The era of e-commerce livestream in China

it is said in China that 2019 is the beginning of the era of e-commerce livestream. The biggest live-streamer, Li Jiaqi, has more than 40 million fans on Taobao (Chinese version of Amazon). And his sale during 11.11 was over 100 million RMB. Xinba, a female live-streamer, sold the most products over 400 million RMB. These numbers can show you how powerful the e-commerce live streaming is. As a result, now almost every e-commerce platform in China is started to launch livestream function.

The magic of e-commerce live stream comes from three parts. First, it is entertaining. Every successful live streamer is attractive. They are either good-looking or funny and humorous. Therefore, people can have fun and get relaxed when watching live stream. Second, live stream can provide a sense of intimacy for audience with live streamer. It is real-time, and audience and interact with live streamer pretty easily. Therefore, it is of high possibility to build trust between them. In other words, people are more easily convinced to purchase compared to other means of marketing. Third, it is super simple and easy to make a purchase at e-commerce livestream platform. And the products promoted during e-commerce live stream are usually at a low price so customers are easily to make an impulse purchase.

However, e-commerce livestream also encountered some problems. For example, the quality of the products could not be guaranteed. live streamers often exaggerate the quality or the feature of the product. Second, there are a lot of people condemning the e-commerce livestream. They regard it as the new version of TV shopping. They think the content is meaningless and the product is often problematic and that audience who watch it are stupid.

Even though there are other problems of this new form of marketing and selling, it is growing rapidly since 2019. And it will not cease to grow in the near future.

What is your thought on this? It is going to replace the traditional marketing or retail? How would it affect the current selling landscape?


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3 Responses to The era of e-commerce livestream in China

  1. xiayuyan says:

    Thanks for sharing! I agree with the argument of online e-commerce live stream as new version of TV shopping. It does bears significant similarities with TV shopping as both of them promote products by introduction of the host and product testing. I think the rise of e-commerce live stream has its own rationale as it fits the change of customers’ purchasing behavior and the taste of customers from second and third tiers cities in China.

  2. hannah says:

    Do you think this trend will spread to the US or other parts of the world any time soon? What do you think is the main reason why this trend started in China?

  3. Nancy Jin says:


    Thanks for sharing! From my perspective, e-commerce live-streaming does show great potential in moving audience and selling products, since it can make use of people’s emotions and stimulate “impulse buys”. However, it contributes little to attracting consumers in first and second cities in China, because watching live-streaming takes a lot of time. Also, consumers in first and second cities in China are better educated and perhaps more rational. In addition, as Hannah said, it worth thinking whether this trend will also grow in countries other than China.


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