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2021-04-07 环球教育


  1.Viya’s team likes to say she’s successful because she’s picky on behalf of her customers.Once a day,her teams present their top picks.One recent evening,a few dozen employees were packed into a conference room at 1 a.m.,eager to see what their colleagues would put forth—and to hear Viya’s verdict.


  2.An electric shaver was deemed too noisy,a sugar candy too sweet,a silicon Peppa Pig ice tray a possible copyright violation.She’s also sensitive to price.“There’s no way they sell this for 399 and want us to sell it for 389,”she says,holding a Zippo-style butane lighter.“Go bargainfor below 300.”


  3.Good stuff at low prices isn’t enough to break through in China’s crowded marketplace,let alone get rich.Viya’s show is a master class in salesmanship,said Andy Yap,a social psychologist at INSEAD business school in Singapore.She’s personable and appears genuine without trying too hard.


  4.But then,she’s been doing this a long time.Born into a family of retailers in Anhui province,Viya opened her first store in Beijing with her then-boyfriend,now-husband Dong Haifeng,when she was 18.He ran the inventory and back-end.Viya modeled and sold the apparel.


  5.She craved a bigger stage and,in 2005,won the“Super Idol”TV reality contest in Anhui.For a while she fronted a pop group.In the end,her home was in retail.She and Dong opened stores in the central Chinese province of Xian,but by 2012,they’d moved their entire business online.When Taobao launched its livestreaming initiative in 2016,Viya was one of its first recruits.


  6.A blend of performance and sales,livestreaming suits Viya.When her show traveled to Wuhan this spring to promote products from the virus-torn city,she dug into local delicacies likecrayfish and duck neck with relish.She raved about the flavor while answering real-time viewer questions,like whether delivery is free to far-west cities or how spicy a given snack was.


  7.And,of course,everything is available at a deep discount,as long as it lasts.The link to buy a product isn’t released until after Viya’s done pitching and counts down:“5,4,3,2,1.”If a particularly popular deal runs out,she sometimes pleads with her off-camera producers on behalf of her audience to release more.It’s an honest question—the team is keeping track of inventory and sales in real-time—and a heck of a tactic.


  8.“The perception of scarcity is a powerful psychological tool to get people to act fast,which leads to impulse buying,”said INSEAD's Yap.“In a livestream,it’s even more intense because the time is shorter and there are a lot of other viewers who may be potential buyers.People feel more urgency.”


  9.Alibaba’s technology,meanwhile,makes buying really easy.Viewers need a log-in to watch on Taobao,the company’s online marketplace,which means their shipping address and payment information are already stored.Viya uses the platform’s lottery feature for giveaways throughout the show,and that gets the audience engaged and primed to click.When a shopper chooses a product,the broadcast window gets smaller but never disappears.The transaction ends and the window grows again.There’s Viya,still talking,hyping the next deal.


  10.Whether livestream shopping will catch on outside of China seems to depend in part on the ability of companies like Amazon and Facebook to integrate their entertainment offerings with shopping and payments.As of now,you might learn about a product on Instagram,but you can’t buy it there,points out Evans.Meanwhile Amazon has the opposite problem:It’s great at selling things,but only if you already know what you want.


  11.In China,users spend a lot more time inside what are known as“superapps.”Alibaba in particular is ubiquitous:its infrastructure powers shopping sites Taobao and Tmall;the banking and credit affiliates Ant Financial,Alipay and Sesame Credit;the logistics arm Cainiao that handles shipping and returns.


  12.“You have to have an environment to cultivate a habit,”Viya said.“For example,in order to create trust between us and our customers,which is the most important thing,the customers should have solid trust in Taobao.They know they won’t buy fake goods from the platform,they trust the logistics system to guarantee the freshness of whatever food they order,and they trust the services.That’s the prerequisite.”


  13.Outside China,more graceful retail technology does seem to be on the horizon.Facebook’s partnership with Shopify moves Instagram one baby step further along.Livestream gamers who get cash tips from fans get part of the way there.Gambling companies are working in a similar vein,developing real-time online sports-betting platforms to run alongside live events.Alibaba is building its stable of western influencers,and TikTok parent ByteDance debuted its own high-profile Chinese shopping show in April.


  14.Procter&Gamble,which spends more money on advertising than any other global company,is certainly intrigued.When executives from other parts of the world come to China,company spokesperson makes sure they get an introduction to livestreaming.


  15.“It’s become indispensable for us to give them a half hour or more to experience livestreaming,not just watching but broadcasting on their own,”said Lu.“We give them a little training,teach them how to count down like Viya.”P&G also hosts its own live shopping channels in China,and while their reach doesn't match Viya’s,it foreshadows the tension between consumer companies with products to sell,the influencers who gather an audience and the platforms that execute the transactions.


  16.To bolster their own credibility,livestreamers demand deep discounts and generous add-ons from the brands they work with.And the long-term effects of a successful promotion can be modest.Less than 10%of customers through livestreams become repeat buyers,compared with 40%of the customers who come directly through Tmall,said Roger Huang,China CEO for Saville&Quinn,a U.K.skincare company.”“It’s just one wave,and then it’s over.They’re Viya’s fans and they follow her call,”he said.“Livestreaming is very effective,but we can’t get addicted.”

  为了提高自己的信誉,主播要求合作品牌提供大幅折扣和附加服务。一次成功推销的影响可能是有限的。英国护肤公司萨维尔&奎因的中国首席执行长Roger Huang说,通过直播购买商品的顾客中,只有不到10%的回头客,而直接通过天猫购买的顾客中则有40%的回头客。他说,“只有这一波顾客,之后就没有了。他们是薇娅的粉丝,只会听从她的召唤。直播非常有效,但是我们不能太过依赖于此。”

  17.For her part,Viya’s power is built on popularity,and she and her team nurture the audience accordingly.If a viewer complains about a product in the online chat that runs alongside the livestream,Viya will notice and,often,rectify the situation.Her fans call her Dora-Viya,anhomage to the time-traveling,wish-fulfilling anime hero Doraemon.


  18.During the worst weeks of the coronavirus outbreak,Viya promised her fans she would visit the Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan.At the end of April,shortly after the city re-opened,Team Viya drove 11 hours to the 2,000-year-old landmark.“Let’s help Hubei together,”she said,on video filmed in front of the tower.Then she offered the ubiquitous phrase of encouragement:“Jiayou!”(“Cheer up!”)


  19.Before Viya’s show came online that night,the footage rolled as part of a looped video tribute to Wuhan’s revitalization.By the time she appeared in the same yellow suit and fat white sneakers she’d worn in the video—there were more than 160,000 people logged in and waiting.She greeted them like long-lost friends.“Hello!Hello,”she said,as she does in every broadcast.“I am here!I am here!I am here!I am here!”




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