Future of Online Shopping: Opportunities and Monetization

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Issue #12

Live streaming e-commerce

China’s Taobao Live, Douyin, Kuaishou, Pinduoduo, JD.com, Mogujie & Meituan popularized live video shopping. Sellers present the products through “livestream selling”. Consumers can react, chat, and buy directly via in-app checkout in real-time. The e-commerce experience is immersive, transparent, and social.

In fact, live e-commerce is already a $60 billion market. China is dominating this rapid trend with $171 billion gross merchandise value (GMV) in 2020. This trend has hit the global mainstream and companies around the world are riding on this massive wave.

We’ll examine companies that are building for the future of online shopping—and unpack exciting opportunities where you can monetize.

Key trends:

(1) E-commerce giants in the West are rolling out live shopping:

(2) Social networks are becoming a “social e-commerce” company:

(3) Rise of livestreamers billionaires:

  • Creators are making fortunes by streaming live shopping content.
  • Skincare and makeups are among the top-selling products.
  • Austin Li aka “Lipstick King” pre-sold US$1.9 billion on Alibaba’s Taobao ranging from Shiseido lotions to Apple AirPods. Li earns between $10 and $20 million/month (not a typo) from livestreaming. Li’s net worth is predicted to hit $15 billion by 2023.
  • Viya made $1.3 billion in transaction volume during the 11.11 Single's Day festival. As the “queen of livestreaming” in China, Viya sells cosmetics, houses, cars—even sold a rocket launch for $5.6 million. Viya ranks China’s 500 Richest List at US$1.4 billion net worth.


(🔒 Full version) +3 key trends in the livestream e-commerce space. These insights will help you capture specific customer needs:

🔑 (4/6) How to apply live e-commerce in niche markets? (including 2 company examples)

🔑 (5/6) This model can help e-commerce startups bootstrap initial customer base by leveraging existing platforms (including 2 company examples)

🔑 (7/7) Emerging e-commerce model, including 1 company example.

Players by categories & niches

(1) Social media + commerce:

(2) Creators-first live shopping platforms:

(3) B2B shoppable video solutions:


(🔒 Full version) Discover profitable niches in the live commerce space and how to differentiate your offerings:

  • 🔑 Total 32 company examples across different segments
  • 🔑 Total 5 business niches
  • 🔑 Each company example comes with specific notes on how they position themselves

What problems do they solve?

A business only becomes profitable when they solve real problems (need) faced by a large group of people (demand). This section highlights specific problems you can solve as a new player in the space:

(1) Help creators create a digital storefront.

  • Setting up an online store requires tons of marketing effort to drive traffic to the site.
  • Live shopping apps provide access to mobile-first shopping, a marketplace of buyers, payment tools, live stream tools, logistics, fulfillment, and delivery—in an all-in-one experience.

(🔒 Full version) +5 more problem insights. Understanding these problems will help you build something people want. You’ll also learn:

🔑 (2/6) How to help creators make money?

🔑 (3/6) How do companies make money by empowering online merchants?

🔑 (4/6) How to monetize by addressing niche audience needs? (including 3 company examples)

🔑 (5/6) What’s the no. 1 pain point facing online sellers and how you can solve this?

🔑 (6/6) How to monetize e-commerce platforms by reducing frictions?

Business models

(1) Marketplace model:

Live stream commerce companies that innovate on top of e-commerce platforms typically monetize using a marketplace commissions model:

  • Amazon—charges per-item fee, referral fee, closing fee, and high-volume fee. For referral fee, 6% to 45% of the selling price (based on product category).
  • Alibaba Tmall—takes 0.3-5% commissions

(🔒 Full version):

  • 🔑 +6 more revenue modeling examples on how companies monetize e-commerce tech. You’ll also learn:
  • 🔑 How to layer different revenue models and create multiple revenue streams as an e-commerce platform?
  • 🔑 How to charge $200++/month as a livestreaming tool?

What’s the next big thing?

This section explores where the future of online shopping is heading, what new solutions will look like, where’s the market demand, and answers the “why now” questions (most important slide in your pitch deck!) for your investors:

(1) Changing behaviors in discovering new brands.

  • Influencer and creator economy has proven that people want to discover new brands loved by people they follow on TikTok, YouTube, Twitter—not necessarily celebrities, pro athletes, and major public figures.
  • New solutions will help people to buy from people they trust.

(2) Live shopping will explode beyond consumer products.

  • TikTok has proven that realtors, healthcare providers, educators & consultants use video-based social content to sell their services.
  • Therefore, live shopping has the potential to apply in the B2B space.

(🔒 Full version) +4 more market evidence to prove the demand for live streaming e-commerce. You’ll unlock:

🔑 (3/7) Community is the moat. How can new startups build around community + social + e-commerce and win?

🔑 (4/7) How to leverage the no-code economy as a live commerce company?

🔑 (5/7) As Web3 economy continues to rise, how can e-commerce startups tap into this opportunity and build valuable solutions around it?

🔑 (6/7) How to capture more market values and TAM (total addressable market) as an e-commerce company?

🔑 (7/7) What do younger consumers prefer and expect in the future of e-commerce tech?

Startup opportunities

(🔒 Full version) 5 specific product ideas and business opportunities that are solving problems. You’ll unlock:

🔑 (1/5) B2B solution in the online shopping space

🔑 (2/5) Niche social network meets e-commerce

🔑 (3/5) B2B solution in the healthcare industry

🔑 (4/5) A plugin solution to boost e-commerce sales

🔑 (5/5) Video tech for the e-commerce space

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