Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd were the pioneers of using live-streaming hosts to sell everything from lipstick to Smartphones in China. They now want to replicate the move with the help of a million influencers on forums such as TikTok and Instagram.
AliExpress, the online market place for shoppers out of China, is looking for 100,000 influencers to hawk its products across the globe this year, with a projection of over a million influencers in three years. Through AliExpress connect, the platform is offering a matchmaking service to pair social media influencers to brands and merchants interested in selling their products.
Alibaba has used the technique to achieve success driving sales on China online marketplace Taobao. “As e-commerce continues to grow and ‘shoppertainment’ reshapes the landscape and changes the way people shop online, influencers and content creators are playing a more important role in driving retail transformation and e-commerce success,” AliExpress’ general manager Wang Mingqiang said.
“You see this in livestreaming sales, which have become a great source of job creation and income in China, especially during the Covid-19 crisis, when offline businesses were forced to close, and people had to stay at home.”
“AliExpress Connect is designed to create opportunity for both brands and influencers, as the world moves increasingly toward online shopping. It offers new income sources and job opportunities for influencers and content creators, helping them to scale and digitalize their business. While for brands, it opens up the opportunity to attract new customers.” Mingqiang said
China’s largest ecommerce company makes only a fraction of its revenue from outside its home country. However, the company has always had international ambitions. The timely move to push forward globally comes at a time when COVID-19 has signaled a significant boom in the use of social media and ecommerce.
Other social media platforms like Facebook have added features to boost ecommerce.
To sign up for connect, influencer can use TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and other social media accounts to solicit assignments from AliExpress merchants. Commission fees will be based on the sales generated by the influencer.
Yuan said AliExpress hopes to help at least 100 of their influencers earn at least more than $1 million within 3 years.