Lingling Gao

UTAS Home Dr Lingling Gao

Lingling Gao

Lecturer in Management
Tasmanian School of Business & Economics

Sandy Bay Campus

Keeping up with technology in a fast-paced marketing world

Driving to the supermarket, filling up a shopping trolley and carting goods back to the shelves of your refrigerator and pantry is slowly becoming a way of the past. With more and more people doing their shopping online, buying groceries, clothing and everything between, retailers must evolve with their customers to maintain their client base and grow their business. But is there something more that online retailers could be doing to grow their business exponentially? Dr Lingling Gao says yes.

The rapid success of live-selling

Live-selling has seen a boom across the Chinese market as a popular and effective selling method.

With live selling, an array of products is presented in real time to potential customers by an influencer. Buyers can see the product in use, can ask questions, and receive an immediate reponse. Most importantly, with the click of a button, customers can buy the product and have it delivered within days, without having to leave the comforts of their home.

Dr Lingling Gao is on a mission to determine what factors influence a customer’s decision to buy online. In particular, she is interested in why live-selling is so effective, and how it contributes to the creation of trust between the customer and the seller.

“Online retailers must find new ways of attracting and retaining customers. The way they engage with potential customers makes a difference.

“I want to provide insight to online stores as to whether live-selling makes a difference in developing trust with their customers, and subsequently driving sales and profit.” says Dr Gao.

According to Dr Gao, because Facebook, the biggest social networking site in the world, has been blocked by the Chinese government, other live-selling platforms have been created to reach consumers, including the popular site Alibaba.

Dr Gao is managing and comparing two stores on Alibaba selling identical products. The first utilizes the live-selling feature, and the second does not.

“We can easily see the difference in sales and profits between the two stores. Everything else is the same but live-selling is driving more sales and profits.”

The first study of its kind

Because this form of marketing is so new, there is no literature to examine the use of live selling. Dr Gao is conducting some of the first research to explore the use of this application.

“In my research I’m interested in the comparison between Chinese and Australian online retailers.

“Australian retailers create their own independent selling platforms through websites like Amazon or Ebay. Alternatively, retailers can develop their own website and sell direct. Which is the better way to go?”

While the focus of Dr Gao’s research is Chinese online retail stores, the results will provide insight for Australian retailers for the future.

With the success live selling has seen in China, Gao suggests there’s reason to believe that Australian retailers could enjoy the same positive outcomes.

Cracking the code on seller trust

An important factor in Dr Gao’s research is the notion of trust. She is trying to identify where initial trust of the seller comes from, and what factors effect that trust. Her findings have indicated that live-selling can generate trust between the seller and the consumer.

“Trust is critical for the online retailer to create a larger and solid customer base. When buying from an online-seller the customer will not only compare the price, they need to trust the retailer to buy the product. Sometimes the trust towards an online retailer could be so overwhelming that customers rather buy a third-party made product from this retailer instead of paying less and buy directly from the manufacturer itself. Building solid trust connection with customers also influences the conversion rate (the ratio between website visiting traffic and successful orders) at an enormous scale.

“Customers care about the price, but they also value the quality and experience, and if all goes smoothly the customer will come back again.”

First-hand experience

Dr Gao has a Bachelors, Masters and PhD in the field of online marketing. She has also worked directly for Alibaba Group. Using knowledge, experience and her passion for marketing and business technology, Dr Gao currently operates two online stores putting the online-selling feature to use. She also lectures in Electronic Marketing at the University of Tasmania.

“The University encouraged me to be equipped with industry experience. With electronic marketing, it’s really important to not only know it in theory but having that practical experience as well.”

“Through my first-hand experience working in this field (Electronic Marketing), having managed customer relationships and ongoing campaigns successfully, I’m confident that I’m able to pass this knowledge on to my students, and make a real difference in their study and future careers.

Research that makes a difference

View more on Dr Lingling Gao in WARP

Fields of Research

  • Marketing Communications (150502)
  • Consumer-Oriented Product or Service Development (150501)
  • International Business (150308)
  • Entrepreneurship (150304)
  • Business and Management (150399)

Research Objectives

  • Marketing (910403)
  • Communication (950299)
  • Economic Framework (919999)
  • Management (910402)
  • Productivity (excl. Public Sector) (910404)


Total publications


Journal Article

(6 outputs)
2017Gao L, Waechter KA, 'Examining the role of initial trust in user adoption of mobile payment services: an empirical investigation', Information Systems Frontiers, 19, (3) pp. 525-548. ISSN 1387-3326 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s10796-015-9611-0 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 48Web of Science - 26


2017Gao Lingling, Bai X, Park A, 'Understanding Sustained Participation in Virtual Travel Communities from the Perspectives of Is Success Model and Flow Theory', Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, 41, (4) pp. 475-509. ISSN 1557-7554 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1177/1096348014563397 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 15Web of Science - 11

Co-authors: Bai X


2015Gao Lingling, Waechter KA, Bai X, 'Understanding consumers' continuance intention towards mobile purchase: A theoretical framework and empirical study - A case of China', Computers in Human Behavior, 53 pp. 249-262. ISSN 0747-5632 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2015.07.014 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 91Web of Science - 70

Co-authors: Bai X


2014Gao Lingling, Bai X, 'Online consumer behaviour and its relationship to website atmospheric induced flow: Insights into online travel agencies in China', Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 21, (4) pp. 653-665. ISSN 0969-6989 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2014.01.001 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 67

Co-authors: Bai X


2014Gao Lingling, Bai X, 'A unified perspective on the factors influencing consumer acceptance of internet of things technology', Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 26, (2) pp. 211-231. ISSN 1355-5855 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1108/APJML-06-2013-0061 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 116

Co-authors: Bai X


2014Gao Lingling, Bai X, 'An empirical study on continuance intention of mobile social networking services: Integrating the IS success model, network externalities and flow theory', Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 26, (2) pp. 168-189. ISSN 1355-5855 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1108/APJML-07-2013-0086 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 65

Co-authors: Bai X


Conference Publication

(2 outputs)
2011Liang F, Gao L, 'An Institution and culture-induced dualistic approach towards Guanxi management: A case of Chinese migrant entrepreneurs in Australia', Proceedings of the 2011 AIB Southeast Asia Regional Conference, 1-3 December, 2011, Taiwan, pp. 1-22. (2011) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Liang F


2011Wang H, Gao Lingling, Yan Y, 'Intelligent service-integrated software framework based on mobile RFID technology for railway industry', ICTE 2011: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Transportation Engineering, 23-25 July 2011, Chengdu, China, pp. 1039-1044. ISBN 978-078441184-1 (2011) [Refereed Conference Paper]

DOI: 10.1061/41184(419)172 [eCite] [Details]


Contract Report, Consultant's Report

(1 outputs)
2017Wong TL, Schonell SH, Kling MR, Clark Sophie, Gao Lingling, et al., 'Understanding the Experiences and Challenges of Chinese Immigrant Entrepreneurs Operating a Business in an Australian Regional Economy: The Case of Tasmania', Asia Institute (UTAS), Hobart, 1 (2017) [Consultants Report]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Wong TL; Schonell SH; Kling MR; Clark Sophie; Wickham MD