Quarantined Millions Fuel Colossal Spike in Demand
As populations cope with various stages of lockdowns, quarantines, social distancing, self-isolation, and sheltering in place, nobody knows what’s next. We hope you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy!
But just because you can’t predict the future doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay prepared. And today, we’ll explain how livestreamed shopping sessions fit into our near- and long-term plans.
Driven by the global pandemic, livestreaming is a rapidly expanding category of commerce. Hordes of people, voluntarily or involuntarily staying home, are going online in higher numbers. And all that extra time on the Internet is a boon for retailers currently unable to keep shops open.
In turn, that bodes well for our project. Why? Because, thankfully, we’re quite far along the path of building a smartphone app poised to leverage livestreaming’s growing success. But more on that later.
At RedFOX, we use nascent technologies to enhance proven business models. In other words, we identify what works in mature markets, then apply innovative tech while replicating those models here in Southeast Asia.
Now, you may or may not know RedFOX as a venture builder. But there’s no need for embarrassment if you’re unsure what the term even means. Today, we’ll not only clarify what a venture builder does, but we’ll also put the phrase into context.
Venture Building Reimagined
Before we dive into the rise of livestreaming, let’s cover how venture builders can leverage the platform’s popularity.
So, what’s a venture builder, exactly? Here, we’ll use it in a sentence:
RedFOX Labs is a venture builder using emerging tech to launch startup companies within SEA’s developing markets.
Still a little confused?
Maybe the mixup lies in the terminology. Rather than thinking of us as a ‘venture builder,’ envision a ‘startup studio’ building companies from scratch.
For example, if we weren’t already pursuing livestreaming, we may decide to build a company specializing in that commerce method.
Another way of visualizing our organizational structure is to think of RedFOX Labs as a spider.
The body symbolizes the core team, primarily operating from our Vietnam headquarters. Every time we launch a new startup, we essentially build a separate leg acting as a decentralized business entity.
And who knows, as we continue to build ventures, our structure may begin to resemble a centipede.
In the simplest of terms, RedFOX is a startup that builds startups. And one of our in-progress products — a cashback and rewards ecommerce platform — perfectly aligns with a growing trend.
You see, our upcoming app provides an easy entry point into SEA’s enormous digital economy. Better still, because our product’s launch involves partnerships with online merchants, it’s already setup to accommodate livestreaming.
Next-level Online Shopping
While livestreamed product sales isn’t a new concept, COVID-19 accelerated its adoption. During live and unfiltered online sessions, consumers can buy products without leaving the stream.
Live shopping’s appeal lies in customers’ connections with hosts. Shoppers interact with merchants in real-time and receive immediate responses to queries. Rather than rely on a static, most likely photoshopped product image, consumers can see items held by an actual person.
Streams often mimic live TV broadcasts — think Home Shopping Network or QVC. But unlike TV, there’s no extra step involved. Rather than dialing a number or visiting a separate website, viewers make purchases with only a few clicks.
Asia Leads the Charge
So, just how big has ecommerce livestreaming grown? While numbers vary from country to country, our Northern neighbor is the undisputed champ. And, per our business model, China’s livestreaming phenomenon has captured our attention.
Last year, China’s online livestreaming industry rose over 10%, landing at 504 million shoppers. To put that massive figure into perspective, the United States has 328M citizens. For every man, woman, and child in America, roughly 1.5 Chinese shoppers are buying items from livestream sessions.
According to a recent report from iiMedia, China’s 2019 livestreaming purchases eclipsed 433 billion yuan — or 61 billion USD.
Moreover, China’s virus-fueled spending surge looks to reach 916 billion yuan — 129 billion USD — during 2020.
The world’s largest etailer — Alibaba — shows us how connecting with buyers via livestreaming is attracting sellers and buyers alike. In February alone, the company’s fee-free Taobao Live platform enjoyed a 719% uptick in first-time merchants.
Even more impressive, shopper conversion rates often surpass 50%.
As physical stores shutter for weeks and months at a time, livestreaming is a win for consumers as well as retailers. Customers gain new avenues to find what they need. In addition, shop owners gain the chance to remain solvent.
Not everyone wants pricey, triple frappucino lattes, but consumers can access essentials such as local produce. Rural farmers offer real-time product introductions, adding a human element unavailable outside of offline shopping.
You’ve probably heard the adage, “necessity is the mother of invention.” And during these challenging times, shopkeepers must be inventive to stay afloat. Since customers can’t come to them, they’re going where the customers are — online.
Since much of the world’s personnel made a shift to remote work, the concept of reporting to an office is now upside down. Raise your hand if you enjoy sitting in traffic for at least an hour a day. From the employer’s side, who wants the costs and headaches of office space when we’ve proven how many employees can do their jobs remotely?
In other words, life as we know it is rapidly evolving. And that evolution filters straight into how the world shops for merchandise. Why drive to a store when you can tune into one — with a live person, no less — from the comfort of home?
Livestreaming’s not only the future of retail, but the concept’s also an ideal addition to our technology portfolio. Once again, China has broadcast a profitable undertaking to the world.
And now it’s up to us to roll out the tech here in Southeast Asia.
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