Short-video app Kuaishou and e-commerce giant JD.com have teamed up to lure more users to buy goods via livestreaming, the two companies announced in a press release on Wednesday.
Starting from June 16, Kuaishou’s users will be able to purchase goods from JD.com through livestreaming shows within the short-video app, without transferring to JD.com’s platform to pay, simplifying and facilitating the shopping experience, according to the announcement.
As the concept of “livestreming e-commerce” has been popularized by e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba’s Taobao Live, it’s now a new battleground for Chinese tech companies, including e-retailer JD.com, as well as content platform Kuaishou and ByteDance’s Douyin.
JD.com is implementing this partnership a few days before the beginning of its annual “618” shopping festival, the company’s own “Black Friday,” to be held on June 18.
In 2019, livestreaming sales generated a gross merchandise volume (GMV) of RMB 300 billion (USD 42 billion), according to a report from security trading and brokerage firm China Merchants Securities.
Kuaishou, as the second-largest short video app behind Douyin with over 300 million daily active users (DAUs), will benefit from the cooperation with JD.com. The company has set an annual target to sell merchandise worth RMB 250 billion (USD 35.2 billion) in 2020 via livestreamers on its platform, up from an original goal of RMB 100 million, even exceeding its rival Douyin’s goal of RMB 200 billion, KrASIA wrote.
“Short video live streaming e-commerce has gained rapid growth as a new format in the industry,” said Su Hua, Kuaishou CEO, in the press release. “This partnership will give our users a better shopping experience, driven by JD.com’s industry-leading supply chain.
JD.com’s CEO Xu Lei said that in the midst of the challenges and opportunities from the retail industry, the partnership with Kuaishou will bring a more diverse shopping experience for buyers. The firm has been stepping up to engage more price-conscious consumers in lower-tier cities, who are also largely overlapped with Kuaishou’s user demographics, 36Kr wrote, citing people close to JD.com.
Currently, Taobao Live, established in 2016, is the largest player due to its early entry, mature supply chain, and logistics ecosystem. Its GMV was about RMB 200 billion to RMB 250 billion (USD 28.2 billion to USD 35.2 billion) last year, according to a 36Kr report.
In Alibaba’s latest earnings report, the company pointed out that daily active merchants using livestreaming on Taobao Live grew 88% year-over-year (YoY) for the three months ended March 31, 2020. In the fiscal year ended March 2020, GMV generated from live-streaming grew over 100% year-over-year, although the exact figures haven’t been disclosed.