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).
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
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