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We built a live streaming feature: Introducing Klook Live!

Klook built what!?

Meet Klook Live!, our brand new live stream mobile feature. The new product allows us to produce immersive content that not only entertains users but also helps them discover and book experiences. During the live stream, customers can interact with merchants through comments, emoji and polls, redeem exclusive promo codes and check-out seamlessly — all while watching the live episode! 

Why did we venture into live streaming? What have we learned from piloting this product so far? And what do ducks and tech products have in common? We talked to some of the brilliant Klookers behind the scenes to find out.

Pssst: Want to see it for yourself? Klook Live! is now available in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines: all you have to do is download the Klook app on Google Play or the App Store. 


Klook_Live!_pr_material.jpgPolls, emojis, comments and animations: traveltainment is all about user interaction!


The rise of live streaming 

Depending where you are in the world, you may be an avid fan of live streaming e-commerce already or you may be scratching your head, wondering why on earth Klook needs a live stream feature. 

To understand live streaming e-commerce think about those late-night TV shopping channels selling miracle mops or food processors. (No, really, bear with us). And now imagine that but with an extreme level of audience interaction, where the viewers can ask questions in real-time and react with likes and emojis. Add a charismatic host who’s an influencer in their own right, and you’ve got yourself an extremely powerful platform. So powerful that the market in China reached nearly 434 billion yuan in 2019 and is predicted to more than double this year. 

And it’s not just a Chinese phenomenon anymore, either. “Here in Singapore, some brands started using live platforms to conduct sales last year but live streaming really picked up during the circuit breaker [stay-at-home order in Singapore],” explains Malcolm Koh, Content and Social Media Marketing Manager at Klook.

“Even wet market vendors in Singapore started selling fresh produce via live stream. A lot of innovation popped up around this time and people got more receptive to the medium.”

With so much potential to entertain and convert viewers, live streaming naturally got our interest. “At Klook, we always strive to follow our value of innovation,” says Claire Wu, Senior Product Manager at Klook. “Which meant that we also wanted to be the early adopters of live streaming.”


teamwork_klook_live.JPGEach Klook Live! episode is a huge team effort.


What tech products and ducks have in common 

When we decided to go into live streaming, we knew that simply leveraging social media tools like Instagram live or Facebook live wouldn’t do. Our own live streaming product allows us to seamlessly integrate the experience with Klook platform — viewers can add an activity to the basket or grab a promo code right there and then. 

“To do the same thing on a social media platform is a lot more complex and involves getting people to leave your feeds to perform these actions. Klook Live! has really been engineered as a seamless experience,” explains Simon Llanos, Marketing Director, Europe. 

Achieving that level of integration hasn’t been easy. “Integrating our existing infrastructure with the product was a challenging piece,” says Claire. “On top of that, stability is key for live streaming. We had to make sure we can handle a potentially huge number of viewers, maybe hundreds of thousands.” 


klook_live_6_birthday.jpg14,000+ viewers in Hong Kong tuned in to celebrate our 6th birthday with us!


The work is, of course, far from done. Claire’s team is carefully studying how our live streams perform, identifying areas for improvement and planning the next iteration. Every live event brings new learnings. “My team would say I get a heart attack almost every Klook Live!,” jokes Malcolm, who’s behind the scenes producing Klook Live! for the Singapore market. “Thankfully the whole ecosystem at Klook is there to support us.”

Just how much preparation and teamwork goes into production of each live stream? “There is this saying about the duck,” says Simon. “On the surface it looks calm but under water it’s paddling frantically. That’s what Klook Live! is like: it looks sleek on the outside but there are many moving parts.”


The anatomy of the perfect live stream

“Eric, I think you’re on mute,” says the host as we watch one of our co-founders inaudibly greet all Klookers on our inaugural Klook Live! live stream. 

We’re all laughing in front of our screens, socially distanced but feeling connected in that moment. It’s little hiccups like that, with perfect comedic timing, that make live events all the more endearing. “Sorry, I was on mute… Hi everyone!” The show goes on.


Klook_Live!_internal_launch.jpgWatching our inaugural Klook Live! live stream with cameo appearances from Klook co-founders


“Live streaming is another way to tell an engaging story. But it’s genuine as well. If you try to sell to people through it they won’t be interested,” says Simon. 

It’s a delicate balance to create engaging content that gets people to tune in and at the same time convert viewers into buyers. But it seems we’ve been able to crack it. Early results from the five pilot markets showed that conversion rate during a Klook Live! can be four times higher than the average in-app conversion on a normal day.

“From a production standpoint, there is a lot of testing and learning,” explains Malcolm. “We watch other live streams, study the flow, see what might potentially work for us. With that starting point, we do our own testing on Klook Live!.”

One of the big lessons learned for Marketing Singapore so far? Our audience really values the level of interaction we incorporate in the programming. “We launched many new products this year, like staycations, so people naturally have a lot of questions. What are the new safety standards? Are there vegetarian options in the hotel? The level of interaction in live streams helps to build confidence in our product.”


bts_klook_live_singapore.jpgThere is A LOT going on behind the scenes of every Klook Live!


What’s next for Klook Live!?

What you see on your screen today is just the first iteration of Klook Live!. Our ambitions for the product are big and bold, more content and products will be rolled out in the coming weeks and months. But as Claire tells us, the Product team is also just really proud of what we achieved so far.

“I’ve been watching live streaming e-commerce for some time but I would have never imagined that I’d be building something similar for Klook!” 


Want to be at the cutting edge of the travel industry? 

Find open jobs here


klook.png Posted by Klook Careers

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