In this episode of the Selling in Asia podcast, Tom sits down with Ashley Galina Dudarenok, China Marketing Expert & Founder of Alarice & ChoZan to discuss how live streaming is changing sales professionals’ roles in China during times of COVID and beyond. Join them as they mull over everything related to the live streaming selling trend including topics such as:
- Emerging skills sales professionals need to possess in the digital age.
- How sales professionals can use social media to engage with customers in China.
- Perspectives on the leading Chinese eCommerce marketplaces.
The Live-Streaming Selling Trend
It is predicted that we’re going to have 524 million online live streaming users in China by the end of 2020. That’s 40% of the Chinese population, and that’s 62% of China’s internet users. Think about that.
An aspect about China that is critically important to understand is that you should probably go and look at what’s happening there right now if you’d like to peek into the future. Especially when it comes to retail and technology, but what’s particularly interesting is how others are now adopting that technology.
China was, of course, greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but Ashley assures us that their GDP is still growing.
“It grew 3.2% in 2020 and was -6.8% in Q1. So it is growing. It is recovering. What does it mean for sales? People are obviously adjusting.”
We see farmers live streaming, selling their oranges and peaches. We see small business owners live streaming underwear and advising the audience on choosing their preferred pair.
We’re even seeing the big bosses of prominent corporations live streaming, and they are not just talking about the culture and the brand but actively selling during their live streams.
Digital Sales Skills & Live Streaming Selling Trend
What you need to realize right now in 2020 is that the train has already departed. You can be upset about it. You can stand at the station and decide not to hop on the train. Yes, but the train has departed, just like with electricity. A couple of hundred years and electricity revolutionized hospitals, department stores, the way we teach, how we fly, the way we commute, and the way we do everything!
If you’re maybe not so tech-savvy, a perfect metaphor and practice to use before jumping into social media are just to pick up the phone and have a conversation with customers. Gain usable, tangible, hard data straight from your customers that you work with now, whether that’s through phone, messaging, or email.
Oftentimes, people are waiting for the right camera or the right technology or the right phone. Stop waiting. Who wins the race? It’s always those people that are first out of the gates. They try things, fail fast, and then make improvements. What do they achieve by just starting? Market share, improved customer loyalty, a fan base, and they’re making money while you’re still trying to figure it out. So just get started, what are you waiting for? If you’re not in the game, there’s no way you’re ever going to win no chance at all.
In-person Vs. Virtual Selling
What does the average Chinese consumer get still by going into a brick and mortar store? Service interaction. Unfortunately, we aren’t yet able to replicate this naturally in an online environment. It’s currently comparable to watching a movie on a terrible, tiny screen in black and white instead of an immersive virtual reality in high definition.
For many people here in Asia, not just in China, shopping is a popular pastime. It’s cathartic window shopping and a way to socialize and connect with our friends. It is something to do. It’s a reason to go to the city and walk in the mall and eat something nice.
However, it’s also about exploration, and people love exploring online. There are great ways to do that through bloggers, recommendations, search, or even popup window campaigns!
More About Ashley Galina Dudarenok
Ashley is a China marketing expert, entrepreneur, bestselling author, professional speaker, and vlogger. She was recognized as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Marketing in 2019 and chosen as an Asia-Pacific Top 25 Innovator by the Holmes Report. She is the founder of a China-focused social media agency Alarice and China insights and training company ChoZan.
Check out this video to see the level of live streaming that’s happening in China right now!