In China, it's already huge. iResearch estimates a market size of $200bln in 2020, projected to account for as much as 25% of all online sales in the country in 2023.
In the west, numbers are much smaller, but growing rapidly.
According to Statista, livestream commerce in the US accounted for $6bln in sales in 2020, $11bln in 2021 and projected to more than double in 2023, to $26bln.
Beauty, fashion and luxury are the strongest product categories. TikTok in the west and Taobao Marketplace in China are the most popular platforms.
What are the advantages of livestream commerce compared to regular eCommerce?
Hosts are not necessary big socialmedia influencers. Especially in China, it is common for store salespeople to host the livestreams, effectively building a bridge between offline and online. Obviously, employing current employees instead of celebrities is also cheaper.
Also, not every brand likes to livestream on the main platforms. Marketplaces (e.g. Amazon Live) and custom-built solutions are entering the market, to give merchants more control over their audience and user data.
Although livestream commerce in the west is still experimental, a new industry is already being built around it. I'm curious to see which brands will be the best at it.