聚焦中国

双语图文 | 突然走红的“直播带货”,面临哪些挑战和动力?

作者信息:
布鲁诺(Bruno Lannes)是贝恩公司资深全球合伙人
邓旻是贝恩公司全球合伙人、大中华区消费品业务主席

口红,方便面……在新冠疫情来袭之前,中国消费者已经热衷于在淘宝、快手、抖音等直播和短视频平台“买买买”。

2019年,线上零售见证了直播的井喷式增长,淘宝直播销售的商品数量增长三倍,而参与直播商户数量近乎翻番。贝恩此前开展的调研显示,三年前还默默无闻的直播电商,在众多新平台的支持下,2019年增长三倍有余,占到了线上零售(不只是快速消费品)总额的4%和总体零售额的1%。

贝恩认为,眼下,直播成为最火热的零售趋势离不开各类推动因素。一方面,手机视频拥有庞大的潜在用户群,通过视频推销的本土和折扣商品坐拥巨型消费市场。另一方面,日益成熟的平台生态、网红、品牌商和运营方的联合推动,更成烈火烹油之势。

但是,直播也面临着一项根本性挑战:多数商品都依靠促销让利。比如,李佳琦和薇娅等头部主播的产品售价往往是淘宝官方价的七折到四折,有时甚至低于“双十一”价格。尽管直播提供了一种购买消费品的新方式促进冲动型消费,但也影响了快速消费品的总体促销率,并压低了平均售价。


Even before Covid-19 kept Chinese shoppers at home and out of the stores, they started loving livestreaming—buying everything from lipstick to instant noodles via short, engaging personal videos on platforms such as Taobao, Kuaishou and Douyin, as well as a host of new platforms that tripled in number in 2019. Livestreaming provides immersive experiences, personalized recommendations and, as the country eventually locked down during the Covid-19 pandemic, an entertaining alternative to physical shopping trips.

Virtually nonexistent three years ago, livestreaming now accounts for 4% of total online retail sales in China and about 1% of total retail sales. A number of factors make livestreaming the hottest retailing trend. It has a vast potential audience for mobile video—a huge market of consumers for the low-priced local products promoted on short videos. Combine that with the mature ecosystem of platforms, key opinion leaders (KOLs), brands and operating parties. The number of products promoted on Taobao via livestreaming nearly tripled in 2019—before the pandemic—and the number of Taobao livestreaming merchants almost doubled.

But livestreaming comes with a fundamental challenge: Many of the products sell on promotion. For example, products on livestreams hosted by top KOLs such as Li Jiaqi and Viya usually sell at a 30% to 60% discount to the Tmall price and sometimes lower than the Double 11 festival prices. While it has introduced a new way to purchase consumer goods and encourages impulse shopping, livestreaming also has influenced the overall rate of fast-moving consumer goods sold on promotion and, as a result, has depressed average selling prices.