COVID-19 has had a profound impact on practically every element of our lives. The epidemic shifted how we connect daily, even with mundane chores like shopping. Shopping at brick-and-mortar stores came to a standstill in many areas — and many consumers are placing more focus on eCommerce even as stores open back up.
In 2020, “Livestream eCommerce,” or simply “live commerce,” emerged as a new trend and digital channel. According to Coresight Research, the Livestream shopping market in the United States will reach $25 billion by 2023.
Meanwhile, live commerce in China has grown at a breakneck speed, with sales exceeding $171 billion in 2020 and predicted to reach $423 billion in 2022. To put this in context, between 2017 and 2020, China’s Livestream eCommerce market grew at a compound annual growth rate of almost 280%.
Amazon established Amazon Live, an in-house QVC-style video shopping platform in the United States. American buyers, like their Chinese counterparts, are increasingly relying on influencers for buying advice, and Amazon has made use of its large network of influencers with the help of its new platform. Amazon’s Prime Day event gave influencers the opportunity to Livestream promoted products and interact with customers.
Walmart also launched influencer-driven live shopping on TikTok in 2020, which generated seven times more viewers than expected and increased Walmart’s TikTok following count by 25%. Developing a digital experience that includes live commerce can help firms stay ahead of the curve in their eCommerce strategy. More than just an online buying option, Livestream eCommerce provides customers with a cutting-edge combination of in-person and online shopping.
What Is Livestream Shopping?
Simply put, Livestream shopping allows you to display and advertise things to a live, online audience that may participate in the experience. Customers can communicate directly with promoters through online video or chat. Because it’s live, there is less chance of picture and setting manipulation, allowing the audience to have more faith in the brand.
Why Is Live Streaming an Engaging Tactic?
Livestream shopping combines live video content with two-way conversation and the option for viewers to buy or save featured products without leaving the platform. Consider it a cross between QVC and social media, with an integrated eCommerce feature in place of the 1-800 number.
Reduced decision time, increased consumer involvement, and higher sales are all advantages of Livestream buying for retailers. Because of the immediacy of the interactions, Livestream shopping enables retailers to develop deeper connections with consumers, leading to increased sales and share of wallets. Live streaming is becoming increasingly popular in the professional world as it allows people to interact from opposite ends of the globe.
How Can Businesses Use Live Streams To Sell More?
Select the Appropriate Platform
Choose a mature platform created for shopping with Livestream features built-in — this will make it easier to get up and running. If you don’t have access to a native eCommerce platform or don’t want to splurge on one just yet, take advantage of the Livestream features on popular social media tools and sites like Facebook Live, LinkedIn, and Instagram Live.
Manage Your Media Budget
Livestreaming may be “free” if you’re using something like Facebook Live, but you’ll still need to invest money on publicity to raise awareness and drive visitors to your Livestream.
One way to cover this is to divert funds from offline and conventional media. However, the optimal area to reallocate media spend will depend on the mix of media you already have in place, your target demographic, and your overall business goals.
Identify and Hire Hosts
Your host is the person conducting the Livestream, and this is usually an influencer or celebrity. However, not just anyone will suffice. They’ll need widespread appeal as well as a devoted following capable of giving the Livestream shopping brand they’re working with a sense of must-see exclusivity.
And while A-list celebrities will provide the most traction for companies, choosing the right “micro-celebrity” with a smaller but dedicated following can be just as impactful for your brand.
If this seems like it might be out of your budget, see if you can tap into your CEO or another company leader to serve as the face of your brand.
Strike a Balance Between Scripting and Improvising
Many brands make the mistake of allowing their talent to generate content on their own while Livestreaming in real-time, but it’s a good idea to communicate expectations and even provide an outline or rough script to keep everything on course when working with a new host.
Be wary of being too product-focused as well. Allow time for the host and celebrity to discuss topics other than the product — they know their audience best, after all. Finally, aim for a duration of between 25 and 30 minutes to start. Running on for too long can exhaust both the customer and the host, but shorter Livestreams may not reach as many people.
Select the Right Products
It’s difficult to touch up a live stream in order to improve a product’s visual appeal. As a result, a brand owner should prioritize products that will look well not only on screen but also on a small screen.
Don’t limit your webcast to just one product, either. To keep the stream fresh and entertaining, involve a variety of related or complementary products.
If you haven’t given it a shot, now’s the time to try out Livestream shopping. Like other marketing tactics, it’s all about experimentation: try it out, gather some data, and take that information with you into your next Livestream. Start small, pay attention to what your audience loves, and you’re sure to build an entertaining (and profitable) Livestream practice.
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