Viet Nam News
by Lương Thu Hương
Buying goods has never been so easy and convenient for consumers in this era of rapid technological development as it is today. Many people, instead of driving long hours to queue in long lines to purchase the items they need, are opting to sit at home and visit a variety of branded stores from around the world with just one click of the mouse.
Facebook has recently emerged as a popular and effective tool to sell goods for individuals or enterprises, and livestreaming -- a new feature of Facebook -- allows sellers and consumers to interact with each other, providing benefits to all.
“While advertising on Facebook has become increasingly costly, advertising via livestreaming barely costs anything. With just one smartphone or computer connected to the internet, sellers can easily air their products live to thousands of consumers, which we used to dream about earlier,” according to an advertisement about a course of selling-purposed livestreaming of an online marketing centre in Hà Nội.
According to Trần Phương Uyên, who recently quit her office job to stay at home and look after her baby while running an online clothing business, livestreaming helps her interact with buyers like direct selling.
“I can show them all my items for sale via the live videos and answer their questions one-by-one. Instead of physically sitting in the market, I sit in an air-conditioned room in my house and livestream my products whenever I want,” she added.
Uyên normally livestreams her products at midday. She starts with laying the clothes for sale on the floor, turning on the iPad and then livestreaming through her personal Facebook account. In comparison with the dresses being sold in stores that are priced at VNĐ400,000-500,000 (US$18-22), her dresses, with similar design and fabric, are offered at nearly half that price.
During a livestreaming video, she shows her products and talks about their fabric, prices and colours, also answering viewers’ questions, such as if they are available in different colours, if the dress fits a 45kg person, among others.
“There is only one red left”, “a 50kg person can wear that dress”, “don’t forget to leave your address and phone number in your comments,” are Uyên’s most frequent answers during her one hour and 22 minutes livestream.
Her video on average attracts over 600 viewers, dozens of whom watch it live.
“I have just begun to sell clothes through livestreaming so my Facebook page only has some subscribers. However, most of the people who watch my videos are serious buyers, so I can sell a considerable number of items, which is worth the hours spent talking and answering questions,” she said.
Many online sellers prefer this new way of selling, which is much more effective than the old way of uploading photos of their products online.
“I used to take photos of my clothes to sell on Facebook,” Hoàng Thị Thanh, an owner of an online female clothing store, said.
“Consumers, however, are not convinced upon seeing the photos -- if the photos are beautiful, they say I have used Photoshop, and if the photos are bad, I cannot sell a thing. Now livestreaming allows customers to check the authenticity of my clothes with their own eyes, which is much better.”
This new way of selling goods on Facebook has become increasingly popular among consumers as well, particular those who lack the time to go shopping.
Trương Thị Thanh Hiền, an accountant, normally buys necessary items online due to her busy work schedule. She has subscribed and prefers to buy items introduced by enthusiastic and nice sellers via livestreaming.
“It’s pretty convenient for office workers like me. Sometimes, we receive unsatisfactory items, but mostly, livestreaming sellers agree to change them for us,” she added.
Costing barely anything and attracting a huge number of viewers and followers, but livestreaming can be arduous and boring. Although it demands no physical strength, it requires the sellers to be talkative and reply patiently to buyers’ questions. The length of the video depends on the number of viewers, and on average lasts from two to five hours, during which sellers have to keep talking continuously.
According to Thanh, a happy face and pleasing mannerisms will attract more viewers to watch the live video.
“At the beginning, I just had two viewers but did not get discouraged. I even asked another friend to join my live video. Seeing us talking happily, more and more viewers got attracted and I have been able to sell more products.
"I used to find it silly monologuing in front of my phone for hours, but now I have got accustomed to it,” she added. VNS