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Farmers use livestreams to bring in more sales

Updated: Jul 16, 2019 Xinhua Print
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Half a month ago, He Hesheng received a 4,000 yuan ($580) order for his peaches through a livestream.

For more than three decades, He and many of his neighbors have been growing peaches in the Xihua county of Central China's Henan province. Up till two months ago, all his peaches were sold to dealers before they were displayed for sale in supermarkets and open fairs.

The 43-year-old tried livestreaming for the first time two months ago and was extremely awkward.

"I just took some shots of the peaches and then talked about their origin, quality and the time taken for them to ripen," the farmer said. "I kept looking away and stammering in the video.

"The customers don't even know who you are. How can they trust you and buy your peaches?" he said. But now, he does it every day. In just one month, he sold more than 20,000 yuan worth of peaches. "Livestreaming rocks," he said, smiling.

He had thought of e-commerce before, but gave it up because it was "too complicated and time-consuming". However, livestreaming has made it much easier. He just needs to share details of his WeChat account with his customers and they can order directly from him.

"The customers will always transfer the money to me first and I will deliver the peaches the next day," He said. "They trust me and I should live up to that trust by sending them top quality products."

The younger people have even returned home during the peach harvest season to help sell the fruit. "The customers are from all over the country, and the farmers can make an extra 2 yuan per kilogram compared with selling them to the vendors," said Wu Dongliang, a local official.

Livestreaming has become a viable source of income as the industry experienced a boom in recent years. According to a report published by the China Internet Network Information Center, China had 397 million users on multiple livestreaming websites by the end of last year, and they have shown formidable purchasing power.

Over the past two months, there were three promotions organized through livestreaming in Xihua. One livestream, which was held in late June, attracted more than 245,000 viewers in two hours, bringing farmers thousands of orders worth over 2 million yuan.

"Xihua has many quality products and we hope they can reach more customers via modern media," said Hu Yongqing, a local official. "Our next move is to train 100 social media influencers in the next six months to better promote our products."

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