It’s no surprise that the U.S. is far behind China when it comes to ecommerce and social media, and brand livestreaming is no exception to this. According to research from Deloitte, livestreaming in China was expected to have accounted for $4.4 billion in sales in 2018.
Now more than ever, this new marketing tool is on the rise. Below we explain how brand livestreaming in China works, why it resonates in the Chinese market, and how Western brands and retailers can best use this new marketing channel as part of their strategy.
Livestreaming is the airing of a real-time show to a live audience, typically through a social media platform via a smartphone. You’re probably familiar with the term livestreaming in relation to influencers, but we’re talking about going 1 step further. Instead of an influencer livestreaming to their audience, your brand itself can live stream to your entire audience. Brands use the broadcasting channel as an effective ecommerce tool to engage with their audiences through popular Chinese platforms such as Taobao Live and Weibo Live.
Marketers employ celebrities and key opinion leaders (KOLs) to showcase products, describe their functionalities and demonstrate usage of products via livestream from the brand itself. The audience can ask questions and take part in conversation, which helps to create an interactive, highly engaged brand experience while maintaining authenticity due to the unedited format of the shows.
A brand’s livestream can have all the appeal and trustworthiness of an influencers stream, but adds in actual brand experts to make sure questions are answered correctly and expectations are set accordingly.
The number of unique visitors of live streaming in China reached 396 million in 2018 and is expected to have grown since. Although fashion and beauty remain the most popular livestreaming categories in China, there are no rules as to which categories can join in on the trend. From beauty tips, to fashion hauls, to sharing recipes, no category is exempt. Niche categories such as health and wellness have also grown in popularity.
In fact, Chinese consumers desire trust and product provenance when shopping for goods. So no matter your product offering, selling your brand story and educating customers on where your products originated from, their features, and their benefits is a growing movement that has meant livestreaming resonates particularly well in the Chinese market.
With countless companies now offering a livestreaming service, many ecommerce sites are transforming into social platforms. This method of marketing was already proving popular with certain categories, but the COVID-19 lockdown in China saw an explosion in livestreaming that’s here to stay.
Alibaba says that its Taobao Live platform saw a massive 719% month-on-month surge in first-time livestreaming merchants in February, as the lockdown took hold. In late 2019, 350,000 hours a day of Taobao Live programs were being watched by Chinese consumers. This rose sharply during lockdown, and Alibaba says that the number has not fallen back to pre-COVID levels even though physical stores have reopened.
As an authorized Tmall Trade Partner, we’ve successfully employed livestreaming for several of the brands we trade—both to feature our brands within multi-brand shows, and shows that are dedicated solely to our products and are presented by our own team. We have achieved a 27% daily sales uplift with regular 3-hour livestreaming sessions for one of our brand partners; and are now streaming shows for more of our brands.
Our Tmall Trading Guide explains more about the importance of driving Tmall traffic from off-platform channels to build customer awareness and new customer acquisition of your brand.
Unlike in the West where livestreaming platforms have typically been reserved for gaming and entertainment purposes, Chinese consumers see livestreaming as an essential part of their shopping journey and as an opportunity to discover new products.
Digital teleshopping isn’t an entirely new phenomenon in American ecommerce, but new technologies have enabled brands to connect with customers in a more exciting and engaging way. In February 2019, Amazon rolled out its “Amazon Live” shows in the US where brands can host a live audience and present products for sale on the marketplace with direct links to product listings displayed on screen. Digital marketplaces like Walmart.com have also rolled out their own livestreaming services, showing the growth of the opportunity.
More recently the beauty industry has been moving fast to incorporate shoppable livestreaming, with L'Oreal Group and Estee Lauder Companies hosting their first live events during the COVID-19 pandemic. Praising livestreaming as a way to connect content and commerce, their brands have seen a massive uptick in sales. Walmart also hosted a larrge, shoppable livestream with Jason Derulo just before Cyber Monday to help drive holiday sales.
Although Western brands and retailers have been slower to adopt and seize the potential of livestreaming marketing, with many praising influencer marketing on social channels as a strategy to drive revenue, we can expect to see more brands and retailers catching onto this sizzling opportunity in the near future.
China continues to be a lucrative land of opportunity for brands who have invested to develop a strong brand awareness and localized proposition. Livestreaming in China has become embedded in digital marketing models, particularly now when consumers are more engaged online. As global digitalization accelerates, U.S. brands should seek to create new and innovative offline shopping experiences online in order to provide inspiration to purchase.
To talk to us about how we could help to profitably grow your Tmall sales through livestreaming—or by optimizing your marketplace strategy—reach out to us today.
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If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.
Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.
At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead.
An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.
A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:
Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance.
Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS.
To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.
A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.
It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.
Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins.
Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.
As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.
Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.
Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.
So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.
Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products.
An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.
An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.
Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.
At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services.
It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.
It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.
The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.
Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces.
With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.
Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.