The pandemic has provided strong tailwinds to ecommerce globally, yet also highlighted how imperfect the customer experience is compared to traditional store shopping. The browsing experience and curation have remained mostly unchanged for the past 20 years, sticking to the search -> buy scheme.
A new form of ‘retailtainment’, livestreaming ecommerce, has recently boomed in China and neighbouring geographies, evolving into an obvious distribution channel for most brands and retailers. Live video selling, namely livestreaming ecommerce, could dramatically change the way we’re incentivized to buy online.
It is particularly well-suited to Asian market characteristics and offers numerous advantages for the different counterparts that may take part in the model. However, could the trend ever take off in the West?
In this research paper, Clipperton’s retailtech & ecommerce team has explored the concept of livestreaming ecommerce and its potential for the West. Below is an overview of the insights covered:
- The livestreaming ecommerce boom in China:
- A $144bn market in 2020, multiplied by X2 vs 2019;
- An ecosystem composed of online platforms such as Taobao, Multi-channel Networks (MCN) and Key Opinion Leaders.
- Livestreaming is changing the online selling rules for brands and retailers:
- It requires to build a more fun and rewarding online purchasing experience for the upcoming generation of online shoppers (video and mobile-first, community driven and searching for authenticity);
- Livestreaming ecommerce is changing the distribution play;
- Influencers are bolstering their position in this ecosystem.
- There are three main operational approaches adopted by livestreaming startups: Social-first generalist livestreaming platforms, verticalized- & community-based livestreaming players, and white label tools & enablers; in the DACH region, Hello Lisa is an example of a livestreaming ecommerce enabler.
- A future outlook of livestreaming ecommerce in the West: investors have been pouring money into the trend, including most renowned ones such as Andreessen Horowitz (Whatnot), Benchmark (PopShop Live, Supergreat), or USV (ShopShops) among others.
This report provides, among others, an extensive mapping of Western livestreaming players, coupled with a funding rounds database for the reader to download.
To access the PDF version of the report as well as the link of the database, please fill out the form below.
Feel free to reach out to discuss these insights with our dedicated Ecommerce and RetailTech team:
- Main author: Ghislain de Buchet, Associate
- Olivier Combaudou, Executive Director
We conducted numerous interviews with knowledgeable people about the industry to issue this article. Special thanks to the entrepreneurs, investors and experts who took part in the discussions related to this research.