Japanese companies expand sales through live streams



Amid demand from domestic and international travel declined due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Japanese companies began selling products to Chinese consumers through live streams.

 Selling through livestream, an online shopping channel like a television channel often hosted by influencers or Internet celebrities, has grown in popularity in China over the past four years.

Japanese companies expand sales through live streams

Selling through livestream trend is beginning to expand in Japan / ph: youtube@Ask Japanese

 And this trend is also beginning to expand in Japan due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.  However, companies in this country have many difficulties in convincing domestic customers to change their shopping habits.

 Citing data released by international audit firm KPMG and Alibaba AliResearch's research branch, the Japan Trade Promotion Organization (JETRO), said the e-commerce market through China's livestream is estimated to be increase to 2 trillion yuan ($309 billion) by 2021.

 Amid demand from domestic and international travel declining due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Japanese companies have begun to sell products to Chinese consumers through live streams to offset the revenue loss and boost future growth.

 An example given is cosmetic manufacturer Shiseido Co.  is expanding its presence in the e-commerce sector in China, after demand for makeup plummeted as more women started working remotely and wearing masks when leaving home.

 The company conducts its first overseas live stream through Tmall Global for Alibaba's Singles Day discount, usually held on November 11 every year.

 It is one of the largest 24-hour online shopping events in the world, grossed 498.2 billion yuan in sales last year.

 According to information from Shiseido, more than 300,000 spectators watched the livestream introducing their cosmetic brand "Maquillage", helping Shiseido to be at the top of the livestream companies at the same time.

 Japanese companies are also hoping to promote e-commerce activities through live streams to domestic customers.  However, very few Japanese consumers are used to this shopping method, making some major e-commerce companies, such as the operator of second-hand online shopping app Mercari Inc., have to stop selling their expensive live stream services.

 As part of an effort to promote live streams, Dentsu Tec Inc., a subsidiary of Japan's largest advertiser Dentsu Inc., launched the "Influencer Commerce Solution" service in October 2020.

 The service above helps businesses increase sales through live streams, by using Internet influencers instead of traditional advertisers - who can hardly drive sales as well as brand awareness and customer loyalty in the long run.

 However, expert Hideki Tanaka of the Fujitsu Future Research Center said the challenge of the Japanese e-commerce market is to attract more participants and create content that can retain customers.

 Several other experts also emphasized the importance of interactivity in selling products to consumers through live streams.

 They think the growth potential of live streams is huge, as this channel allows companies to interact with real customers quickly and directly.

Japanese companies expand sales through live streams

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