Used by 67% of brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty China, Alibaba’s Tmall livestreaming platform is dominated by influencers.

Among all brand posts on the mobile app’s live video platform, broadcasts featuring celebrities generate 23 times more engagement, according to L2’s new report on China’s beauty influencers. Key opinion leaders (KOLs) also help brands earn significantly more engagement. Mass-market beauty brands earn an average 3.8 million interactions when livestreams include celebrities and 476,534 interactions for livestreams with KOLs, compared to only 141,121 for content without any famous figures.

All of the top 10 beauty brand Tmall livestreams by engagement in 2017 featured either a celebrity or a KOL. The livestream with the most engagement was one by Pure & Mild featuring Zhao Liying, who appeared with beauty KOL Deng Haowen conducting makeup and skincare routine tutorials. It received 32.6 million interactions, while another livestream by the brand featuring Zhao also made it into the top 10 with 12.6 million interactions.

While Yizhibo is China’s top livestreaming platform, Tmall’s built-in live video feature is favored by brands thanks to its capability to link directly to pages where consumers can purchase the featured products. Livestreams by L’Oréal Group-owned face mask brand MG featuring stars Dilraba Dilmurat and Aaron Yan earned three spots on the list of the top 10 Tmall livestreams. The livestreams featured links directly below the videos to purchase the brand’s charcoal cleansing, hyaluronic acid, and moisturizing mask sets, all of which subsequently saw sales growth that was significantly higher than that of the brand’s other products. 

Tmall’s livestreaming platform is one piece of its development of “retailtainment,” which includes major platform-run, multi-brand livestreams like the e-tailer’s see now, buy now fashion show and gala held for Singles’ Day. Alibaba’s investments in video entertainment over the years include full ownership of video-streaming site Youku and its own film company. At Alibaba’s investor day last year, the company highlighted its data and technology exchange between all the platforms in the “Alibaba economy,” including entertainment, e-commerce, omnichannel, cloud computing, payment, marketing, and logistics.

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