There’s a small village, three kilometers away from the Yiwu International Trade City in East China’s Zhejiang province, called Beixiazhu.
You don’t have to know how to pronounce the name, Beixiazhu, but you need to know something incredible about it. In Chinese terms, it is considered a tiny village… And you barely won’t even be able to see it when looking at the map. A ridiculous amount of only 1,300 people actually live there (in a country where a city like Los Angeles would have been considered a small town). But 13,000 people work there daily in one very particular job.
And their job is the reason why I share this village with you today: in this tiny village, believe it or not, 13,000 people live-stream every single day.
There are over 40 offices of companies that deliver products to all the major Chinese cities.
And in fact, this tiny village is responsible for the shipments of almost ONE MILLION express packages every single day.
All these packages that are being shipped from this tiny village are sold thanks to Live Streaming.
Many of you were asking me why I dedicated the last year to building my new live-streaming eCommerce startup. I wanted to share this video today so you’ll understand how powerful live-streaming is in China. Last year alone livestreaming eCommerce in China generated 125 billion dollars in sales. Stop for a second, and think about this number: 125,000,000,000 dollars.
Not too long ago, Walmart was the leading candidate for the acquisition of Tiktok. Stop for a moment and think: why would Walmart, a giant retailer, among all the companies out there, consider acquiring a social media platform?
It’s easy. The giant retailer sees the numbers and realizes what makes their shoppers tick. What makes people take action and place an order.
Live streaming e-commerce has been booming in China for several years now allowing companies like Douyin (the Chinese version of Tiktok which has 600 million daily active users), and the like, to enter the realm of online shopping by enabling impulsive buying of items displayed in a single click video.
I keep encouraging my influencer friends to join this fascinating trend in the USA by joining the new Amazon Influencer program and streaming on Amazon Live. If until today, we were able to share some ‘associate links’ on our youtube video (yeah yeah, this annoying line we kept saying on youtube: “check the link in the description below this video to get this item on Amazon”), we no longer need to shift our ‘viewers’ attention from watching a video on youtube and divert them into the ‘buying mode’ of adding a product to cart on Amazon.
They are already in that mindset.
Amazon Live made the influencer job a lot easier.
With these enormous numbers – it’s extremely hard to argue – this is literally the fastest-growing field in e-commerce in China and it is expected to reach the US faster than you think.
When Amazon keeps advertising Amazon Live on their own platform, pushing so much traffic into live streams, highlighting these influencers on thousand of product pages as they go live, and compensating creators for every single product sold – the sky is the limit.
Perhaps more relevant to influencers here on LinkedIn is that this field is an opportunity for every influencer, no matter what social platforms they currently use, to enter the field of online commerce. To monetize their “influence” or their sales abilities – on a huge scale.
Amazon Live solves a huge problem for influencers. It used to be the ‘associate program’ where you had to have a website and use links generated by Amazon to be able to get compensated. You had to send traffic using these links and get what is referred to as “off-site traffic”.
But now everything’s changed. Amazon came up with their “on-site traffic” opportunity where you no longer have to create a website, promote it with digital campaigns, try to push traffic to it and create demand, analyze your data, do SEO, check ROI, and all these obstacles that prevented influencers from jumping on the eCommerce bandwagon.
What we have, is a top-of-the-line platform, through which our live streaming takes place, which takes care of the entire distribution system: from showing our content to their hundreds of millions of shoppers, to delivering their orders with free 2nd-day shipping! And all it takes is one iPhone with the Creators App, and of course to be accepted into the influencers program…
Beixiazhu might be an example of an extreme situation – the small livestreaming village is an entire ecosystem – home to over 1000 online trading companies, offices of all courier companies, and a magnet for thousands of young Chinese men and women seeking to get rich or at least make a living from livestreaming. It’s very easy for them: the merchandise is already there, and on every hot new item that is being released to the market, there are a bunch of creators livestreaming about it.
It is important to note that here too – more than half of the people are not really able to make a living from it. But of those who do – there are ones who report sales of over 10,000 items for a successful stream and in extreme cases – even over 100,000 units.
How much do they make? Each sale earns on average one yuan (less than a quarter). You can imagine that for some of these Chinese influencers, their income makes the annual salary that some people would have earned in previous jobs in factories or physical stores.
The reality is that Amazon Live is still in its infancy which means that although the numbers are still not like Beixiazhu, we at least know that this road will not only produce a new style of influence stardom but will eventually provide brands as well as content creators a new type of platform to drive billions of dollars in product sales.
Just remember what the Shopping Network and QVC did for retail back in the 80s and 90s on “old school” television. This is how eCommerce livestreaming will disrupt the retail industry for the next 10 years.