Do you miss the dance floors? JD.com turns your living room into a nightclub
In many countries, the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the closure of establishments receiving the public such as bars, restaurants, concert halls or discos. As a result, clubbers around the world found themselves confined to their homes and unable to party in their favourite nightclubs overnight.
Very quickly, the Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com decided to help these young people overcome their confinement by launching a new service: Online Clubbing. The principle is very simple … if the partygoers can no longer go dancing in discos, they have to go to their homes. To succeed in this bet, JD.com has partnered with Taihe Music Group, the Chinese C-pop label. Each week, the e-commerce merchant welcomes on its live stream website – JD Live – one of the artists of the record company. For three hours, the DJ will make the crowds dance remotely.
In order to make the virtual party look even more like a real night at the disco, JD.com has formed partnerships with Chinese and international alcohol manufacturers. A real godsend for players whose sales have collapsed with the advent of coronavirus and containment.
Encouraged by the DJ, the clubber will be able, throughout the evening, to treat himself to a drink as he would in a real nightclub. All he has to do is click on the basket present on the stream to select his favourite drink and pay for it.
And it works! One brand saw its sales increase by 70% during one session. For another, its beer sales jumped by 40%. With this success and despite the lifting of the lockdown, JD.com continues its lives. The platform wants to broadcast from discos or music festivals in order to build loyalty among young people, a strategic target if ever there was one.
What if the Covid-19 pandemic marked the explosion of a new form of commerce: Live Commerce? The SARS epidemic in China between 2002 and 2004 was the starting point for the explosion in the world of e-commerce. Taobao was launched by Alibaba in 2003 to help Chinese consumers faced with massive store closures.
As history repeats itself, brands and retailers have since the beginning of the crisis turned to the live streaming platforms of the Chinese retail giants: JD Live, Taobao Live and the latest one launched at the beginning of the year, Pinduoduo Live streaming. Between January and February 2020, the number of merchants present on Taobao Live increased by +716%. Real estate agents, restaurateurs, shopping malls, international brands, car dealers and even farmers… everyone practices Live Commerce. Its turnover should moreover double in 2020 from 433 billion yuan to more than 900 billion yuan!
How can we explain such a success when live streaming remains mainly confined to the world of e-sport in Western countries?
Perfectly combining e-commerce and social commerce, Live Commerce surfs on the human need to relate to others. Even if the interaction is digital, live stream transforms e-commerce and makes the relationship more human.
Moreover, Chinese brands are currently betting on training to transform their salesmen into omnichannel advisers, capable of accompanying the customer in the shop but also at a distance. The cosmetics brand Forest Cabin had to close its 337 stores from one day to the next, causing a 90% drop in turnover. Faced with the threat of closing down within two months, it turned to live streaming. Within two weeks, it trained 1,600 employees in Live Commerce and managed to turn the tide, recording sales growth of +45% compared to the previous year.
This example shows that tomorrow’s trade will be relational. Back to human!