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South-east Asian merchants embracing livestream sales

Published Wed, Oct 7, 2020 · 09:12 AM
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THE use of livestreaming to sell products has ballooned in South-east Asia this year, according to a survey of regional businesses.

That's even as e-commerce gross merchandise value (GMV) rose to US$1.3 million in the second quarter of 2020, among the more than 1,000 sellers polled in four key markets.

Their GMV for that period was more than five times the US$237,000 in the first three months, the industry data from Taiwanese artificial intelligence startup iKala showed.

Overall, GMV in January to June was up by 306 per cent year on year, while order volume grew 115 per cent, across Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Singapore.

The study flagged a "remarkable difference in live-streaming engagement" between the first and second quarters of the year as well. The share of retailers who used live-selling techniques increased by 13 per cent quarter on quarter, to 67 per cent.

Merchants in the Philippines led the pack in live-selling, with 60 per cent of businesses having tapped the tactic to attract buyers. Some 47 per cent wooed customers with Messenger broadcasts - the highest level of adoption in the region.

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Meanwhile, close to half of retailers in Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam have invested in live-selling, although Thai and Vietnamese merchants also preferred to use special offers and giveaways, referral coupons and customer feedback to garner goodwill.

Consumers in Vietnam and the Philippines made more frequent purchases through live-selling, with the survey finding a median of 3 to 3.1 days between transactions.

But spree-shopping was less popular in Thailand, with a median of 3.9 days, and Singapore, where customers went 5.6 days between buys.

Overall, women were most likely to use social media to shop - especially the 25-to-34 group in Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, and those aged 35 to 44 in Singapore.

iKala polled some 12,000 consumers and more than 1,000 retailers in Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Singapore for the report.

"Social commerce was growing steadily, but combined with the pandemic and the closure of malls and physical stores, it has accelerated live-selling across South-east Asia - a trend that's here to stay," said iKala chief executive Sega Cheng.

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