Until a couple of years ago, it was tough to believe that consumers could connect with global brands from the comfort of their homes. Enter live shopping.
However, why did the world transition or adopt the trend, and why online shopping is popular today?
Live shopping has its roots in social commerce, which is expected to be a $1.2 trillion industry by 2025. Live shopping existed in the pre-pandemic world, but it came into its own when COVID-19 forced people into their homes, and distancing was the safest option.
In fact, according to Coresight Research projects, live shopping has been a top trend since last year. According to the analysis, the industry for live shopping might be worth $25 billion by 2023. An additional survey by Vimeo found that 82% of customers prefer to interact with livestream videos from brands compared to social media posts.
However, what is live shopping, and how is it boosting conversions? Let’s find out.
What Is Live Shopping?
In a few words, live shopping is a kind of social commerce where consumers can buy products from a website or through a social media platform in real-time. It creates an immersive experience where customers can interact with brand representatives or creators and make instant buying decisions.
The Growing Popularity Of Live Shopping Trend In Business
Source: Jing Daily
To paint a picture of how live shopping has grown in the past few years, let’s consider the example of China. In 2019, Taobao’s Live on Single’s Day with famous influencer Viya garnered engagement from 43.15 billion buyers. In 2022, China’s live commerce industry is estimated to reach $423 billion.
The fast connectivity and incredible real-time interactions push live shopping events to a top choice in the world of marketing.
Acing Brand Growth With Live Shopping
Every brand can leverage three areas to excel at the live shopping game:
1. Boost Marketplace Shopping via Interactive Live Shopping
Live chat feature in a Tommy Hilfiger live shopping event with Lewis Hamilton (Source: Tommy /Hilfiger)
Over the years, customers are demanding more fun and engaging shopping ways. As a brand, it can be tough to keep up because of the unending dynamics of the marketplace.
For example, if a brand struggles to engage people and queries through calls due to executive shortages, interactive live sessions can help them get a larger mass together. They can listen to customers’ problems, questions and doubts while giving them a real-life store experience. Features like live chats and on-demand content can further enhance this experience.
2. Host Live Shopping Events on the Brand’s Site
A 2020 article estimated that roughly 100,000 stores would shut down by 2025 owing to the pandemic. Retail brands are doing their best to create phygital experiences with such an impending future. Hence, if a brand knows its customers are more likely to purchase during physical events, digitally replicating these experiences becomes essential.
Live shopping events can create this experience, surpassing geographical boundaries and making the whole interaction more experiential.
3. Recreate Retail Experiences Online
Helping people navigate through an app or a social media channel toward the eCommerce store for a final purchase can be challenging. Instead, it is better to recreate retail experiences online on the store’s website. It allows consumers to enjoy all interactions on one platform rather than being confused about finding their way around the live shopping event.
Live Shopping Service Benefits that Boost Conversion
Source: TikTok + Walmart Live Shopping
When Walmart collaborated with TikTok influencers on its one-of-a-kind live shopping event, they reported 7X more engagement than the brand’s original reach. Walmart’s brand presence also grew by 25% on TikTok.
That’s the power live shopping services hold. Let’s find out what is live shopping experience doing to boost conversions for brands:
1. Better Engagement Leads To Amplified Sales
A survey last year concluded that people are twice more likely to share video content with their friends than other content formats.
Live shopping events, if hosted well, can get 10-20% of the audience to make a purchase. Additionally, there is the scope of interactions through chats and emoji reactions (in many cases). Brands have come close to creating physical experiences for their customers and amplifying sales to a large extent.
Heinz got 1,544 engagements, producing a 7% live-stream engagement rate. The 7% engagement rate is 14X the engagement rate on Facebook and 18X the rate on Instagram.
2. Return Rates Subside
Another well-established advantage of live shopping events is that, even if fewer people convert, they are much less likely to return goods. Live consumers are 40% less likely to return an item than other online customers, according to Coresight data.
This is because brands get a chance to understand and offer what the target audience is looking for, and the customers are more likely to trust the product when they have seen it and gotten a good whiff of what they are buying.
Additionally, brands get a chance to communicate and educate finer details about the product, which they often miss out in the textual format. Hence, the buying decision is more reasonable, leading to lower returns.
3. Better And Diverse Product Demonstration
Live shopping has humanized brands, which is one of the main reasons why people attend these events. However, it is also breaking a significant barrier that online shopping hasn’t been able to – better product demonstrations.
With a shoppable live stream of products before the customer, they can see what the product is, how it works and even what its fit will be like. Fashion and cosmetics are prominent businesses that thrive in a live shopping environment.
Companies in these two sectors benefit from live shopping‘s capacity to provide a visual of their products and exhibit them in use, including techniques or various styling ways. Behind these two giant industries are home furnishings and electronics, with 41.2% and 37.5% of consumers tuning into live events, respectively.
Brands also have a unique opportunity to bring out some of their best and more focused products for particular target audiences, which assures faster and better conversion rates. You can crack the code to select which products to demonstrate with a bit of understanding of the audience.
4. Create The Fear Of Missing Out
Live streaming e-commerce differs from traditional eCommerce in that it gives the impression that the buyer is a part of something big. Customers frequently buy something they didn’t intend to maintain this sense of belonging.
People who suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) are more likely to make impulsive purchases. How is this FOMO created?
- There is a community feeling where shoppers see other people making purchases and get influenced.
- Brands often leverage a content creator or influencer the audience loves and follows. They believe in the product when they market it.
- There is the option of short-term discounts that last as long as the live event, creating a sense of urgency to buy the product before prices shoot up.
Such impulse purchases form a vital part of a brand’s marketing map and result in conversions that might not be possible in a remote online eCommerce set-up.
5. Showcase Lesser Known Products
Brands, especially luxury brands, have an excellent opportunity to showcase their exclusive collections more immersively with live shopping.
Such events can be limited to a particular target market and present products they do not want to reveal to a larger audience. Research shows that 70% of luxury goods see successful conversions through livestreaming channels.
Learn How Brands Leveraged Live Shopping To Grow
Live shopping won’t work if it only enables a livestream channel for purchasing products. To draw and keep the consumer’s attention during livestreaming, brands must provide value. Let’s look at how some retail firms increased their sales using live shopping.
In promoting KitKat Chocolatory Australia, the sweet and chocolate brand showcased how live shopping can seamlessly fit into a broader campaign.
The campaign allowed customers to create personalized KitKat bars and explore a variety of flavors. They devised a paid social media strategy that incorporated a livestream shopping event, hosted on Facebook Live to place orders and interact with the brand.
2. Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton increased their online presence during the pandemic
As the pandemic hit China, Louis Vuitton was one of the few brands that began increasing its presence online. They contacted Yvonne Ching, a famous fashion blogger, and the actress Zhong Chuxi to host a live stream on Little Red Book eCommerce on how to best style Louis Vuitton products.
As the products were unavailable on the platform, they constantly reminded viewers to go to Louis Vuitton’s website and purchase the items.
Sephora’s Facebook Live Fridays
Source: Business Insider
Sephora joined the live shopping bandwagon last year through Facebook Live. What they called ‘Facebook Live Fridays’ was an intelligent way to bring its audiences to see beauty tips and products and create engagement in general. Various beauty brands like Bobbi Brown and Clinique were also a part of this significant phenomenon.
Clarks combined social media and live shopping for an enhanced experience
Source: Clarks Shoes Twitter
Clarks took the social approach to elevate their live shopping services. Clarks shared their shoppable livestream on Instagram. To access the livestream event, users could swipe on the Instagram story.
An influencer hosted the stream to entice viewers to make purchases by clicking on product popups displayed next to the video and in a browseable carousel. Users drove to product sites to place items in their shopping cart through a seamless shopping experience.
How Can You Kickstart Your Live Shopping Strategy?
What is live shopping if not put to use by brands? Find out some quick ways to start your live shopping strategy:
1. Logistics to Remember
There are some basic things you need to start hosting a livestream session. The main ones are:
- A product to sell
- A host that can connect with the audience
- A channel, preferably your website, so that you can get access to first-party data
- A target audience that is interested in the product you are selling
Try to consider other factors like where your product is in its life cycle and if you want to get customer feedback on the product or session.
Live shopping runs on spontaneity. However, rehearsing the whole session eliminates any possible errors and confusion. This step is necessary because live sessions do not allow you to get a retake at a point where you messed up.
Additionally, decide on factors like whether there will be a Q&A session, the timeframe of a product display, the tone of communication, etc. The best part about livestreaming is its flexibility. There is no wrong way, but you must know which suits you best.
3. Quick Tips To Host A Live Shopping Session
Here are some pointers to have at your fingertips when planning a live shopping session on a livestream shopping platform:
- Understand the audience:
Don’t forget to consider the 5Ws (who, what, when, where, why) while studying the audience you will connect with.
- Build a loyal audience:
China’s Austin Li is an excellent example of building a loyal audience. Whenever the livestream influencer does a live session, his followers pour in huge numbers. He rose to fame when he sold 380 lipsticks during a seven-hour live!
- Make your content exciting:
The content world is quite diverse. How will you stand out in the content people view every minute of the day? Make sure it is exciting, entertaining and connects straight to their hearts. That’s it.
- Product Launches & Tutorials:
People feel special when they are a part of something exclusive. Use your live channel to launch a product and reach an essential set of audiences who might not be able to attend physical events. Further, when they get tutorials on particular products, they are more assured about their purchase.
- Q&A Interactions:
Letting people feel heard solves many selling challenges. Q&A sessions, especially with the influencers of their choice, give people the confidence to purchase without giving much thought.
How Does Firework Help Brands Implement The Live Shopping Experience?
With a no-code platform that connects to unique websites and well-known E-commerce CMS solutions, Firework enables businesses to seamlessly add high-impact video shopping experiences and livestreams into their owned websites and applications.
Firework offers a suite of enterprise services and solutions to help publishers and marketers create, curate, and host mini videos. Additionally, amenities like Open Story Page give businesses a specific location to help them monetize their material.
The information above shows how live shopping can be a great marketing strategy. Brands must concentrate on developing a lasting relationship with their audience. Live shopping experiences combine entertainment and business to engage customers effectively and increase revenue.
Brands may establish native video shopping experiences by interacting with a live, direct audience. Livestreaming helps businesses interact with customers in real time, increase conversion rates, and provide community-driven experiences.
What is live shopping?
Live shopping is a new form of online shopping that combines the interactivity of live video with the convenience of e-commerce. It allows brands and retailers to showcase their products in real-time and engage with customers directly through a live video stream. During the live stream, viewers can shop for the products they see in the video and make purchases without leaving the video platform.
How does live shopping benefit brands and retailers?
Live shopping benefits brands and retailers in several ways. It allows them to build a more engaged audience and connect with customers in real-time. It also provides an opportunity to showcase products in a more interactive and engaging way, which can lead to increased sales and brand awareness. Additionally, live shopping can help to create a sense of urgency around promotions and limited-time offers, encouraging customers to make purchases while they’re watching the live stream.