In an Industry First, Dior Beauty Debuts Livestreaming Sales on WeChat

The French fashion powerhouse Christian Dior just became the first luxury brand in China to leverage livestreaming to sell on the country’s biggest social messaging app WeChat.

The hour-long livestreaming session took place in Chengdu on November 16, a fast-rising city for China’s luxury and fashion consumption, which has recently attracted a great number of big-name brands to open flagship stores there. Dior Beauty’s creative director Peter Philips hosted and offered makeup tips and tutorials with their products such as foundations ($58) and eye palettes ($66). More than 300 Chinese media outlets and influencers attended.

The session, enabling the “see now, buy now” shopping feature for WeChat viewers who visited Dior’s mini-program page, garnered more than three million visitors (in total 3,212,085).

For a long time, China’s livestreaming sales scene has been dominated by Alibaba Group, which has been highly successful at utilizing the format to spur consumption among consumers. On its major marketplace Taobao, there were over 68 million monthly active users who watched livestreaming sessions in 2017, according to Alibaba’s figures. And the company says one out of two viewers will end up visiting the related online store while watching a livestream on the Taobao app.

WeChat’s livestreaming feature for mini-programs was made available for brands to use only recently. Dior’s endorsement shows brands an alternative to Alibaba. The app now has over one billion users and is poised to develop into an ideal place to provide social commerce to Chinese consumers.

A breakdown of the users who participated in this Dior livestreaming session shows that around 60 percent of viewers were female. Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen were the top three cities with the most visitors. Meanwhile, around 38 percent of them were born after 1990 and before 2000 — those typically labeled the “post-’90s” generation in China. Thirty-two percent of them are the post-’80s generation (born between 1980-1989), and 20 percent of them are post-’00s (born after 2000).

How a WeChat user can check out a product whilst watching livestreaming. Courtesy image

How a WeChat user can check out a product whilst watching livestreaming. Courtesy image

The purchasing process is straightforward. While viewing the session, users can scroll down to see a list of featured products (with names, price tags, etc.) and place orders directly. They have to use WeChat Pay to settle the deals.

Social shopping

Dior’s embrace of livestreaming sales through a WeChat mini-program was the first of its kind in the luxury industry. The brand relied on WeChat’s ecosystem and big data analytics to filter out potential interest groups, place ads and estimate the number of visitors.

Dior's Moments Ads. Courtesy image

Dior’s Moments Ads. Courtesy image

From November 13 to 15, Dior placed Moments Ads on WeChat that targeted 1.5 million users consisting of followers of Dior’s WeChat account, users who had previously interacted with Dior’s ads, fans of certain influencers, users who searched “Dior Backstage” as a keyword, active users on China’s livestreaming sites Douyin and Yizhibo, and those who have shown interested in beauty products before, according to data and information provided to Jing Daily.

Meanwhile, Dior’s mini-program started to show the countdown page for the event starting from November 8 and allowed people to subscribe to the event alert if they provided personal information like a phone number. The countdown page also displayed products with prices ranging from $43 (RMB 300) to $66 (RMB 460) and allowed visitors to place orders.

As the livestreaming session officially ended, Dior will further place banner ads on WeChat (located within articles posted on the brand’s WeChat account) between November 17 and 31.

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