What Is eCommerce Live Stream?

In 2020 ecommerce live stream sales now account for 4% of total online retail sales in China and about 1% of total retail sales.1

These ‘infomercials rebooted’ are a form of online browsing and buying paired with live video streaming.2 Unlike traditional online buying, it’s social, entertaining, and far more interactive.

What Apps Are Popular For Hosting Live eCommerce?

Some merchants and marketplaces are building their own in-house live streaming platforms, with others turning to existing social media like Tik Tok, Facebook and Instagram. There is also a growing market of specialist apps, including:

  • AliExpress Live
  • Amazon Live
  • Facebook Live
  • Taobao Live
  • Kuaishou
  • TVON
  • Douyin
  • Twitch
  • Shopee
  • Lazada

While China has been most successful with live commerce, it may be poised to take off throughout APAC. Internet speeds are getting faster and more stable across the region. Japan and Korea are leading in streaming speeds. The latter now has some of the world’s fastest bandwidth, after launching its 5G network a few years ago. With this infrastructure, hosting live commerce events is simple for even the smallest merchant or marketplace.

In Singapore, Facebook Live events are being used by many merchants, as they offer a low barrier for trying out live commerce.

Live streamers can set up a Facebook business account or use their personal accounts to gather interest among followers. It’s easy for shoppers to watch and share, and friends can comment and invite others – allowing them to look at your live stream as well. Another reason Facebook Live is proving popular is its security. Shoppers need to log in before they can start viewing a live commerce event.

What’s Different About eCommerce Live Streaming In 2020?

Live commerce has captured the attention of international tech and retail giants, such as Amazon. The company launched Amazon Live to enable brands to broadcast shows, product demos and talk shows in early 2019.

The impact of COVID may lead larger players like eBay, Walmart, and Rakuten to look again at live commerce offerings, in an era where buyers stay home and ‘window shop’ online.

When Singapore’s vegetable markets closed during the country’s COVID ‘circuit breaker’, many turned to Facebook Live to start selling. They had few options: put food in cold storage, which would kill the inventory value by 50%, find a buyer fast or let food spoil and lose 100% of value. Quick-thinking merchants and marketplaces used Facebook Live to reach their shoppers, accept orders, and liquidate their inventory.

Why It’s Live Commerce’s Time to Shine Across Asia

The opportunities go beyond ‘fire sales’ of perishable stock.

Across Asia, search interest in ecommerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and Sendo has gone up, according to Google.3 The search engine giant reported Thailand saw a 63% increase over the same time last year, while Malaysia (+32%) and Vietnam (+13%) also saw searches grow.

In fact, Lazada claims it drew more than a quarter of a million views in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines when it live streamed ‘see-now buy-now’ shopping events during its first Women’s Festival in 2019.4  LF Corp and TVON are reportedly launching live chat capabilities between shoppers and merchants in South Korea, with Japan’s ecommerce giant Rakuten venturing into streaming too.5

How Merchants Can Get Started with Live Commerce

  1. Plan your live stream like an event and work out logistics and technologies before announcing your live date.
  2. Do your research and choose a streaming platform that aligns with your needs.
  3. Hire a professional film crew and consider professional set design.
  4. Recruit guests and influencers who can deliver a larger audience.
  5. Promote your live commerce event.
  6. Test everything before going live and give yourself at least 24 hours to fix issues.
  7. Monitor traffic and measure sales both during and after the event.
  8. Record the event and publish to your video channels after it ends.

Real-time payments are often another priority for merchants who want to confirm orders and offer a seamless checkout experience. Bank transfer and ewallets may offer more peace of mind for merchants, given that both payment methods often include seller protection – which can protect against chargeback or fraud risks.

Power Your Live Stream with Local Payment Methods

Use Rapyd Collect Online to accept cards, bank transfers, ewallets and cash.

Learn More


  1. https://www.bain.com/insights/chinas-sudden-love-affair-with-livestreaming-snap-chart/
  2. https://www.imd.org/research-knowledge/articles/How-China-revolutionising-e-commerce/
  3. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-apac/trends-and-insights/3-rising-trends-reveal-future-e-commerce-sea/
  4. https://www.thedrum.com/news/2019/06/07/e-commerce-live-streaming-takes-sea-lazada-and-shopee-go-head-head
  5. https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2020/03/31/how-livestreaming-will-transform-global-ecommerce-in-2020/
  6. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-live-stream-checklist
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