Last Friday, in a fun poll during our ‘Unveiling Live Commerce in Southeast Asia’ event, we asked participants why was doing live commerce on TikTok. Interestingly, in a very close result, 41% of participants voted that was doing it for cheap traffic from TikTok while a close 36% felt that it was to increase sales!

This is just a small preview of what happened during our event. We had a very heated and engaging discussion in the chatbox about the live commerce strategies of TikTok and Shopee, how established brands view live commerce, how Southeast Asia is currently doing in comparison to China among many other topics.

We will soon be answering all the interesting questions we got during the event. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek into what happened at the event:

#1 I was once a live commerce host

live commerce host

From selling bags on Taboao as a live commerce host, I’m now on the other side of things – looking at the market logic and analysing the industry, not just in China but in Southeast Asia as well. That experience helped me understand the live commerce industry in detail to help do the report


#2 Live commerce ecosystem in Southeast Asia

live commerce ecosystem Southeast Asia

Unlike in China where there is a closed live commerce ecosystem from suppliers to payment and logistics, it’s not the same in Southeast Asia. 

You can read about how the live commerce ecosystem works in Southeast Asia and if it would be the next big thing in the region here – 


#3 Subtle differences between platforms in China and Southeast Asia

Douyin vs TikTok

Not just the ecosystem, even the platforms’ user experience differs between China and Southeast Asia. There aren’t integrated payments or shopping cart functions in Southeast Asia. Though both Douyin and TikTok have a large and growing user base, Douyin’s integrated shopping cart function leads to higher conversion rates while TikTok faces a challenge. 


#4 Enablers help Southeast Asia cope with demand

live commerce enablers

Facebook is still one of the dominant social media in Southeast Asia, but it is not focused on live commerce. Though a lot of sellers are on the platform, the live commerce loop isn’t closed and sellers have to redirect buyers to other links. This makes it challenging for brands and sellers in Southeast Asia as there are missing dots in the ecosystem.

To fulfil this demand, live commerce enablers come into the picture. These enablers are live commerce experts who help sellers with payments, logistic integration, and also aid with demand generations. Some of the enablers in Southeast Asia are Upmesh, Avana and Shopline.


#5 What is an MCN?

MCN live commerce

MCNs (Multi-Channel Networks) are an important player in the live commerce ecosystem in both China and Southeast Asia. They help content creators improve their services through promotion, brand partnerships, training, and several other services. The role of MCNs differs according to the region. Their role is more developed in China (from incubation to promotion) while in Southeast Asia it is more about connecting influencers with brands. Some of the MCNs in Southeast Asia are GushCloud and Pongo.


#6 Future of live commerce in Southeast Asia

live commerce future southeast asia

It is unlikely that Southeast Asia will follow China’s exact trajectory of explosive growth with ensuing regulatory crackdowns in live commerce. However, we expect the region’s live commerce ecosystem to leverage China’s capital, experience and talent, just as the ecommerce ecosystem did. 

If you are curious to know more about live commerce, you can read about our ‘Live Commerce in Southeast Asia’ report here.

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].