Alibaba Bolsters Livestream Retail with New CDN Tech Launch

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By Published On: June 9, 20210 Comments

It's clear that live streaming is no longer just a trend, that's if Alibaba has anything to do with it.

The online giant has launched an e-commerce live stream solution to help merchants experience live and interactive channels. This aims to further personalise the online shopping experience, which has become an increasing demand as a result of the pandemic.

The platform itself is built with Alibaba’s content delivery networks (CDN) with over 2,800 nodes in more than 70 countries. This allows an uninterrupted single transfer between sellers, buyers and the nearest DCs. It is also using its own proprietary Narrowband HD™ transcoding technology, which improves the image quality of the live stream – its latency is roughly two seconds.

“As one of the leading providers and trusted partners in the global cloud market, technological innovation is at the heart of Alibaba Cloud’s long-term development,” shared Jeff Zhang, the President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence. “Introducing new products and solutions and continuously enhancing product features helps us deliver on our promise to our global customers and partners. The acceleration of the digital transformation agenda and adoption of emerging technologies is particularly encouraging in Asia, motivating us to constantly improve our innovative and R&D capabilities to stay at the forefront of the industry.”

Read More: E-Commerce is “Inevitable and Irresistible” | Q&A with Maggie Zhou, MD of Alibaba Group ANZ

Live streaming has been an ongoing trend in China for many years, with Alibaba driving its success during its annual shopping festival event. “[A] phenomenon in China today is live streaming. It is even more popular than before. This year, also, many KOLs (key opinion leaders (i.e. influencers)) would do livestreaming to help promote the brand to consumers – and today, even the top KOLs would also invite movie stars to do the live streaming together with them,” shared Maggie Zhou, the Managing Director of Alibaba Group Australia and New Zealand.

“Even the Mayor of the Counties and the head of the village or farm, they are also doing live streaming to promote the specialities from their local areas. It’s very interesting to see how diverse and colourful livestreaming today in China. In Australia, live streaming is also becoming popular, because people are staying at home and many are turning to shopping as entertainment—or as we say at Alibaba: ‘shoppertainment’.”

From June 1st, the Tmall 618 Mid-year Shopping Festival has seen a major uplift of merchants using the Alibaba-driven live streaming technology. Sales generated from Taobao Live in its opening hour of the event “surpassed that of the entire first day in 2020.”

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Heather Bone