Live streaming boosts retailtainment amid e-commerce explosion in Singapore

As the online shopping frenzy grips Singapore, driven by the Covid19 health crisis, live stream “retailtainment” has become another key tool for online sellers.

An e-marketplace retail presence is no longer enough to capture a piece of the e-commerce pie. Sellers must use new technologies such as augmented reality and diverse channels to stay ahead of the competition.

Live stream selling first gained popularity in China in 2016 through Alibaba’s e-commerce site Taobao. From 2017 to 2020, the industry exploded by more than 280%, according to a McKinsey report, further bursting during the pandemic. By end of 2020, the industry was valued at $171 billion.

In Singapore, the trend took off in the last two years. A recent report by AI firm iKala showed that year-on-year sales from live stream commerce in Singapore jumped 29% in the first half of 2021, the revenue for each order leaped 89%.

Meanwhile, some brick-and-mortar retailers have also used live streams and opened online stores to recover from the pandemic.