Call for Papers on Supply Chain Innovations in Live Streaming Commerce

Electronic Commerce Research is seeking submissions to a forthcoming Special Issue on Supply Chain Innovations in Live Streaming Commerce.

Live streaming refers to online streaming media simultaneously recorded and broadcast in real-time. Live streaming commerce is an innovative e-commerce model of selling through live communications with audiences, such as Amazon’s “Style code Live” and “Taobao Live”. As an important subset of e-commerce, live streaming commerce is typically represented by which sellers invites streamers (e.g., social influencers, celebrities, many self-employed sellers or ordinary people) to introduce their products, interact with fans and answer their questions regarding the products’ quality and related characteristics in real time. Shopping through live streams is a new way of electronic commerce and thus contains not only lots of social commerce attributes but also unique social media features.

Live streaming commerce has developed rapidly in the past decade and has evolved into a new economic mode. Almost all e-commerce retail giants such as Alibaba, Taobao, Pingduoduo, and Amazon have developed their own live streaming business, while some social media platforms have even joined in the above electronic commerce platforms, such as Tiktok, Kuaishou, Youtube, and so on. In 2020, the market size of China’s live streaming commerce reached 961 billion yuan. Chinese internet celebrity Weiya once sold more than 3 billion yuan of goods in a single live streaming, and BBC News called her “Queen of Goods”; Starbucks streamed its new store opening on Taobao and attracted 180,000 viewers in three hours.

Live streaming commerce has led to a revolution in supply chain management. The supply chain in live streaming commerce becomes more complex and involves consumers, influencers, sellers, platforms, supervision and other aspects. From the production workshop to the live streaming room, live streaming commerce further opens up the sellers’ integration of online and offline interactions. In addition, live streaming commerce has made up for many shortcomings of traditional e-commerce and greatly changed consumers’ shopping behavior. For example, customers can only learn about products through pictures and text in traditional online shopping, while live streaming shopping allows streamers to show products and answer consumers’ questions in real-time videos, thus giving customers more detailed product information, and face-to-face interactions to alleviate consumers’ doubts about suppliers’ authenticity. Last but not least, live streaming commerce puts more emphasis on the cooperation and rapid response among supply chain members. The centralized outbreak of orders in live streaming makes rapid delivery and realization of these demand becomes an important aspect for supply chain management. 

Indeed, live streaming commerce has brought a certain impact on the traditional supply chain management. Consumers’ shopping behavior and supply chain members’ cooperation mode have undergone great changes due to the increasing complexity and requirements of supply chains in live streaming commerce. Therefore, firms that adopt live streaming commerce face great challenges in their supply chain management. For example, due to the increasing social network influence along with the great social interactivity, the demand in the live streaming commerce gets more variability. The interactivity of the live stream commerce incents product innovation and flexible technology adoption, since firms can collect many customized opinions through a live streaming show. Additionally, customers in the live streaming commerce care about not only the product itself, but also the mental interactions with their favorite KOLs. The live streaming commerce can also have extra requirements on shortening the lead time and increasing the speed of logistics. It is thus extremely urgent to examine whether the current supply chain structure and capabilities allow for enabling the live streaming commerce in an efficient manner, and if not, how to design an innovative supply chain system with improved production and logistics processes to fulfil demand more efficiently.

This special issue will be devoted to the exploration of strategic, managerial, organizational, technical challenges in live streaming commerce topics.

  • Product line design in Live Streaming Commerce 
  • Contractual innovation in Live Streaming Commerce 
  • Channel design in Live Streaming Commerce 
  • Procurement innovation in Live Streaming Commerce 
  • Inventory control in Live Streaming Commerce 
  • Manufacturing strategy and innovation in Live Streaming Commerce 
  • Logistics design in Live Streaming Commerce 
  • Return processing in Live Streaming Commerce 
  • Communication innovation in Live Streaming Commerce 
  • Key opinion leader selection in Live Streaming Commerce 
  • Social responsibility and business ethics for supply chains in Live Streaming Commerce

Guest Editors

Professor Guo Li
School of Management and Economics
Beijing Institute of Technology, China

Professor Dmitry Ivanov
Department of Business and Economics
Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany

Professor Xiaohang Yue
Lubar School of Business
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA