Amazon is working hard to integrate itself into the ecosystem of influencers who have grown up on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. They have star power Amazon wants to harness in order to sell its wares. David Lee reports in the Financial Times:
Amazon has stepped up plans to crack the QVC-style livestream shopping market as the $1tn ecommerce giant aims to replicate the success of social media rivals in an attempt to revive flagging online sales.
The group has been increasing investment in Amazon Live, a platform it quietly launched in 2019 but is now a central focus as it fights to grab a slice of a growing market that is viewed as the future of shopping by social media platforms.
This year, the company has hosted at least four events designed to attract more influencers to its platform, including a glitzy retreat at a Mexican beach resort. To the top names, it has offered up generous bonuses: thousands of dollars in added incentives to stream live on Amazon instead of elsewhere, according to leading influencer agencies.
Amazon’s goal is to establish itself as the main destination for live online shopping, ahead of competing efforts from YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, but also a host of smaller start-ups backed by prominent venture capital firms, such as Andreessen Horowitz-backed WhatNot.
Each of these groups are betting that western consumers will adopt live ecommerce with the same enthusiasm as has occurred in China, where sales generated through livestreams are projected to surpass $400bn this year.
This represents about 15 per cent of all ecommerce sales in the country — up from 3.5 per cent just three years ago, according to Insider Intelligence, the research group. The model has proved lucrative for TikTok parent ByteDance — sales on Chinese sister app Douyin more than tripled year on year, selling more than 10bn products.
Read more here.