Live-commerce platforms in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong are racking up audiences in the hundreds of millions and are preparing to expand into new Asian markets.

Local audiences are so hooked on the concept, they actively look for opportunities to shop via live-streaming channels, according to Joseph Phua, CEO of Taiwan-based M17 Group.

“Watching other people shop makes you want to shop – this provides businesses with the chance to sell,” he told Tech Wire Asia.

And since the live-commerce session is set to end at a particular time, it creates a sense of urgency that e-commerce platforms could never create.

“Finally, as customers can ask questions on the stream, it allows for clarity which is what customers love in this day and age,” he added. “Overall, live-commerce just creates incredible opportunities for all kinds of businesses.”

This combination of “chance, urgency, and clarity” is paying off big for brands, some of which can boost sales by up to 500% compared to ordinary e-commerce platforms, Phua claimed.

While there have been some concerns that live-streaming may have reached its peak and may in future be hit by a double whammy of rising costs and burdensome regulation, Phua believes the market is only in its infancy.

“Live media is exciting because you can change the course of the content with your input,” he said. “It’s what marketers need today in order to capture, retain, and convert audiences.

“From Adidas to Zara, everywhere you look, products created by the best of brands, global or local, are sold faster via live-commerce.”

But success comes at a price for the stars in front of the camera. They can amass huge audiences but the appetite for content is ravenous.

One online celebrity, Li Jiaqi, told technode, he has 20 million fans but no friends – because to maintain that fan base he must keep up a frenzied work rate.

Every day there are at least 10,000 live-streams on Taobao, the channel he appears on. If he takes time off, he says, his fans will simply check out the other 9,999, and maybe the next day no-one will come back.

Sourced from Tech Wire Asia, technode; additional content by WARC staff