22nd Feb 2021
Livestreaming or live shopping – where products are sold directly via live video content – has seen a meteoric rise in China over the past few years. As well as a whole array of foods, including fish, fresh produce and high-end spirits, top livestream presenters like Viya have sold cosmetics, clothes, cars, even Beijing apartments worth millions of yuan via these colourful, fast-paced, almost frantic live shopping events.
The idea of live selling or live shopping isn’t a new one. Ever since the 1980s, the likes of QVC have been selling products via TV networks, their groomed presenters trained in the art of selling pretty much any product handed to them. They offer big discounts or limited editions, all only available within the length of the live broadcast, to compel viewers to buy instantly.
Contemporary livestreams use many of the same techniques – the time window, the interactivity and the fast pace – but shift the virtual events online and, more often than not, to mobile. That means that, rather than rattling off a telephone number to call every few minutes, viewers can simply click ‘Buy’ without ever leaving the site (or getting up off the couch).
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