Share this post
Live stream shopping combines live video content, two-way messaging, and what has until now been the critical missing link for e-merchants: the shopping cart.
As an e-commerce channel, live streaming was mostly pioneered in China. There, it grew as an industry during the Pandemic from $66 billion in 2019 to $150 billion in 2020, according to Shanghai market research firm iResearch. China’s live stream shopping sales are expected to reach $300 billion by the end of 2021. The U.S. live stream shopping market will be worth $11 billion by the end of 2021 and $25 billion by 2023.
The many advantages of live streaming
As we’ve written before, there are many advantages to being able to talk live about a product in front of an engaged audience. You can:
- Demonstrate the strengths, uses, and capabilities of the product
- Use a helper to monitor comments and respond to questions or queue them up for live responses
- Capture and hold the user’s attention for far longer than a static ad
- Optimize for organic search with keywords and hashtags on social media
- Optimize conversions by reducing the buyer’s consideration time (Because time-sensitive offers are always a winning strategy.)
- Build your own in-app media channels to continue reaching engaged audiences
Content that keeps on giving
The video you shoot today can be used tomorrow, and again and again, for other kinds of marketing campaigns. Store it in your video collection on your in-app media channels. Small segments of them can also be used. Produce your videos in snackable bites so you can use them as short videos on your product pages.
Target specific demographics
Live streaming often happens in collaboration with Influencers. Choosing the right Influencer, and the right platform, lets you target different age groups. Use TikTok for Gen Z. But apps like Twitter Live, Periscope, Facebook and Instagram Live, and YouTube tend to capture an older demographic. Or switch up to interest a new demographic in an established brand. Burberry live-streamed its spring/summer 2021 collection show on Twitch, a platform popular with gamers.
Amazon has been experimenting with live stream shopping for several years and has snatched up several patents in the space. On Prime Day in November 2020, Amazon worked with its network of influencers to hawk certain exclusive deals. Since that time, QVC debuted its own live stream shopping channel on YouTube TV.
Facebook launched Instagram Live Shopping at the end of last year for its US market. The platform makes it possible for sellers to tag products for purchase when they go live. Tiktok is also reported to be working on a live stream shopping feature with cart and checkout.
Platforms for live stream shopping creators
There are two ways to incorporate a live stream shopping platform as a sales channel: use a platform that integrates with your e-commerce platform (Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, etc.), or use one hosted on a third-party platform like Amazon, Facebook, or Google’s Shop loop.
For beginners, using a 3rd party platform like Amazon Live or Facebook Live Shopping can seem easier. If you’re selling primarily through a Facebook Shop or on Amazon, it would make sense to take advantage of these tools However, de-centralizing from a retailer’s own platform also has its drawbacks so if you have a multi-channel operation going it is probably worth the extra work to get a live stream operation set up on your own. Or, experiment with your videos using the 3rd party platforms until you have everything correctly tooled to strike out on your own.
Not using your own platform means you lose control of other things in the overall customer experience. You’ll have fewer opportunities for personalization and re-engagement. It’s also harder to collect data on your buyers for retargeting and other future marketing initiatives. There are other advantages too. It leaves you with the most control over inventory management, carts, customer accounts, and data. Two leading independent live stream platforms to look at are LiSA and Bambuser.
Given the fact that live stream shopping is more than doubling in commercial value every year, this is a trend that’s well worth climbing aboard.
My mission at Shoppingfeed is explaining how to leverage e-commerce platforms and SaaS technology to e-merchants who just want to run their business and make more money.
these articles might interest you
In any e-commerce business, wise managers realize the need to constantly improve logistics. Knowing how to optimize…
Why sell on Etsy with a WooCommerce store? Selling on Etsy with a WooCommerce store may not…
What will be the effects of anti-tracking policies on ad retargeting channels for e-commerce merchants? It’s a…