Singapore – As part of the celebration for International Women’s Day, short video platform TikTok in Singapore has announced a series of live events under the “#WhenWomenWin” which will spotlight inspirational women who have made a home on the platform to share their heartfelt stories, channel good vibes, and champion the causes that matter most to them.

For the platform, TikTok has certainly blossomed into a space where women from all walks of life can speak their truth, break barriers, and empower others – all while celebrating the extraordinary changes that come to life. These include young female entrepreneurs, coders, rising stars in the local music scene, to changemakers shedding light on the often-unspoken realities of burns and chronic illnesses.

The live series will be scheduled from 1 to 8 of March. The lineup will feature content creators jewellery brand XVXII owner Vidhi, actress Julie Tan, polytechnic student Tammie Ong who spreads awareness on rare diseases, Anytime Fitness’ sales rep and salsation instructor Syakirah Syazwana, mando-pop R&B songstress Soph T, educational and motivational content creator Adeline Tay, full-time retail associate Nur Amirah Arman who spreads awareness about the blood condition called Thalassaemia, as well as radio DJ and host Germaine Leonora.

Other participants include full-time software developer Ainul Mohamed Razib, publishers Nicole Lim and Kimberly Ho who are known for their sites “Our Grandfather Story” and “Something Private”, callisthenics coach Charlene Chew, and Safe Place founder Jennifer Heng.

In a statement to MARKETECH APAC, Doreen Tan, user and content operations manager at TikTok Singapore, said, “TikTok has become a home for championing positivity and authentic expression, as we provide an inclusive space that uplifts and celebrates the successes of our amazing community.”

She added, “We continue to be inspired by our very own female creators from Singapore, who have made a huge impact on our community in their own unique way, whether it’s guiding young entrepreneurs, shedding light on important social issues, or creating a safe environment for others to share their truth. We are certainly looking forward to the line-up of speakers featured in this year’s International Women’s Day LIVE programming, and welcome everyone to tune in for their incredible stories.”

Philippines – Amid the rise in adoption of live commerce both from brands and consumers, the Philippines ’ first livestream shopping network, Shoppertainment Live, opens seven diverse and fully functional studio sets which it calls ‘Livestyle’ studios to bolster its virtual activation.

The ‘Livestyle’ studios will be catering to different categories of fashion and beauty, with kitchen studios for cooking and home appliances, lifestyle studios for talk shows and homecare, as well as technology studios for mobile and gadgets, and music studios and recreation studios for entertainment.

The kitchen ‘Livestyle’ studio

Shopepertainment CEO Hiyasmin Neri-Soyao, who was a former host of local shopping channel O Shopping, shared that the types of the studios were based on the product categories they have identified to be on the rise and in demand. 

Shoppertainment is a tech-enabled network for e-commerce and social media, enabling advertising agencies, companies, and e-commerce platforms Lazada and Shopee to properly sell their products in an online broadcast setup. These are produced at the said studios inside their Quezon City headquarters, with in-house presenters from their talent pool.

“With more studios, we expect more action for the market. The team’s confidence stems from handling the smallest local businesses to the biggest global brands as part of our roster of clients. Shoppertainment Live’s strength is making products sellable, handling diverse products such as cosmetics, clothing, electronics, and everything in between,” Neri-Soyao said.

The live e-commerce network has also launched a new incubation program for livestream presenters through its Shoppertainment Academy. The Academy is a company initiative that aims to educate and equip Shoppertainment Live presenters with skills to be sale-centric, entertaining, and engaging to the market.

Grooming the next generation of marketers, which it uniquely calls ‘influensales’, is within the network’s goal to make its Livestyle activation effective in the virtual realm.

Neri-Soyao said, “Not all presenters can produce the same numbers for every lifestyle. That is why Shoppertainment Live brought together a diverse group of presenters whom we trained to do Influensales™ as opposed to simply producing buzz and engagement for the brand. This follows the company’s philosophy wherein we believe that content is king but they like it better when the cash register rings.” 

Along with new developments, the company has also revealed that it eyes to spread its roots nationally and to also expand internationally. The company aims to install regional offices in three years’ time to open up the opportunity for regional speakers to sell in their own language. 

Internationally, the network is also working on its Southeast Asia and global expansion plans, citing the potential of Filipino livestream presenters because of their strong communication skills and infectious enthusiasm. 

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Dentsu Malaysia and live video commerce enabler Nuffnang Live Commerce has forged a new partnership that will integrate the two firms’ capabilities to drive marketing solutions for brands on live commerce.

Nuffnang Live Commerce is a subsidiary under Netccentric Limited, an investment holding company for media platforms. As part of dentsu’s ‘Total Commerce’ solutions for brands, the partnership brings onboard live video commerce service offering which will enable advertisers to strengthen their e-commerce strategy and drive traffic to their brands’ social pages, create better engagements with brand influencers, and drive on-the-spot sales.

Live commerce is the latest innovation in online commerce today, which aims to bring newer experiences for consumers. E-commerce platforms and brands have caught on the trend of livestream e-commerce which had started in China, and Asia’s Shopee and Lazada now have it well-placed in their marketplaces. Said consumer trend promises further branded content, live influencer engagement, and also real-time conversion.

Dentsu Malaysia said that its Total Commerce ambition is to integrate all the strategic and operational capabilities and ecosystem enablers of what makes a robust and holistic commerce solution, whether through proprietary online stores, marketplaces, social channels, or physical stores in Malaysia, to bring to life the best online shopping experiences for customers.

Jing Wen Foo, who was just recently appointed as dentsu malaysia’s e-commerce director, said, “With the rise of livestreaming as a new conversion channel for commerce and consistent growth in share of sale of social commerce, there is a strong use case for us to strengthen dentsu’s Total Commerce capability around live commerce to empower brands to leverage this trend beyond the packaged offers available in [the] market to accelerate their e-commerce growth.”

Meanwhile, Ganesh Kumar Bangah, executive chairman of Netccentric Limited, described live commerce as the ‘secret sauce’ for brands to succeed online.

“The formula for online success is for brands and businesses to sell products on these platforms through live commerce, a trend that has and continues to accelerate due to the pandemic. Live commerce is a proven effective way to sell and it’s for everybody and not just the big brands,” said Bangah.

Dheeraj Raina, CEO of Media for dentsu malaysia, adds, “E-commerce platforms are a dominant media touchpoint and immensely mainstream now. But consumers are constantly driving a change in the way they shop on e-commerce platforms and for us to be able to anticipate that change and help brands win on it, is a critical part of our commitment to the growth of our clients’ business. With this addition of Live Commerce partnership powered by our proprietary Total commerce products, we should be able to unlock the ease of adoption of this new channel and bring brands closer to consumers in a humanized form.”

This integration is already being rolled out across clients from FMCG, health and beauty, and consumer electronics categories.

Singapore – TikTok in Singapore has launched its first-ever #JobTok educational live stream series, a lineup of shows that aims to equip youth aspiring for tech careers with knowledge of the jobs and skillsets of the future in the industry and to help them to make more informed career decisions in life.

The educational series will run from 31 March until 6 April 2021 and will be a hybrid broadcast, where one will be streamed on TikTok Live itself and on Facebook, and the other on Zoom.

TikTok invited home-grown tech talents from TikTok itself and Government Technology Agency (GovTech) to lead the live stream and talk about inspiring experiences working in the tech sector, and debunk commonly-held myths about the profession. Invited hosts will also be sharing actionable steps that undergraduates can take to transition smoothly into a technology-first workforce.

The first in the educational series is ‘Women Leadership in Tech’, which is a virtual grassroots dialogue session, to be hosted by Member of Parliament (MP) Tin Pei Ling, alongside female leaders from ByteDance Singapore, who will discuss how women can be empowered to thrive in the tech and innovation sectors, as well as the exciting job opportunities and career prospects that Singaporeans can capture in the rapidly-growing post-COVID-19 digital economy.

The educational series also includes ‘Adulting Advice From Young GovTechies’, which will be on 31 March at 8:00 pm SGT, and ‘The Faces Behind TikTok LIVE’, which will be on 6 April at 8:00 pm SGT.

The virtual dialogue with MP Tin will be streamed on Zoom and MP Tin’s Facebook Page on 31 March 2021, at 7:30 pm SGT. The rest of the #JobTok educational series will be broadcasted live on the TikTok app beginning on 31 March to 6 April 2021.

In addition to the series itself, TikTok will also be launching an #Adulting contest, which invites users to share their personal tips for youth entering the workforce, including interview tips, internship experiences, and how to ink their first job. The contest will run from 31 March until 4 April where participants will get a chance to win prizes collectively worth around S$1,200.

According to Joana Mikaela Liew, the head of talent development for ByteDance APAC and META, as the country emerged stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial to dispel uncertainty among today’s job-seekers and equip them with the relevant skills to be future-ready. 

“Our Jobs and Skills series aims to provide an insider’s look into the tech industry and spark greater interest among more young Singaporeans towards the new opportunities brought about by the digital economy. Additionally, through our meaningful dialogue with MP Tin Pei Ling, we hope to bring this conversation closer to the grassroots and address on-the-ground concerns of those who are either looking for job opportunities in the tech space or planning to upskill,” added Liew.

Singapore – Digital media company Limelight Networks has unveiled a new enhancement for its streaming service Limelight Realtime Streaming – providing sub-second latency for time-sensitive video applications that enable live interaction with viewers.

In a press statement, Limelight Networks said Realtime Streaming is part of the widest range of low latency online streaming solutions in the industry that solve the perpetual challenge of delays in event broadcasts. In addition, Realtime Streaming mobile and HTML software development kits (SDKs) can also provide easy integration of interactive live applications with Limelight’s global private network.

Limelight Networks said the improved platform allows live video applications in areas such as:

  • Live sports—In-event betting allowing fans to bet on in-game outcomes while the game is being played.
  • Live auctions—Remote bidders can participate through a livestream and have a “just like being there” experience along with those on-site.
  • Online gaming—Online casinos can allow all players to instantly see table action and to place bets more quickly, increasing the number of hands that can be played each hour.

“As online video has quickly grown in popularity, performance expectations have increased and new technologies, such as Limelight Realtime Streaming, enable innovative new ways to engage audiences. Now live events are truly live with the lowest possible latency, and it’s possible to create interactive experiences that were never before possible,” stated Nigel Burmeister, vice president at Limelight Networks

Shanghai, China – Customer-centric innovations and features—this has been Alibaba’s focal point this year as they recently announced their plans for the annual 11.11 Global Shopping Festival.

As ‘11.11’ continues to grow by the year, Alibaba focused on launching new strategies in the midst of changing consumer behaviors. Strategies include promotion of Alipay’s digital lifestyle platform, ‘doubling’ of shopping windows that will aid in featuring more brands and merchants, consumer reach and promotions, and utilization of livestreaming technology to drive more engagement from customers, especially from Chinese consumers, which has been noted to create the largest international presence to date.

Alibaba’s Alipay digital lifestyle platform aims at connecting almost two million local service providers in China, including micro-merchants such as street stalls and small-scale grocery stores. On the other hand, the company recently launched its Taobao Deals’ “RMB1 Sales” campaign, which aims at encouraging consumers to purchase goods at huge discounts and free shipping. Lastly, in regards to the livestreaming strategies, Alibaba aims to launch a shopping festival concept in Southeast Asia-namely in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam markets.

Jiang Fan, president of Taobao and Tmall, expressed his hopes for the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, stating that through these innovations, the company hopes to adapt to the changes this year has brought to the consumer market.

“The pandemic has fundamentally changed consumer shopping preferences and accelerated digital transformation of many businesses. Through our expansion from ‘single’ to ‘double,’ 11.11 will be offering more opportunities for merchants both online and offline to engage with consumers as well as provide a better consumer experience overall,” Fan stated.

Hong Kong – Travel and leisure booking platform Klook officially unveils the newest feature on its app, an interactive livestream called Klook Live!.

While users on Klook have only been enticed of new food and travel offerings via images and text on the app, users will now be able to view up-close the offerings through interactive and instant video content on Klook Live!. 

The feature has been formally launched in August in five APAC markets Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines.

During this period, Klook released a series of hyper-localized content on Klook Live!, featuring offerings from food and dining to hotel staycation packages, where the five markets have reported a 4 times average uplift in conversion rates. This is compared to in-app conversion rates on an average day.

According to the brand’s data, in Thailand, a staycation surprise deal has been sold out in just eight minutes, while in Singapore, two out of three staycation bookings made within 24 hours were direct conversions as a result of the livestream. Both countries also experienced about a two times uplift in revenue compared to an average day. 

Meanwhile in Hong Kong, a number of food and dining exclusive deals were snapped up in less than five minutes. 

With the new feature, the brand aims to introduce traveltainment, to which it refers to as a new form of immersive content that elevates users’ ways of discovering and booking both local and overseas hospitality offerings.

“The pandemic has made users even more critical and discerning when making a purchase. With Klook Live!, we enable users to gain a more authentic look at our offerings, as well as directly ask questions in real-time before buying,” said Marcus Yong, vice president of APAC marketing

“Our early success demonstrates that users are increasingly demanding a new way to discover things-to-do, starting from their backyard. It also signals that users prefer a more entertaining, social, and personalized customer experience,” added Yong. 

During the livestream on Klook Live!, customers can interact directly with merchants, express their feelings through emoji and polls, redeem exclusive promo codes and check-out; all while watching a live episode.

According to the company, Klook Live! is designed to cater to the region’s growing demand for online video content on mobile devices. It refers to a study by digital research brand eMarketer, that over 1.2 billion Asia-Pacific users consume video content on their mobile devices in 2019, and that this is expected to increase by over 75% to 1.6 billion by 2023. 

The company also looks to leverage the forecast that video content is expected to be a norm post-pandemic as people consume more video content. According to a study by market research firm Globalwebindex, Gen Z respondents said that they expect their increased levels of consumption of social media, videos, and streaming services to continue even after the outbreak. 

On the merchant side, Klook is confident that the new feature will aid vendors in targeting their audience reach which has proven trickier amid the pandemic. 

“With international travel restrictions in place, merchants require creative platforms to showcase their offerings to local audiences and encourage them to support local businesses that depend on tourism. With Klook Live!, merchants of all sizes can bridge that gap and build stronger connections with local users, boosting brand awareness and sales,” the company said in a press statement.

In the coming weeks, Klook Live! will be rolling out more content and products, including episodic programs to unveil a new local carnival in Taiwan and indoor recreational parks in Malaysia among others

Klook Live! can be accessed by downloading the Klook app on Google Play or the App Store. 

Singapore  –  15%  of people in  Singapore turn to live streaming to purchase popular products such as fresh seafood, lipsticks, and earphones. Millennials are more likely to jump onto the bandwagon. 4 out of 5 respondents aged 18-24 years old state that they are likely to purchase products from live streaming.

These are findings commissioned by  Shopavision,  a live stream focused shopping platform in Singapore. The data was derived from 5,200 online conversations from 9 May 2020 to 9 June 2020.

Research partner Parrot Social extracted these conversations from social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, forum, and online pages in Singapore.

Who is tuning into live streaming?

Rich results in Google's SERP when searching for 'Shopavision'

People in Singapore who purchase items from live streaming are  51.3% female and 48.7% male. In terms of live stream purchases among the different age groups, 55.4% of people aged 18 -24; 36.8% aged 25-34, and 6.4% aged 35-44 purchase products via live streaming.

Despite this, Singapore is slower in the adoption of live streaming as compared to countries such as China and America. 15% of people in Singapore consume live streaming content as compared to 90% of people in China and 38% in America.

Consumers are no longer just browsing through product descriptions, but they are now actively participating in the buying process.

Rachel Pang, Founder, Shopavision

“We saw that live streaming has become such an integral way of life for people in China and wanted to bring it to Asia. Live streaming marries sales with entertainment and provides a direct channel for people to interact with merchants. Consumers are no longer just browsing through product descriptions, but they are now actively participating in the buying process.  They can ask questions, get responses live, and get entertained by live streamers, from the convenience of their homes. Live streaming is the future of online commerce,” said Rachel Pang, Founder, Shopavision.

What are people buying via live streaming?

The top three product categories that people in Singapore are buying online are food, make-up, and technology gadgets at 70%, 20%, and 10% respectively.

Some of the food items that people have been purchasing online include bubble tea, seafood, and other meats. People typically spend between $2 – $200 on seafood and fresh meats.

In the category of make-up, lipsticks are one of the most preferred items. This is likely due to the fact that lipsticks are low cost items and often come in bundled deals.

People typically spend between $1 – $40 on lipsticks and lip glosses. One of the top searched items in this category are moisturizing lipsticks.

In the category of electronic gadgets, people typically spend between $5- $25 on earphones. Other commonly purchased electronic gadgets are power banks, which see purchases between $5- $20 on average.

Why do people like live streaming?

9 in 10 respondents who tune in to live streaming like the platform as they can get actively involved.

74% of millennials say they find live streaming videos helpful when it comes to comparing products before they make a purchase.

What are popular live streaming platforms?

Online conversations seem to reflect the dominance of platforms catered to specific interests in Singapore. The top three most popular live-streaming platforms include Twitch; a live streaming app for gamers, V Live; an app that facilitates live chat between Korean celebrities and fans, and Youtube Live.

“We started to explore live streaming to sell our products and services in 2018. Today, our traditional wholesale business relies solely on live streaming as a sales channel. I believe live streaming brings many opportunities to merchants and they should try it. Shopavision is the first live streaming focused shopping platform and its system helps merchants with tedious backend work such as manually collating customer orders. Customers can buy instantly.  We are excited to be one of their partner merchants,” said Max Kee, Merchant, Shopavision, and Business Owner, Lian Huat Seafood.