Christine Mou is an e-commerce live streamer with Shopshops, a company based here in NYC that does cross border e-commerce live streaming both on Taobao and on their own app, selling products from international brands to viewers in China.
(If you’re interested in hearing more about Shopshops you can check out episode 28 where I interviewed the company’s founder Liyia Wu. )
In today’s interview, Christine shares her experience as an e-commerce live streamer and gives tips for brands who would like to get started with selling and promoting their items through live streaming.
We also talk about the new WeChat live streaming feature that is currently being beta tested and whether or not she thinks it can compete with Taobao live streaming. And we also share our thoughts on Amazon Live (I’ll give you a hint – we think it’s terrible).
To learn more about influencer marketing in China, sign up for our new newsletter: The China Influencer Update!
Related articles: Amazon Live Is Alibaba’s Live-Streaming Without The Good Bits
Becoming an e-commerce live streamer
- Lives in NYC, began working as a live streamer with Shopshops late last spring
- Learn more about Shopshops from a previous interview with the company’s founder here
- Shopshops does cross border e-commerce live streaming, selling products from international brands to viewers in China
- Found live streaming difficult at first, a bit awkward. She had to develop persuasive selling techniques and engagement skills
- As an e-commerce live streamer, not only do you need to be an engaging streamer, but you also need to be good at choosing the right products that your audience will be interested in. Oftentimes they will pick what they think audience will like, but then have to switch as they go along
- Metrics they care about – number of viewers, average viewing duration, conversion rate, return viewer rate
Why is e-commerce live streaming so popular in china?
- Prevalence of e- commerce shopping
- Live streaming adds value, viewers gain sense of realness and transparency
- WOM and product demonstration by peers is very influential
- In China in general 70% of e-commerce live stream viewers are females between ages 20-45
- For Shopshops customers that skews slightly higher, average age around 35, have more financial ability to purchase premium products
Why does the audience trust streamers?
- Streamers are not just sellers, they are influencers too
- Viewers see them as friends and want to follow their lives
- No separation between e-commerce and social in China
- Streamers don’t always talk about products right away, they tend to chat first, and throughout the streams they engage with the audience non-stop
Brand stream vs. influencer streams
- Small brands or brands with little brand recognition should work with live stream influencers
- Stay small in the beginning and
work with 1-2 very targeted KOLs
- Challenge of representing a brand
- Pressure of generating sales
- Ongoing collaborations
- Bigger brands could do it themselves, create in house live stream team
- Brand streams – identify a person in your team who might already be doing something on social
- No matter what, stay consistent!
WeChat live streaming
- Has an advantage because WeChat is such a part of everyone’s lives
- WeChat also has end to end functions of what an e – commerce live stream will need such as the ability to disseminating stream details to OA follower and seamless integration w/ WeChat Pay
- Beta test proven 18-19% conversion rate which is much higher than average 5% conversion rate
- Believes any brand with a presence on WeChat should leverage it, even if their following is small
Will Amazon Live succeed?
- Will struggle to become mainstream
- Difference in how Western consumers shop
- Streamers on Amazon seem to be facing trouble establishing themselves as influencers, which makes it hard to convert
- Tend to produce these informational one-way videos
- Chinese streamers try to have two-way interaction
- Watching Amazon Live feels like watching an unknown YouTuber doing a product review
- These Amazon live streamers have no social influence
- Heard they might shut down live stream
Guest: Christine Mou
Host: Lauren Hallanan
Check out my book: Digital China: Working with Bloggers, Influencers and KOLs
For additional information and show notes head over to www.chinainfluencermarketing.com If you like this podcast and know someone who might find it interesting, please share!