Like the home shopping channels on TV, livestreams that sell products bring authenticity and one-to-one interaction with customers to ecommerce. It’s a rising strategy that can drive sales, engagement, and long-term trust with your audience.
Remember, however, that your viewers have short attention spans and demand personalized experiences. You must carefully vet the products and influencers you choose for your shoppable streams.
What is live shopping? Live commerce is the way of the future for brands looking to reach a larger audience while maintaining a personalized touch. A recent development in online retail is live shopping, which lets customers purchase goods from merchants in real-time while watching live video feeds. The concept resembles TV home shopping networks, where viewers call in to place orders after a presenter features and demonstrates various products. The difference is that online shoppers can interact with the presenter via comments or chat; many can even purchase directly from the video broadcast.
As a result, online live sales can be more efficient and scalable than traditional retail outlets. The format also appeals to younger generations for whom online streams, social media, and influencer content are commonplace. For retailers, the upsides are enormous. It provides the opportunity to generate massive sales on a limited-time basis, encourage impulse buying, and boost underperforming products.
Live streaming platforms enable businesses of all types to take advantage of the growing trend of live shopping. They allow various products to be sold through multiple formats, including vlogs and tutorials. Some are dedicated to specific niches, such as beauty and fashion. Others feature celebrities and influencers. Some are based on existing social media networks, such as Facebook and Instagram, and offer easy integration with online stores.
The emergence of live shopping as a new sales channel is a massive change in how we do business. Rather than focusing on traditional brick-and-mortar or online storefronts, marketers want to create engaging, personalized experiences that draw in and convert customers.
While live shopping is relatively new, it’s already proving to be a significant player in the global market. For example, companies and start-ups are racing to break into the nascent market in the United States, with investors pouring in more than $380 million into US-based livestream ecommerce companies this year alone.
A live shopping session is a video format that showcases products and enables real-time engagement. Websites for retailers or social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram might host it. During the stream, viewers can comment on the products and ask questions. Then, they can click on the product and seamlessly purchase it. This experience can be a great way to boost sales, drive brand awareness, and nurture customer relationships.
When preparing to host your first live-streaming event, you need to understand your audience thoroughly. It means creating audience personas that identify your ideal customer’s demographics, behavior, and motivations. This information will help you determine which products to feature, what time to hold your event, and the best platform for your live stream.
Consumers demand an immersive, personalized shopping experience. As a result, many shoppers are turning to shoppable live streams to find unique items that match their style and personality. According to research, these shoppers are also 40% less likely to return items than other online shoppers.
A unique offer for each live-streaming event is essential to encourage repeat shoppers. It could be a discount code, a gift with a purchase, or a limited-edition product. Some brands are merging their loyalty programs with livestreams to reward their customers further.
While discounts are the leading driver of live stream conversions, they shouldn’t be your only focus. Providing additional value for your audience will also increase engagement and make it easier for them to convert. Real-time engagement, intelligent shopping, creative ideas and inspiration, and instructional content can all help achieve it.
Having an idea of your target audience is essential to success in live shopping. After all, you want to ensure your event attracts and appeals to this group. You’ll also need to determine what content will be most effective for this audience, such as a product demonstration, Q&A session, or giveaway. Depending on the format of your live stream, you can also include interactive features like polls, questions, and social media interactions, which can add to the experience and connect customers to the brand.
The idea is to create a community that will entice people to your live events and make them want to pay to watch them. Some brands hire influencers to host live events for this purpose, which can increase viewership and sales. But this can be costly, and planning your strategy carefully before investing in an influencer is crucial.
Once you’ve decided on the format for your live stream, you’ll need to determine how many products to highlight and how long you’ll feature them. Have a set schedule to broadcast to your audience on social media and other platforms. Then, you can decide whether to sell the products during the stream or direct viewers to your website to complete their purchases.
If you choose to integrate your live shopping into your online store, it’s important to remember that you will still need to offer multiple payment methods. That is because not all consumers have access to credit cards or e-wallets, so you’ll need to provide other ways for them to purchase products.
A growing number of retailers and large tech companies are working to capitalize on the live-streaming trend by creating specialized platforms for live shopping. These solutions can range from social media-based apps with built-in ecommerce capabilities, like Instagram and Facebook, to niche, industry-specific platforms. Some of these new platforms have attracted significant investment, and experts predict they could play a big role in future retail.
There are many off-the-shelf live-streaming platforms that brands can use to host shoppable videos. Some, like TikTok, have built-in features that make it easy for viewers to drop emojis and hearts on products they want to buy. This engagement boosts the brand’s algorithm and makes it more visible to a larger audience. It can be a great way to build brand awareness and spur sales.
Live shopping is a growing trend that gives shoppers a new channel to browse, research, and purchase products. It’s similar to home shopping channels on TV, except it takes place online and features influencers who showcase products and provide information about them.
When implementing a shoppable live stream, brands must decide how to structure the video and what products they want to feature. Some brands focus on a specific product category, such as apparel, beauty, or food, while others offer a more general approach. A brand can also decide whether to have a presenter showcasing the products or allow viewers to ask questions. Regardless of the approach, brands must find a host or ambassador to connect with and engage their audience.
Another critical aspect of a shoppable livestream is how to promote it and drive traffic. Social media is a popular channel for advertising and marketing events. However, some companies also integrate e-commerce, enabling customers to purchase directly from the video.
With the right tools and strategy, brands can reap the benefits of live shopping. This format combines the best of both worlds: the personal connection of experiential shopping and the convenience of online shopping. As it continues to gain popularity, more brands will likely incorporate this new channel into their content marketing and e-commerce strategies.