Live streaming events offer many benefits including more opportunities for real-time interaction with sellers
by LYDIA NATHAN/ pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN
DURING a live streaming shopping session via Lazada, a female buyer somehow had her eye on a certain dress, but could not seem make up her mind if the piece was what she really wanted.
Since the session allows her to interact with the seller on her screen, she thought it would help if someone could actually try on the dress so that she could decide if the piece was for her.
The seller, who was actually a male, obliged and the deal was sealed.
“It was a great way for the seller to form a bond with his buyer,” Lazada Malaysia chief marketing officer Diana Boo told (picture; above) The Malaysian Reserve in a recent interview.
The new trend of allowing shoppers to interact with sellers on Lazada is expected to be the real future for e-commerce.
Also known as shopping entertainment, or shoppertainment for short, the new service is Lazada’s latest offering that is getting quite a bit of attention.
Boo said live streaming events offer many benefits including more opportunities for real-time interaction with sellers, allowing consumers to engage and ask questions about the products.
“Sellers can actually answer questions or give feedback on the product,” she said.
So, instead of looking at still pictures without understanding the dimension of a certain product, consumers can now have a better idea about what they are about to purchase (or not).
Among the other shows that had been live-streamed by Lazada included the LazAda Style in April this year.
It was also the first live-streamed fashion show conducted ahead of the hari raya festival sales.
Boo said a “see now buy now” option was brought in, so consumers could add products to carts in real-time as models strutted down the runway, making it a highly integrated show.
“The show has created a tangible experience for viewers and during the sale, we saw a 3.6 times uplift for the fashion category compared to a normal day. The Muslimah wear subcategory also saw three times the uplift in that period.
“Similar fashion shows were also held in the Philippines and Thailand, drawing more than 300,000 viewers,” she said.
Lazada was also appointed as the official e-commerce partner for the recent Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week 2019 (KLFW 2019), where it hosted 10 home-grown designers on its platform.
Boo said the initiative was part of the group’s support for local brands and sellers during its “Kita MerdeKawan” sales campaign during Merdeka month.
“The clothing and fashion items featured were all from the designers’ latest edition. People could watch the live show and make purchases from the comfort of their own homes.
“In empowering our local home-grown designers, we look forward to working with them again and doing more coverage of the designers,” she said.
Another popular show hosted on its platform was “Guess It”, the first-ever region-wide live-streamed game show across all six markets.
Boo said it was in conjunction with the Mid-Year Festival in July 2019 and has garnered a total viewership of 5.5 million people across South-East Asia.
“During our recent Mid-Year Festival, we reached a new record of highest units sold on Flash Sale, twice compared to the seventh birthday campaign in March.
“We also introduced our very own Tech Ah Beng live-stream, a personality who reviews and recommends products on Lazada in his own unique way. From this, we saw a 15 times sales uplift in electronics compared to a normal day,” Boo said. She said consumers no longer want to just make a quick stop and purchase items.
A deeper and more authentic level of interaction would build consumers’ trust which, in the long run, could lead to better consumer loyalty.
Via the new format, Lazada also plans to help more sellers and brands to reach out to their clients without forking out any budget for advertising and marketing.
She said smaller businesses may not have as much to splurge on advertising and promotional programmes, and that’s where Lazada would come in handy.
Boo added that sellers can apply to be part of the live stream option, by giving Lazada details on their types of products and how the show would be run.
“Our team will then evaluate the application and let the seller pick a time slot.
“It was proven to be very effective when we first opened up the option.
About 200 sellers had registered within a day.
“However, Lazada still has to train the sellers because it is important not to waste either the sellers’ or the consumers’ time.
“We have to maintain crowd control and the quality, as well as to drive traffic to the show when it goes live,” she said.
So far, Lazada has trained about 200 sellers and the number is growing every day.
“In fact, today, there is something on every day on the platform, whether it is a game or a small show,” Boo said.
Boo said Lazada also recognises the importance of keeping up with the current trends and the company will remain committed to creating a healthy and sustainable e-commerce ecosystem.
“We have observed some main drivers in South-East Asia which we would pioneer so that we could stay ahead of consumers’ needs and wants,” she said.
Among them are the emergences of new categories and loyalty programmes that will build repeat customers.
Boo said categories such as groceries, daily essentials, and digital goods and services are set to be the industry’s game-changer this year.
“The introduction of loyalty programmes with rewards, promotions and discounts from top partners will be made available to encourage consumers to make purchases.
“It is something we will focus on this year,” she said.
Additionally, Boo said e-commerce has seen a trend of convergence for the integration of online to offline shopping experiences.
“For example, Baskin Robbins offers special discounts on the 31st of every month for the year to celebrate the anniversary.
“What Lazada is doing is selling the vouchers. However, instead of using them on that one day, consumers can use the voucher on any day for the same price. This eliminates unnecessary queues and outlets running out of certain flavours,” she said.
Lazada also will increase curated video content from worldwide brands in various categories including makeup and cooking demonstrations.
“We expect key opinion leaders to heavily influence consumers’ purchasing decisions, particularly in these categories. That’s why live stream shows have become so popular; our consumers want more than just photos on the app,” Boo said.
Moving forward, Lazada will host a leadership summit this October called the Lazada WECOMMERCE 2019, aimed at matching businesses and providing a venue for local sellers to connect directly with global traders.
Boo said a key component in ensuring competitiveness among small and medium-sized enterprises and avoiding saturation in the market is through business-matching.
“As part of efforts to build a strong digital economy in Malaysia, Lazada wants to help sellers to grow businesses through the assortment and better value by eliminating intermediary channels.
“Business-matching helps build a comprehensive e-commerce network and also creates opportunities and value towards e-commerce supplying industries across the supply chain,” Boo said.