International Brands are always finding ways to better engage their Chinese consumers to obtain valuable insights about their behaviors and interests. In order to help them understand what makes their audience tick and subsequently facilitates the sales conversion process, some many brands adopted live streaming to increase user engagement.  

Over the years, China’s livestreaming industry has grown exponentially, as Chinese internet users fall in love with the social interaction and entertaining engagement the format can provide. Lately, live-streaming has even become an important way for Chinese consumers to shop, with major social media and e-commerce platforms like Taobao, JD.com, and Weibo leading the trend.

So with WeChat Live Streaming’s imminent availability for Official Accounts, brands will have a new channel to achieve their goals.  

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WeChat is becoming an even more powerful platform that satisfies all kinds of needs of the online community.  According to the New York-based data intelligence Gartner L2, luxury brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Burberry, and Bvlgari have tried to adopt a “see now, buy now” format on the app, by featuring videos that are linked to their own site or third-party e-commerce platforms, whilst also making items available on their WeChat account.  

What will you gain from implementing WeChat Live Streaming?

The rapid development of WeChat mini-programs last year has empowered the app to quickly ramp up its live-streaming e-commerce efforts.  Nowadays, live streaming is becoming a rapidly accepted way of promotion services and products over the internet, with an estimated annual growth of 15.6% in 2018. A report by iiMedia Research published in August last year estimated that 460 million people are using live-streaming services in the country.

Users can share their live streaming information in the format of a Mini Program code automatically generated by Tencent Live. When followers receive the push notifications, they can simply click on the code and subscribe to watch the upcoming live stream.

 Chinese people can watch  often on their handsets celebrities and influencers and average citizens live broadcast everything from games and gigs to everyday lives. Research said that the users of live stream apps reached 200 million, roughly one seventh of China’s entire population and one third of China’s online population. The size of the market is estimated to be between 9 billion yuan ($1.37 billion) and 15 billion yuan, and is projected to grow to 100 billion yuan by 2020.

 WHO IS LIVE STREAMING?

In China, 80% of live streamers are women although they make up only 20% of the total user base. When female users started live streaming, they received huge attention from the male majority. The male dominated audience makes sense when you look at the roots of live streaming online gaming platforms.

Live streaming APP users are also widely spread geographically across China. Interestingly, only 11% of users are from Tier 1 cities. 34% come from Tier 2 cities and 55% from Tier 3 cities. Digital gifting is therefore a means for people living in smaller cities to “purchase” insight into interactions that would otherwise be inaccessible to them.

WeChat initiates live streaming shopping through its mini program

 

In January 2017, WeChat came up with mini-programs which gained very good popularity. This particular feature made it much easier for the application to provide live streaming services to the mini-program owners. The main goal of the mini-programs is to allow the Chinese consumers to buy services or products without leaving the application. There is a lot of local and international brands which are using mini-programs these days. Majority of them have also included “See-Now-Buy-Now” option which allows them to live stream events via WeChat mini-programs.

This year, L’Oreal turned the event of Cannes Film Festival into a shopping opportunity for Chinese consumers, enabling themed “see now buy now” live-streaming shopping on a Film Festival WeChat mini-program. 

 

The live stream option within the mini-programs has allowed the brands to showcase their services and products to the customers. It is a much easier and simpler way of doing that. Hence, Live streaming shopping is one of the top services through Wechat mini-programs. It is making it much harder for the other service providers to compete with it.

 The importance of the video streaming feature to the platform is to let users record events and share them in real time which will be more like live streaming. Users will also be able to add emojis, text, and music to these streams. WeChat will be starting this service to showcase its shift from the traditional social platform Moments.

Along with the streaming service, WeChat has also planned to launch several satellite applications which will be linked to the main app and will also have an independent existence. Live streaming can convert traffic to other social media site, so it’s a great opportunity for brands to post some product or service-related content on their social media accounts after doing live streaming, in order to realize further brand promotion.

Live streaming in combination with other functions is a continuing trend that serves marketing and promotional functions and is becoming a tool fueling content creation.

Live streaming + e-commerce

The “Live streaming + e-commerce” mode is a really good combination flourishing. As an example, a live streaming channel is embedded in the Mogujie app, a famous e-commerce platform for women’s fashion, and its stores that sell by live streaming have witnessed a 236% rise in customer retention within 30 days. E-commerce platforms such as Mogujie and JD.com embed links to their shopping interface in their live streams so viewers can purchase items while they watch.

The success of live streaming marketing belongs to brands that drop the corporate veil, embrace live streaming-based human-to-human connection, and actively make the most of “live streaming +” to enrich the customer experience as well as convert traffic. Beyond doubt, live streaming in China is making a great figure in marketing.

live stream broadcasters’ ability to improvise is paramount given the inability to edit out mistakes, technical difficulties or interruptions. Increasingly, live video streams will be re-edited to into short videos of higher quality to facilitate a wider spread of the most interesting content from the live stream and a complementary relationship will build between live streaming and short videos.

Chinese consumers have become increasingly drawn to foreign brands via e-commerce platforms. For small brands, WeChat stores are a cost-effective way to build a China e-commerce presence without paying large upfront fees for marketplace platforms or setting up an official Chinese website. For big brands, they can be used for different functions such as launching limited collections, live streaming makeup tutorials, or designing creative games.

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