**Chinese Livestreamers target TikTok Shoppers in the US and Europe**
Chinese livestreamers are expanding their reach to target TikTok shoppers in the US and Europe, offering a wide range of products including bags, apparel, and crystals. Despite uncertainties surrounding the future of TikTok in the US and elsewhere, Chinese livestreamers see this as a potentially lucrative market. The success of livestreaming ecommerce in China, which is projected to reach 4.9 trillion yuan ($676 billion) by the end of the year, has led hosts to seek opportunities in Western markets.
**Livestreaming Ecommerce gaining popularity in China**
In China, popular livestreaming hosts like “Lipstick King” Austin Li generate millions of dollars in sales during a single livestream. Brands such as L’Oreal, Nike, and Louis Vuitton have also started using livestreaming to reach a larger customer base. However, due to the highly competitive market in China, some hosts are looking to the US and Europe to establish themselves in niche markets.
**Former English Tutor finds success livestreaming on TikTok**
Oreo Deng, a former English tutor, has found success selling jewelry to US customers through livestreaming on TikTok. She conducts sales pitches in English for about four to six hours per day, leveraging her experience as an English tutor and her background in cross-border e-commerce. Deng believes that livestreaming on TikTok aligns well with her previous work experiences.
**Livestreaming Platforms in Western Markets**
Since 2019, e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Facebook in the West have started experimenting with livestreaming ecommerce after witnessing the success of Chinese platforms such as Alibaba’s Tmall and Taobao, as well as Douyin, TikTok’s counterpart in China. TikTok also began testing its live shopping feature last year, allowing registered merchants from various countries to sell via livestreams. However, livestreaming ecommerce has yet to gain traction in the US, the world’s largest consumer market. Research and advisory firm Coresight Research predicts that the livestreaming e-commerce market in the US will grow to $68 billion by 2026.
**Challenges Faced by TikTok**
Livestreaming e-commerce on TikTok faces challenges in the US due to the platform’s potential restrictions stemming from tensions between Beijing and Washington. TikTok, owned by Chinese technology company ByteDance, has been criticized for its Chinese ties and accused of being a national security risk due to the data it collects. Despite these challenges, many Chinese hosts see the US as an untapped market with opportunities for growth and less competition compared to China.
**Opportunities in the US Market**
Chinese merchants often price items higher in the US, where customers are accustomed to paying higher prices, compared to China where profit margins are typically thin. Jacob Cooke, CEO of e-commerce consultancy WPIC, believes that the livestream format will be successful in the US once companies gather enough data on customer preferences and adjust their strategies accordingly. For US shoppers, livestream shopping is seen as a form of entertainment, with the possibility of finding unique and special items. The format also allows for personalized customer service and interactions with hosts.
**Leveraging Tactics for Success**
Chinese livestreaming hosts employ various tactics to stand out and build a loyal customer base. Some focus on personalized customer service, while others use quirky catchphrases and flamboyant online personalities to keep viewers entertained. Yan Guanghua, one of TikTok’s earliest livestreamers in China, organizes boot camps to teach others how to increase their sales through livestreaming. Yan, a former English tutor, has trained over 600 people and charges $1,000 for two-day boot camps.
**Future of Livestreaming Ecommerce**
Although it is difficult to predict the future of livestreaming e-commerce, TikTok remains one of the most popular platforms. Livestreaming hosts like Yan are optimistic about the potential growth of overseas livestreaming e-commerce markets, believing that there are still opportunities to be explored. As more livestreamers enter the market and gain insights into customer preferences, the industry is likely to flourish, mirroring the success of livestreaming ecommerce in China.