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Tekka Online Market’s first Facebook livestream a big hit

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More than 28,000 viewed the first Facebook livestream by six vendors from the wet market

Scoring a $17 box of vegetables has never made me so excited.

After my fourth attempt at buying vegetables on Tekka Online Market's first Facebook livestream yesterday was finally successful, I was screaming with glee.

Perhaps I've been cooped up at home for too long, or it was the sheer thrill of beating hundreds of viewers to get one out of 20 sets of vegetables from Chia's Vegetable Supply in Tekka Market. The set included a selection of mushrooms, Japanese leek and broccoli.

The new online initiative, which started yesterday, featured six vendors from Tekka Market selling a range of vegetables, fish, chicken and fruit.

It was organised by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and creative agency BlkJ, in a bid to digitalise wet market businesses and also encourage seniors to stay home during the circuit breaker period.

According to the IMDA, peak views per stall ranged from 800 to 1,200 viewers, and the total views of the livestream sessions numbered more than 28,000.

Chia's Vegetable Supply, fishmonger 81 Sheng Yu, and Haji M N Shahul Hameed Marketing - which specialises in goat, lamb, and mutton - had about an hour each to sell their goods, one after another.

This was followed by a "bonus hour" that - due to brisk sales - became a 30-minute session, as three stalls sold a few items each in quick succession. The stalls were fruit seller Chee Boon & Son Fruits Paradise, Jamila & Family Chicken Supplier, and Lim Siew Keow Dried Foods.

The vendors were clearly overwhelmed by the response - 81 Sheng Yu's seafood session had more than 1,000 viewers - and many people were left empty-handed as some buyers snapped up more than one set of ingredients.

Be mentally prepared that you could watch for hours, and not land a single item.

Instead of waiting for the vendors to finish explaining the item up for grabs, I realised that the solution was to order as soon as the next item was posted in the comment thread.

This business method has proven successful for Mr Max Kee, 37, of seafood wholesale business Lian Huat Seafood, which operates from Jurong Fishery Port. He started doing Facebook Live sales last year, and is now dubbed a Facebook Live mentor for his ability to sell produce for hours.

He co-hosted the Tekka Online Market in a mix of Mandarin and dialect with three vendors for the first three hours.

The bonus 30-minute session was hosted by Mr Dasa Dharamahsena - better known as Das - of production company Night Owl Cinematics. He impressed viewers by pushing sales in four languages.

The next Tekka Online Market runs on May 12, at noon.

The same vendors from yesterday's livestream will continue to sell their produce, hopefully offering a bigger volume. Other stallholders will be added to the line-up as well.

Just buy what you need. And remember, fastest fingers first.

For more information, go to www.facebook.com/TekkaOnlineMarket

Food & Drink