Amazon has launched a QVC-style livestream shopping in India, broadening its offerings in the key overseas market where it has deployed over $6.5 billion to win customers.
The company on Friday quietly rolled out the new service, called Amazon Live, bringing an army of creators to host livestreams and plug products in the videos. The idea is, influencers, with already a large following, will drive their fans to the shopping app and influence them into buying products. They get a cut each time they are able to sell an item to a fan.
On an FAQ page, Amazon has identified the influencer program as an extension of its Amazon Associates (affiliate) program. The company requires these influencers to have an account with YouTube, Instagram, TikTok or Facebook to qualify.
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Amazon Live is currently hosting livestreams across several categories including electronics, fashion and beauty, and home on the app. The videos are averaging 50 to 1,000 simultaneous views.
The launch follows Walmart-owned Flipkart, Amazon’s chief rival in India, also testing live commerce on its app early this year. Amazon itself quietly launched a similar service in the U.S. in 2019, attempting to rival a nascent shopping experience on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram.
Live shopping originally gained traction in China, where many influencers are selling millions of dollars worth of items in a single broadcast. Austin Li, a popular influencer, sells more than $1 billion worth of goods in a session.
But whether the model will work in India remains a big question. In the meantime, New Delhi is preparing to tighten rules to root out fake and paid reviews of products on e-commerce websites and social media platforms. A framework of regulations targeting people who endorse merchandise will soon be released, the government has said.
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