Innovation That Matters

Ideal has converted its business to a live-streaming model | Photo source Mohamed Hassan on Pixabay

Chinese jeweller pivots to live-streamed 'stores' in response to COVID-19


A high-end Chinese jeweller has altered its business model to focus on live-streamed sales, with in-store sales staff retrained as live broadcasters

Spotted: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many traditional businesses to rapidly adopt new models in order to stay in business. In China, Shenzhen-based multi-brand jeweller Ideal has converted its business almost overnight from a traditional, bricks-and-mortar-based shop, to an e-Commerce model that uses live streaming.

Ideal has dubbed the initiative, “Thousand People, Thousand Stores”. The company’s in-store sales staff have become live broadcasters, with each one managing their own live-streamed “store” as a type of franchise. Ideal has partnered with SaaS retail software provider YouZan to build a mini-platform within the popular WeChat app. By using the new platform as a virtual warehouse, Ideal’s sales associates are able to share the company’s warehouse inventory nationwide.

Sales associates establish their own domain within WeChat and earn a commission of between 10 and 50 per cent from each sale, a huge increase on the 3 per cent they earned from in-store sales. The increased financial incentive is intended to encourage the sales associates to be aggressive in their selling.

To appeal to the younger demographic who shop online, the company has also developed a new range of cheaper pieces designed to attract customers with less disposable income. At the same time, Ideal has partnered with a media agency Lan Congee to train and guide its sales associates to develop their broadcasting skills.

As with other industries that traditionally depend on physical brick-and-mortar outlets, the coronavirus pandemic is seeing businesses and entire industries search for new business models. Springwise has recently written about new models emerging in sectors such as upscale restaurants, beauty and fashion.

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