90% of Chinese consumers have experienced livestreams Shopping

A recent report released by the Beijing Consumers Association on May 31 reveals that livestreaming is even more pervasive in online shopping in China than marketers may have anticipated.

The survey, which included 4,112 consumers, found that an impressive 90% of respondents have either browsed or made purchases through livestreams.

This data is significant, considering that discussions on Chinese social commerce often revolve around millennials and emerging social media platforms.

influencers and key opinion leaders (KOLs) in China

The report’s findings underscore the influence of influencers and key opinion leaders (KOLs), with nearly half of the respondents citing their “love” or fondness for specific livestreamers as the primary motivation for tuning in. This emphasizes the crucial role of parasocial relationships in social commerce, where consumers develop a sense of connection and loyalty to livestream personalities.

Overall, the report highlights the dominance of livestreaming as a powerful tool in the Chinese online shopping landscape, demonstrating the significant impact and potential of influencers and KOLs in driving consumer engagement and purchasing decisions.

The most popular categories

The most popular categories for livestream shopping are cosmetics and

  • personal care products (50.78%),
  • by food and beverages (40.71%),
  • clothing and shoes (35.24%),
  • daily household items (25.41%),
  • digital appliances (20.65%),
  • jewelry and collectibles (16.25%).

Traditional e-commerce platforms remain the primary channels for livestream shopping, but there is significant potential for growth in short video and social media platforms.

Why Livestreaming?

The reasons for choosing livestream shopping vary. The survey found that the main reasons include the respondents’ fondness and trust for the livestream hosts. Nearly half (48.54%) of the respondents stated that they choose livestream shopping because they like the hosts, while 41.68% mentioned trust as their motivation. Additionally, 28.04% of the respondents said that livestream shopping stimulates their desire to shop, and 18.14% mentioned the affordability of products as a reason. When engaging in livestream shopping, consumers still prioritize factors such as product quality, price, and brand reputation. They also expect continuous improvement in platform management, industry self-regulation, host professionalism, and legal responsibilities.

It is worth noting that the survey also provided insights on two related phenomena in online consumption: “grass-root influence” (online content that promotes products) and “influencer store visits.” “Grass-root influence” content tends to be more covert and has lower discernibility, making it easier for consumers to trust.

Online Marketing of products or services that highlights their advantages to entice purchases.

Searching for experience

When consumers watch such content, they tend to seek inspiration or learn from others’ experiences. If exaggerated claims about the products or services are embedded in the objective content without clear disclosure of specific interests, it becomes challenging for consumers to distinguish the true nature of the products or services.

Searching for Feedbacks

Regarding influencer store visits, there is subjectivity and difficulty in judging the objectivity and authenticity of the experiences shared by hosts in business establishments. When hosts share their experiences of consuming products or services at certain locations, they do not proactively disclose their interests and often lack clear advertisement labels. The evaluations they provide possess personalized and specialized characteristics and allow a certain degree of freedom. Consumers find it challenging to assess the objectivity and authenticity of such information.

The Beijing Consumers Association emphasizes that livestream shopping differs from traditional online sales models. It involves complex relationships and legal issues, with potential overlaps and intersections of identities among the involved parties. The association suggests clarifying the division of responsibilities between livestream shopping platforms, merchants, and hosts through legislation or industry standards. This will establish compliance boundaries for all parties involved and guide and supervise their operations with integrity and adherence to the law.

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