Live e-commerce started to “roll” virtual people?

Today, the live broadcast e-commerce industry model is becoming more and more saturated, and the homogenized and templated delivery method makes the audience somewhat aesthetically fatigued. As “Metaverse+” has become a new trend, more and more people are beginning to explore what role virtual humans can play in it.

Earlier, virtual humans were mainly concentrated in the entertainment industry. For example, the virtual singers Hatsune Miku and Luo Tianyi, their success has caused people to invest in the virtual idol track and start a business, but due to the difficulty of making profits, the heat quickly dissipated. Today, the popularity of the Metaverse is soaring, and the concept of “virtual human” as one of the elements of the Metaverse is once again popular, especially the application of virtual anchors in the field of e-commerce.

Virtual anchors empower the e-commerce industry

In February of this year, Alibaba launched the Winter Olympics propaganda official — the virtual person Dongdong.Dongdong is positioned as a virtual anchor with goods, and is responsible for introducing various peripheral products to the official licensed merchandise retail store in Beijing 2022 together with the anchor.

After the Winter Olympics, Dongdong will live on Taobao for about 2 hours at 7:30 every night. Search Taobao for keywords related to the Winter Olympics, such as “Xue Rongrong”, “Bing Dun Dun”, and Dongdong will pop up from the screen to greet you and interact with you. As can be seen from the figure below, the number of viewers in the live broadcast room has soared from the initial 50,000 and stabilized at around 150,000. This is also a good attempt by virtual people in the field of e-commerce live broadcast.

Live e-commerce started to "roll" virtual people?

In March, the virtual delivery anchor “Xiaomei” created by JD Beauty frequently appeared in the live broadcast rooms of many beauty brands such as YSL and L’Oreal. The anchor is the third-generation “smart” simulated digital human. It can not only flexibly imitate the movements and tones of real people to explain and bring goods, but also answer consumers’ questions and doubts in the live broadcast room with a professional knowledge base, achieving 24-hour online access. live streaming.

Live e-commerce started to "roll" virtual people?

On March 30, Douyin launched a live show that combined the star “Hu Bing” with virtual reality, and the digital avatar of Hu Bing also appeared. In this live broadcast, Hu Bing changed a set of looks every ten seconds, displayed clothes in constantly changing scenes, and opened an immersive live broadcast with goods for the audience.

Live e-commerce started to "roll" virtual people?

Live e-commerce started to "roll" virtual people?

Live e-commerce started to "roll" virtual people?

Although it is nothing new for virtual anchors to bring goods, Hu Bing is the first to present a live broadcast with goods in his own avatar.  The virtual image of a star is different from a virtual anchor without a realistic prototype. It has its own traffic of stars, which can better attract the audience and revitalize the audience market.

Interaction in the live broadcast room of virtual people, showing personalization is the key

Last year’s Double Eleven, Kuaishou Xiaodian’s anchor “Guan Fang” and the virtual anchor “Guan Xiaofang” jointly launched a special e-commerce live broadcast. “Guan Xiaofang” first quickly captured a large number of fans with her cute and sweet appearance, and the audience in the live broadcast room shouted “Quickly put Xiaofang in the little yellow car”!

Live e-commerce started to "roll" virtual people?

Sweet looks are a plus, but the charisma of the virtual anchor is the core. As Kuaishou’s first virtual anchor based on multi-mode AI capture drive capability and real-time realistic rendering, “Guan Xiaofang” realizes a realistic and immersive virtual-reality fusion scene through AR/MR technology, enabling it to interact and communicate with veterans in real-time in the live broadcast room , to bring consumers a high-quality consumption experience.

Virtual people talk with consumers as “people”, shorten the distance between each other, and make friends with consumers. Based on this, the e-commerce live broadcast room has transformed the buying and selling relationship between brands and consumers in the traditional shopping era into a social relationship. At the social level, what effects can virtual anchors bring to e-commerce live broadcasts?

The first is to reduce labor costs. Virtual anchors can work 24 hours a day without any need for wages and subsidies; at the same time, they will always maintain their best condition and interact with the audience enthusiastically with their exquisite appearance and gentle tone. And if it operates properly, it can also create a popular virtual IP image and bring more revenue.

Second, the product is especially geared towards the secondary group. The image of the virtual anchor is similar to the animation “Paper Man”. The creation of a high-value virtual anchor can instantly attract countless fans. Once the virtual anchor IP is out of the circle, it will be a big earner.

Finally, the blessing of AR/MR and other technologies and the transformation of high-quality scenes will bring a fresh consumption experience to the audience. The addition of virtual anchors is conducive to breaking through the traditional e-commerce live broadcast method of bringing goods, and exploring new models and development opportunities.

What is the ability of virtual anchors to bring goods?

Compared with real anchors, virtual anchors that are “safe and controllable, and people do not overturn the car” seem to be more able to bring continuous revenue to enterprises. Generally speaking, MCN agencies are accustomed to considering the ability of virtual anchors to bring goods from the four aspects of “return on investment”, “interaction situation”, “audience viewing time” and “conversion effect”.

In terms of input cost, it takes two to four weeks to build a set of customized virtual anchors, and it only takes one week to use the inventory virtual people, which is much lower than the input cost of live anchors. On the other hand, according to the personal test of an industry company, virtual anchors have the greatest impact on the two indicators of “audience interaction” and “audience viewing time”, usually bringing about 3-4 times the growth effect.

However, the ability to bring goods does not only depend on the choice of anchors to bring goods. The quality of live broadcast selection is also an important factor. Therefore, in the current e-commerce environment, it is difficult to judge the pros and cons of virtual anchors and real anchors alone , but in general, virtual anchors, as an emerging trend, have great potential for development.

Can virtual anchors replace real anchors?

With the development of science and technology, the virtual consumption environment of the e-commerce industry is constantly being optimized, and people have paid great attention to virtual anchors. The combination of virtual human technology and application scenarios can bring consumers an immersive consumption experience. In the high expectations for the development of virtual technology, there is also the existence of doubts, can virtual anchors really replace real anchors?

As far as the current development situation is concerned, virtual humans cannot replace the existence of real “humans”, and are more useful as a supplementary means. There are still some practical problems in the technical exploration of virtual human. For example, how to build a more realistic and expressive virtual anchor? How to make virtual anchors take and display products more naturally? These are urgent problems to be solved.

The live broadcast of Hu Bing’s virtual catwalk is a beneficial attempt, which will bring long-term marketing effects to the brand. In the future, the avatars of celebrities/big V/real characters may become a new signal for the development of the e-commerce industry, bringing new room for growth to commercial value.

Live e-commerce started to "roll" virtual people?

However, virtual anchors and virtual e-commerce are still in the early stage of exploration, and there is still a lot of room for improvement in terms of technology research and development, operation mode, and industrial maturity. It is expected that the future development of virtual anchors will bring new vitality to the e-commerce industry.

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