Retail in Asia


Luxury beauty brands’ Taobao live-stream GMV grew 107 percent in 2021

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Live-streaming has become a key marketing strategy for brands to strengthen their presence in China. According to statistics released by TaoCharts in March, more than 90 percent of luxury beauty brands present on Taobao have live-streamed on the platform, resulting in a total Gross Merchandising Value (GMV) increase of 107 percent in 2021.

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The rapid growth in sales has changed the perception that Taobao live-stream is for mass market products only. Though most beauty brands have tapped into e-commerce live-streaming, luxury beauty brands were relatively slow to experiment with it. The scenario changed in recent years when luxury beauty brands relied more on live-streaming to reach Chinese customers.

According to Statista, e-commerce represented the most popular content type of live-streaming in China with about 464 million users as of December 2021, accounting for about 45 percent of the total internet population. Live-streaming commerce is a new format which combines influencer marketing and social experience into a live shopping show on e-commerce platforms, with Toabao, Douyin and Kuaishou as the prominent players in China’s live commerce market.

In China, e-commerce live-streaming is mainly classified into two formats according to TaoCharts: collaborations with KOLs and self-operated live broadcast rooms on their own platforms. The statistics have revealed that sales of self-operated live broadcast rooms have increased by 187 percent compared with 2020.

On 4th March, scented British lifestyle brand, Jo Malone held a live-stream session for its “Marmalade Dream collection” launch in China. To attract more viewers, the brand also invited its General Manager, Neo Ye, to join the session. The results were an increase in new members attending the live-stream by 81 percent.

Dior also joined live-streaming on Taobao during “3.8 sale” in March with its brand ambassador Liu Yuxin on Taobao, featuring the Maison’s new product “Dior La Mousse OFF/ON”. The live broadcast reached more than 366,000 views and has become the most-watched one of the month.

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With increasing popularity of e-commerce live-streaming in China, the trend can no longer be ignored.