Jul 27, 2020|

Wang Feng’s Livestream Debut: Building a Quality Model


by Yuchuan Wang

On July 15th, Chinese rockstar Wang Feng did his debut livestream on JD. The 4-hour livestream attracted over 9.15 million views and resulted in over RMB 200 million yuan (US$ 28.6 million) in sales.

Wang’s livestream serves as an ideal model of e-commerce livestreaming. He introduced over 30 quality products from a variety of categories, including Huawei, Philips, Lenovo, and many more. In addition, he was well-prepared for the broadcast because he participated in the product selection and related marketing. He also had strong knowledge of the products he sold; their functions, specifications, and brand histories.

Chinese rockstar Wang Feng did his debut livestream on JD.

“E-commerce livestreaming should not be just a sales channel, but a brand marketing opportunity,” said Guowei Zhang, head of JD Live at JD.com. “Merchants should care more about their customers than about pure sales data, and make sales a natural result of brand marketing.”

In the midst of COVID-19’s impacts on businesses in 2020, e-commerce livestreaming has been brought into the spotlight with e-commerce and video platforms, celebrities, and brands rushing into the arena. As of March 2020, the number of China’s mobile users watching pan-entertainment livestreams exceeded 150 million, accounting for nearly twenty percent of the internet population.

Livestreaming brings unique value to both consumers and e-commerce platforms. People save time when comparing products across platforms as livestreaming provides a low threshold and an entertaining shopping experience. Additionally, the interactive approach drives consumers to place orders.

That being said, the industry is witnessing an increasing number of celebrities who fail to generate good sales despite having a large amount of traffic. In a recent livestream held by gagman Xiao Shenyang, only 20 orders of Chinese liquor were sold, and 16 of them were returned.

Such unexpected failures serve to highlight some challenges. A confusing product selection, unprofessional livestreamers not familiar with the model or the products, or too much focus on gimmicks rather than the products can be detrimental to success.

JD’s chosen livestreaming process is different from most others in the industry. Other brands and platforms entice high traffic by offering low-priced products to the possible detriment of their perceived brand value. By contrast, JD Live seeks to find a sustainable model that provides the best products to consumers and creates an entertaining shopping experience, while satisfying the needs of partner brands and livestreamers.