With the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, shopping habits among Malaysians have taken a dramatic turn. With social distancing in place, and temporary closures of shops and shopping malls, many have turned to online shopping.
In 2020 alone, e-commerce in Malaysia grew almost 25% to RM30.2 billion, and is expected to generate an income of up to RM51.6 billion by the time 2024 comes around.
This comes as no surprise because according to a recent survey, as many as 86% of Malaysians are on social media.
Shopping online comes quite naturally to Malaysians, who visit online shopping platforms like Lazada and Shopee frequently. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic started in Facebook Live Streaming during MCO, there has been a trend taking the e-commerce world by storm. This trend is known as livestream commerce.
In livestream commerce, vendors set up a live session on social media sites like Facebook to interact with their followers and the public.
These sessions are often entertaining. In addition to showing and talking about their products, vendors will sing, crack jokes, answer questions and more on their Facebook live stream.
Read also: Emerging E-Commerce Trends Amidst Covid
How Brands and Businesses Can Use Live Streaming As Their Brand Voice
Live commerce is the perfect way for you to get closer to your customers. Live streaming gives a face to your company, making it more human and more relatable.
Through the various interactions with customers, vendors will be able to build a relationship with them. This is beyond the usual customer-brand relationship of the past, as interaction is done directly, through live comments.
Through live streaming, you’ll also be able to build your brand’s character and personality. These are the traits that people will know you for. Here are some ways you can build your brand via Facebook live streaming.
Host Other Live Streamers & Influencers
One way you can reach out beyond your usual circle of followers is by hosting a live stream session with other live streamers.
One example of this is when Shopee invited several influencers to a live stream session to count down to the Shopee birthday event.
When you host one of more live streamers on your page, you also bring their followers over. They will definitely promote the session to their own followers, which means you’ll be able to attract viewers from outside your usual circle.
You don’t actually need to have a special occasion to host other streamers – just having sharing sessions or Q&A sessions are more than enough.
Also, you might want to consider not hard –selling your products, but rather provide some value-added information for viewers instead.
DJ Leaf Lum often hosts other streamers, and promotes products in the video’s comments section. Source: Leaf’s Channel
Start A Q&A Sessions With Your Audience
Not every live session has to involve selling or promoting your products. You can vary your content by starting a question and answer session.
Let your followers know you’ll be hosting one soon, and set a theme for the Q&A.
It could be related to your products and how to use them, or it could be a fun session that has nothing to do with your business, and just a general informative Q&A.
Greyscalegorilla hosted a Q&A about the technical side of their products. Source: Greyscalegorilla
Have Community Building Live Streams
Once in a while, you can also start a live stream on Facebook that takes place outside of your usual comfort zone.
These community building live streams are value-added content that will give your followers useful information for daily life and allow them to connect with you and with each other.
Some ideas may include an interview with an expert, a charity donation drive, an outdoor review, a location visit and much more.
These community building sessions are more for attracting and benefiting followers, rather than selling your products or services to them directly.
Live crab seller Amin Ketam Nipah often posts about incidents in his community. Source: Amin Ketam Nipah Live Channel
Sell Your Products Live
This is what many vendors who have Facebook live streams do – they display their products and speak about it at length.
Customers can then place orders by leaving comments or messaging the vendor.
This classic style of selling through a live stream has been widely adopted. However, each vendor has their own style of talking.
If you want your business to stand out, you can come up with your own unique entertaining way of conducting your live stream selling sessions.
Livestream vendors in Malaysia often sell their products through live bidding. Source: RF & RH Collection
3 Ways Your Brand Can Benefit From Live Streaming
Live streaming is able to bring a new dimension to your marketing efforts online. It offers some unique benefits that other marketing strategies just don’t have. Here are some of them:
Ability To Grow Your Audience
A live stream on Facebook is able to attract new followers to your page.
As long as you offer something unique, and can present your products in an attractive way, you’ll find more users on the social media platform going your way.
In order to continuously drive traffic to your live streams, make sure you publicize them on the social media site you’re using. State the date and time, and be regular with your live stream sessions.
Stick to a schedule, organize live streams regularly, and vary your content. These strategies will no doubt bring you more attention in the long run.
Sylvia Vietnam Fashion Shop started out with a few hundred viewers, but her latest videos can attract up to 16.5K viewers. Source: Sylvia Vietnam Fashion Shop
Humanize Audience Interactions For Better Engagements
It’s one thing to talk to someone over a chat app, but another experience to see them live on a video.
It’s even better if their comments are taken note of and reacted to – this makes the interaction fun and more personal.
Most SME businesses carry out their live streams in a very cozy setting, with less than a thousand viewers. This makes it easy to interact with viewers and engage with all of them.
Therefore, if you’re just starting out, there’s no need to aim for several thousands of viewers. In fact, starting out with a small audience lets you engage them much easier.
Don’t worry if you have a small number of viewers. This way you can interact with everyone effectively: Source: NPI Live Mall
Increase Brand Credibility
When you put a face to your brand, you are also lending credibility to it. This means the public can see you’re being sincere and transparent; not afraid to show your identity while standing by your products.
The act of live streaming helps build trust in your brand, so that people now know they can believe in the quality and trustworthiness of your products.
Your live stream shouldn’t just be entertaining, but be an act of brand transparency as well. When someone sees you standing by your brand in such an obvious manner, they will tend to believe in the validity of your products too.
Create a ‘Fear of Missing Out’
The ‘Fear of Missing Out’ or FOMO phenomenon is one whereby a social media user feels like they’re not present when something exciting happens.
You can create the FOMO element in your audience by putting out content that makes people not want to miss out on any of your content.
If you’re able to come up with live streams on Facebook that can create that level of excitement and anticipation among your audience, you would have succeeded in building that quality brand name for yourself.
Create a pop-up follow button so viewers don’t miss out on your next live. Source: Mr. Happy
The Top Livestream Commerce Products To Sell in Malaysia
Although live streaming is the new trend in online marketing, not all types of products and services are suitable to be sold on live stream.
Usually, live stream commerce would be geared towards the sale of products that can be reviewed and demonstrated easily, as well as products that are small enough and can be displayed to the customer.
The National Ecommerce Strategic Roadmap ( NESR) is encouraging more and more SMEs to adopt online marketing, and live streaming commerce is definitely on the cards.
This is one way for smaller businesses to improve their customer relations in a very cost effective manner. Indeed, live streams on Facebook allow vendors to reach out to their customers without spending much on production. They only need a phone or a small plug and play camera attached to their computer.
These are the top 6 types of products on the universe of live streaming commerce today:
1. Clothing and Fashion
It’s easy to see how clothing can be sold through live streaming. It’s a product that can be easily displayed to customers, and there are many people already buying their clothes online these days especially after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Concerns about going out to malls have increased the sale of online fashion exponentially.
The online fashion industry is the largest among all the online e-commerce businesses.
In 2019, Statista reported that the Malaysian e-commerce fashion market brought in USD 874.5 million in sales.
This number is expected to hit USD 1.83 billion in 2021. That’s about RM7.6 billion in one year.
The demographics of fashion consumers in Malaysia are mostly women who are young and single. They have a considerably high buying power, and also more time to spend browsing the internet for their various styles. This demographic
Influencer VivianLiu often conducts live streams to sell her pre-loved clothes. Source: Vivian 刘秀薇
There are tens of thousands of fashion live streamers on Facebook.
These other content includes videos of her pet dog, dance covers, food reviews and much more. This strategy actually breaks the monotony of having only sales live streams, which can bore your audience.
Also, fashion and clothing live streaming sessions exciting by giving fashion tips and recommending which pieces to mix and match – this gives the audience value added information that’s not directly related to the products.
Some of the most popular fashion and clothing products you’ll find online are Muslimah wear, hijabs and accessories like watches, bags, shoes, jewelry and more.
Wafiy Collection sells hijabs for women to wear on a daily basis. Source: Wafiy Collection
2. Electronics and Media
The online electronics and appliances market is one that is growing rapidly. Many consumers are turning to online platforms to shop for their electronics because they feel they have more choices and can compare prices better.
This is a very important attraction point as physical electronic stores usually don’t have enough space to sell many brands and usually don’t offer different prices.
In 2020, the online electronics market was expected to rise to about USD923.6 million and this is a significant portion of the online market.
Electronics, media and appliances are really popular among live stream e-commerce vendors because their usage can be demonstrated easily. This provides a lot of content points for doing live stream sessions.
Take for example, the home appliances and household items vendor known as Elvis020211. Whenever they are selling a kitchen appliance, they take it upon themselves to actually perform cooking demonstrations.
Actual live cooking demonstrations attract more interest than just speaking about a kitchen appliance. Source: 小小直播室@Elvis020211
Apart from appliances, the sales of gadgets are also pretty popular on Facebook live. The most common items include power banks, smart phones, USB drives, laptops, sound systems and gaming consoles.
Consumers appreciate it when electronics live streamers explain the technical aspects of the item’s usage and simplify it for them. Another thing they like is when there are free gifts and promotions that go together with the main gadget, as a package.
Special offers make gadget live streams very fun and exciting, especially if there’s a bidding session involved. Source: Mac City Sdn Bhd
3. Food & Beverage and Groceries
Another item that’s really famous among online live e-commerce streamers is food and groceries. This is a different market than frozen seafood, which we will examine later.
Most of the F&B items sold would be dried goods, including instant food, powdered drinks, canned food, sauces, tinned food and the like. Live channels that sell dried goods are a lot more common than those that sell fresh produce.
The simple reason for this is because of business costs. Dried goods can be stocked up for a long time and be sold over a long period as they can last. One such channel that sells dried food products is Pavilion Live Mall.
To make their products more attractive to consumers, food and beverage e-commerce vendors like Pavilion Live Mall sells items that you can’t easily find in your local supermarket or grocery store.
They also carry mostly imported goods, which makes it even more exclusive.
This makes their products very exclusive, and in some cases really rare. This way, consumers will be attracted to their products because they’re unique and can’t be obtained off the shelves.
Although live streaming channels that sell fresh fruits, vegetables and meats are pretty rare (apart from fresh and frozen seafood), they still do exist. Many greengrocers have expanded their market online to reach customers beyond their local community.
Another common strategy for F&B live streamers is to create FOMO of the ‘Fear of Missing Out’ with limited time offers and limited stock. Additionally, they often conduct cooking demonstrations too, as well as trying and reviewing the products online themselves.
To create a more unique pull for their fresh produce, greengrocers often have attractive strategies. These include having special bundle offers, discounts, promotions, contests, package deals and so on.
Greengrocers like this one have special offers on their produce to attract customers. Source: Cameron Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
4. Personal Care, Health & Beauty
According to Statista, the majority of consumers that shop online are female. Therefore it is no surprise that cosmetic and skincare products top the list of items that are sold by streaming channels.
Live commerce streamers often come up with new and interesting ways to sell their products – these include items like skin creams, anti-aging serums, face masks, eyeshadows, lipsticks and much more.
Makeup and makeover sessions are common ways for live streaming influencers to demonstrate their different skincare and cosmetic products. This adds another dimension to the products rather than just speaking about it.
Another thing that often works is when vendors give personalized beauty advice to the audience, sharing personal tips and customized advice which many viewers appreciate.
Trying out and reviewing skincare products makes it more relatable to the customers. Source: Natura Malaysia
Those selling personal care and health products also employ a ‘back to nature’ concept, whereby they often stress on how their products are eco-friendly and don’t contain any toxic substances.
One good example is this channel by Mr Ang Kian You Jason, who often peppers his live videos with views and stories about gardens and orchards. While showing viewers around gardens and orchards, he also promotes health products like Chinese tea and face masks. At the same time, he also promotes agriculture land he has for sale.
Surprisingly, seafood vendors were one of the very first online live streaming vendors to achieve prominence in Malaysia. Some even argue that they were the ones who started the online facebook live streaming marketing trend.
Seafood vendors continue to play a very prominent role in the world of live commerce, selling different types of products. Some focus on frozen seafood and seafood derived food items whereas others focus on freshly caught products.
One such business model is done by frozen foods wholesale vendor Mr. Happy who sells many different types of processed and fresh frozen foods that they intersperse with products like sauces. Audience members flock to channels like these to enjoy wholesale prices.
Mr Happy sells various food products and frozen seafood. Source: Mr Happy
Other fresh seafood vendors actually go live from the hustle and bustle of the market, or straight from the location where they’ve caught their products.
One example of this is Amin Ketam Nipah Live Channel, who conducts live sessions with his fresh crab catches. The vendor of this channel is from Kuantan, Pahang, and his channel attracts many buyers from the bigger cities like Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and more.
Amin Ketam Nipah also live streams his fishing and crab catching expeditions, so the audience knows how fresh the seafood is.
The online jewellery live commerce scene is pretty lively, and always very exciting to watch. Jewellery vendors in Malaysia are pretty good at creating the hype needed to sell their products.
Additionally, jewellery are very aesthetically pleasing and therefore can be displayed in an attractive manner. Many of those who shop for jewellery on these live commerce platforms are women, such as on Love Estella Jewelry.
Another type of jewellery that’s also common for live streamers, and that is gold. Gold is not just sold as an accessory, but also as investments for the future.
Online Livestream Products Continue to Grow
As more and more Malaysians are spending online, it is no surprise that more and more people are tuning into these live vendor channels.
So far, most of them live stream on Facebook as Facebook is one of the more user-friendly streaming platforms.
Live streaming is a unique medium that has never existed in the history of marketing before. It offers customers an exciting platform to engage with the brand on a very intimate level.
It also offers customers heightened transparency and allows them a better impression of the business.
A study from Vimeo has found that 80% of people would prefer to watch a video from a brand rather than read a blog.
It’s time to consider bringing your business to the next level of online marketing by starting live videos of your own, and what better way to do it than consulting one of our experts at One Search Pro on just how to get started.