The Novel “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens is famous for its opening sentences of all time: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of time…”. It depicts the drama of the French revolution but it’s quite applicable during this pandemic as well, looking at the retail industry and its recovery. We’re starting to see two separate paradigm shifts emerge in the APAC region that is filling the gap from physical store revenues – Shoppertainment and live stream e-commerce.

Here is a snippet video on live streaming commerce by Sunil Bajaj, VP Practice Head Retail, Aspire Systems in Retail Tech Innovation – Asia Edition.

Here we look at how live streaming and social commerce could transform the way APAC consumers shop online in 2021 and beyond.

And The Momentum Is Just Beginning!

The possibilities extend beyond perishable stock “fire sales.” According to Statista search interest in e-commerce sites has increased across Asia. By January 2021 consumers in Indonesia purchase the most products online, with 87% of active internet users shopping online. This was the highest e-commerce penetration rate throughout the Asia Pacific region, followed by Thailand and Malaysia.

Source – Statista

Burberry and Louis Vuitton have already made a concerted effort to organize live streaming events in collaboration with Chinese “key online influencers” in order to successfully present and sell products. In a Livestream viewed by over 5000 people, influencer Amanda Xie and two other KOLs sold 300 $3500 Tiffany necklaces. With another KOL, Jo Sun, selling an average of 70-80 products worth over Rmb1 million in three hours, compared to a top-performing luxury store that generates approximately Rmb500K to Rmb7ooK in daily sales.

APAC Brands are taking inspiration from China’s shoppertainment trend to get more sales and visibility. Recent technological and streaming video breakthroughs have made true live commerce a reality. Livestream shopping enables retailers to use their store as a stage, store clerks to influencers, and develop a deeper connection with consumers. It reduces the purchasing barriers in ways that other commerce experiences can’t. At-home consumers may benefit from virtual try-on sessions, beauty Q&As, and in-store demos that give customers an amazing virtual shopping experience.

It’s Time to Shine Across APAC

While fashion and beauty businesses were the early adopters of Livestream shopping, there is plenty of room in the sector for jewelry, grocery, large box, and specialty retailers. For example:

  • One of India’s well-known jewelry retailers needed an online presence with strong marketing and brand-building strategy. Aspire Systems as their business partner put forward a digital roadmap for their business. We did a customized digital discovery consulting where we recognized the customer’s vision, strengths, product mix, existing infrastructure, and that we came up with a tailor-made Digital Roadmap specifically for our customer needs.   
  • An electronic retailer could explain gadgets, a demo of how the product works, and specifications. Also, they can build trust and engagement by addressing consumer queries about the product in real-time. Thus, viewers can add products to their cart directly from the Livestream and choose the delivery option available for a seamless end-to-end virtual shopping experience.

Common Tip for all Retailers: One of the reasons for social commerce’s growing popularity is that it allows for two-way contact between customers and companies. The influencer can show how the product feels, smells, looks, and what it goes with — and it’s interactive; customers can ask questions. Whether you are a grocery retailer, furniture retailer or a retailer for home décor or garden décor, when it comes to the interactive element, live-streaming, and social commerce has proven to be an excellent platform for the strategy’s growth and success.

Select The Right Platform

The top 4 live streaming social commerce platforms in 2021

  1. YouTube live
  2. Facebook Live
  3. Instagram Live
  4. LinkedIn Live

YouTube Live: It allows brands to generate an edited version of their live broadcast while it is still live, attracting additional viewers who are seeking to buy the product. Retailers can enable pre-roll ads before your live video starts. Finally, YouTube wins out in terms of searchability and live video SEO which will help brands build greater visibility and gain more viewers.

Source – tubefilter

Facebook Live: In May 2021, Facebook launched “Live Shopping Fridays,” during which brands may use Facebook’s live shopping feature to display their items. Customers may tap featured goods to learn more about them, add them to their shopping baskets, and check out from the live streams.

Source – oberlo

Instagram Live: In May 2020, the platform debuted live shopping features for businesses that utilize Instagram Checkout, it’s in-app payment system. Instagram launched Live Rooms in March 2021, allowing users to add up to three more co-hosts to their live streams, thus increasing the number of hosts per Livestream from two to four.

Source: statusbrew

LinkedIn Live: Live streaming increased by 158% in February 2020. LinkedIn Live videos receive get 7x more reactions and 24x more comments. Brands are interacting with a group of experts who are eager to learn and purchase. Users on LinkedIn have 2x the purchasing power of the ordinary internet user. It offers fantastic conversation moderating features.

Source: Hootsuite

To summarise, we are seeing the end of an era and the acceleration of the shift to a more online-centric retail experience. While conversion is the ultimate aim of Livestream shopping, retailers can evaluate a wide range of results, including Customer data: Who was attending the live event? What did they buy? What kinds of queries did people have? How will these insights influence future strategy? And overall engagement.

While the prevailing narrative in the retail industry may point to a winner or loser, the truth is that both will continue to innovate in their paradigms, pushing us all toward an “age of wisdom” rather than an “age of foolishness.” Livestream shopping has a lot of promise for engaging audiences and increasing sales, so it’s a good idea for retailers of all sorts to look at how it fits into their overall digital commerce strategy. Pick the right one!

Talk to us today to see how you can start the digital transformation journey for your retail business.

You can even follow us on Aspire Systems Retail to get detailed insights and updates about Retail!

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Abishek Balakumar