isetan products through meticulous planning, excellent marketing and professional livestreaming, and also allowed Mitsukoshi Isetan to successfully complete its sales goals. At present, LinkieBuy has helped Mitsukoshi Isetan complete dozens of livestreaming, and has also helped many other global merchants to launch countless livestreaming with good results.