Written by Sally Zhang
In the first part of this series, I broke down the current state of live shopping, the factors that make it so successful in Asia, and the technological barriers to adoption in the U.S.
Now, to conclude, I’m sharing exclusive interviews that illustrate the Chinese vs. American POV on live shopping. What’s the appeal for different Chinese consumers, and how does live shopping fit in to their daily routines? Will Americans ever be able to shake off memories of QVC? And most important of all, how can your business approach the live shopping future? Keep reading to find out.
Yulin: The determined discount hunter
Yulin just started her first job, as a teacher in Guangzhou. In order to live in the big city on her current salary, she says, she needs to be a smart shopper. She looks for high-quality products at discount prices, and often checks reviews on Xiaohongshu before making a purchase. But live shopping is where she finds the best deals—so she always tunes in.
Mingzhen: The ultimate stan
Mingzhen, a Beijing college sophomore, is a self-described superfan of pop singer/actor Lu Han, aka Luhan, aka “the Justin Bieber of China.” She’s bought all his albums. She collects his merch. She’s cheered at his concerts. And because of her flexible school schedule, she can watch any time Luhan appears on a livestream.
Chong: The window shopper
Chong works for an ad agency in Shanghai, so she knows better than most how brands promote their products. She takes a minimalist, rational approach to live shopping, following her favorite brands on Taobao and spending more time browsing than buying—at least for now.
Steve: The discerning fashionista
Steve lives in Boston and enjoys scouring the city’s vintage shops for one-of-a-kind designer finds. He also researches items online to make sure they’ll fit in with his wardrobe, especially when it comes to luxury fashion. Like many Americans, his view of live shopping was shaped by memories of QVC. As a result, “I don’t associate live shopping with something bespoke, unique, or luxury,” he says. “That original perception of live shopping kind of cheapens the product.”