Amazon India Switches On Livestream E-Commerce

Amazon India. Image credit: Amazon

Amazon India launches livestream e-commerce feature to coincide with annual sale as it seeks to emulate huge success of feature in China

Amazon has launched a video live-streaming feature in India in an effort to boost sales in the country, as it seeks to emulate the huge success of the format in China.

The company said it was working with more than 150 creators on its Amazon Live feature who would promote products in the live feeds while interacting with fans via an accompanying text chat.

At launch Amazon Live features streams in categories including electronics, fashion and beauty and home decor. The firm said it would run 15 livestreams a day from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Katy Perry appears on Amazon Live. Image credit: Amazon
Katy Perry appears on Amazon Live in the United States. Image credit: Amazon

Festive launch

The launch coincides with Amazon’s ongoing festive sale in India ahead of Diwali, which this year falls on 24 October. The company said it expected to stream more than 450 hours of content during the sale.

The company works with established influencers for the streams, including Bollywood movie stars, and said it looked to tailor products to each host’s personality. Hosts get a cut when they make a sale.

Walmart-owned Flipkart began testing a similar feature earlier this year.

Amazon launched Live in the US in 2019, but the shopping method remains nascent in markets outside of China and East Asia.

In July TikTok reportedly called off plans to expand its live e-commerce push into Europe after a UK pilot struggled to attract the interest of buyers.

Livestream sales

Amazon said it was initially seeking to drive customer engagement, and would focus on driving sales volume at a later date.

“We want to make the shopping experience exciting and meaningful for our customers, while allowing brands to have a deeper engagement that resonates with today’s savvy shoppers,” said Amazon India director of marketing Kishore Thota.

In China, which has the largest number of online shoppers in the world, popular influencers can bring in impressive sales.

Host Austin Li, for instance, is known for having sold the equivalent of $1.8 billion (£1.6bn) in a single 12.5 hour session on Alibaba’s Taobao in October of last year in the run-up to the platform’s Singles Day on 11 November.