In China, e-commerce platforms and brands bet big on live commerce

Retailers embrace shopping via livestreaming, where social media influencers hawk products and get rapid sales

On Alibaba's Singles' Day last year, the world’s largest annual one-day shopping event, half of the 200,000-plus big brands and merchants on B2C e-marketplace Tmall were selling their snacks, fashion wear, home appliances and more via livestreaming. The sales generated reached nearly RMB 20bn, accounting for 10% of Tmall's total sales. 

Executives from the major brands, including P&G's Vice-President of Communications and Public Relations for Greater China Xu Youjie, showed up in the livestreaming studio to greet viewers and present surprise gifts.

P&G is a brand with more than 180 years of history, but in China the company has been struggling with sluggish growth since 2013. In 2018 P&G took a stab at live commerce, the term for online retail via livestreaming. Xu, who has worked at P&G for over three decades, feels more challenged than ever before: “You have to figure out what is popular among consumers. Otherwise, you will be left behind.”

Xu knows by now the power of livestreaming in boosting

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