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Livestreaming gives time-honored brands a welcomed boost

By He Wei in Shanghai | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated:Jun 17, 2020

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Tourists visit a lantern fair marking the Year of the Rat at Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai on Jan 13, 2020. [Photo by Wang Gang/For China Daily]

Time-honored brands located in Shanghai's Yuyuan Garden have been embracing livestreaming to market products and attract a younger generation of customers who are unfamiliar with traditional local specialties.

Prior to the June 18 shopping festival in China, the tourist spot has organized livestreaming promotions for nine time-honored brands such as jewelry maker Yayi Gold and noodle specialist Song He Lou.

With the aid of Taobao Live, the livestreaming unit of e-commerce giant Alibaba, these nine brands invited internet celebrities and self-employed online hosts to introduce their products and offer discounts that are exclusive to livestreaming rooms.

Yuyuan Tourist Mart, the company behind the brands, has fostered a team of 30 dedicated online hosts to cater to the surging "shop entertainment" trend where people make purchases as they watch broadcast sessions.

"Visitors of our offline booths are the seed audience of our livestreaming service. Taobao would in turn recommend consumers with similar profiles online and help boost sales," said Jia Xiaowei, a co-general manager at Yuyuan Tourist Mart.

Si Yu, an online host groomed by Yuyuan Garden, facilitated the sale of 2.6 million yuan worth of jewelry in a three-hour livestreaming show last month that attracted over 100,000 viewers.

"There are two winning recipes in livestreaming promotions: cheaper prices exclusive to such sessions, and professional story-telling that walked viewers through the history of the brand," she said.

Between January and April, the team conducted over 200 livestreaming sessions via Taobao Live, raking in sales worth 7 million yuan and attracting an additional 10,000 followers.

"This has been quite phenomenal given how the pandemic has taken a toll on overall business," Jia said.

Alibaba said millions of online broadcast sessions have been held on its platform since presales for the June 18 campaign started on May 25.

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