E-commerce live streaming takes off in SEA as Lazada and Shopee go head to head

Users are able to chat with sellers, learn about products, and ask questions in real-time.

Live streaming on e-commerce platforms in Asia Pacific is set to grow bigger as rivals Lazada and Shopee continue investing heavily in the feature on their apps.

Having livestreamed a music concert on its app simultaneously across its six markets in APAC, as part of its 7th birthday celebrations in March 2019, Lazada used the same feature for its inaugural Women’s Festival a month later.

Aside from the usual in-app games, there were fashion shows called “See-Now-Buy-Now” that were streamed live on the Lazada’s app to allow users to buy products from international brands, local sellers and designers.

The Alibaba-owned platform claimed the shows drew more than 300,000 views in Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, and attracted local celebrities, fashion editors, influencers and their fans.

“At Lazada, we empower sellers and support them with game-changing marketing and Shoppertainment initiatives to better engage their customers and even become leaders in their fields,” said Mary Zhou, chief marketing officer at Lazada.

“That is how they can ultimately excite customers to drive the growth of their eBusinesses and online shopping. So everyone can look forward to more live streaming and high quality content that will be launched in the coming months.”

In the same month, Shopee launched its Great Shopee Sale where it unveiled its livestreaming feature called Shopee LIVE in Singapore. Like Lazada’s livestreaming feature, users are able to chat with sellers, learn about products, and ask questions in real-time before buying them without leaving the app.

However, Lazada’s livestreaming feature is currently only available in Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.

Tencent-backed Shopee claimed sellers and brands that have participated in Shopee LIVE saw sales increased by up to 75%.

“Singaporeans are looking for more than just a transactional shopping experience, they are demanding more entertainment and engagement,” said Zhou Junjie, the chief commercial officer at Shopee.

“Drawing on the strong reception of our pioneering in-app features, our new suite of interactive features offer higher entertainment and engagement value, allowing us to create more meaningful connections with our users.”

“We will also continue to work closely with our ever-growing community of brands and retail partners to bring the best campaigns and promotions to Singaporeans.”

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