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Livestreaming: The New Kid on the Block in China and the USA. Can it be the Solution for Small to Medium-sized E-commerce Businesses in Mauritius?

3 MIN READ

The outbreak of the pandemic in 2020 has forced businesses to think about their online presence even more. To counter the fear and reluctance of customers visiting physical stores, the e-commerce world has gained momentum very rapidly by reinventing the online customer experience with social media at its core. This is being done through ‘live streaming’. Livestreaming is becoming considered the new digital version of the existing concept of TV shopping – online shopping via TV channels. Others even consider it as the new version of reality TV. However, it is far from being purely transactional and instead takes into consideration in-person experiences.

Although it was introduced in 2016 in China, live streaming has shown its power over the last year and is now becoming mainstream and accessible. Livestream e-commerce generated $449.5 million in sales on the 1st of July 2020 alone during China’s annual shopping festival. The famous success story quoted is the Tommy Hilfiger live-stream show which attracted 14 million viewers and sold out 1,300 hoodies in just two minutes. Following this success in China, the USA is predicted to raise $25 billion in sales through live-stream shopping events by 2023.

Emporium of India, a clothing shop in Vacoas selling mostly online, has started hosting live-streaming events on Facebook. This SME has been organising thirty-minute to one-hour sessions to attract customers, during which various products are shown along with tips and advice. Customers interact with questions and are often offered instant discounts. It is an opportunity to put a face to the name of the brand and discuss their purchases via instant messaging, not only on Facebook but also on other platforms such as WhatsApp. This instant communication on two incredibly effective online platforms is immensely powerful, efficient, and effective.

Facebook has proven to be the most effective platform for Emporium to reach its main business goals. They have achieved an increased acquisition of new customers; furthered their brand awareness; driven conversions with leads, product enquiries and purchases; and improved customer experiences. Moreover, up to now, they have been able to differentiate their brand from others on this busy platform. You can follow them here.

Small to medium retailers have been severely impacted by the pandemic due to their vulnerability. While customers are still afraid to visit physical shops, streaming e-commerce can be a new route to market where they can create an online community to support their business long-term and grow their sales. Repeating this success in Mauritius is still a work in progress. However, as we say, every little helps when it comes to growth.

#livesale #supportsmallbusiness #livestream

Author-Nishta Jhurree

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