As artificial intelligence (AI) and livestreaming continue their upward journeys this year, planning and executing the right live shopping events will be more important than ever for brands.
According to data from Morning Consult, live shopping sessions, on average, result in a conversion rate of ~10% for the retail sector – a big jump from the usual 1-2% conversion rate for eCommerce overall. After closer examination, it becomes obvious that some retail segments are already very well-suited to leverage all the benefits that live shopping has to offer.
Let’s look at the five retail segments that should be turbocharging their livestream shopping efforts in 2023.
What are live shopping’s key benefits for retail
There are numerous live shopping benefits for retailers to tap into. However, two vital benefits stand out from the rest:
Better product showcase
Livestreaming allows brands to recreate the in-store experience by showing products in real-time. From modelling the product to showcasing its applications and features, livestreams build confidence in the shopper that is otherwise lacking with basic eCommerce and online shopping experiences.
Establishing a human connection
In an era when consumers expect interpersonal interactions at every stage, the decision to go live raises the bar for video shopping. It provides brands with an avenue to establish a human connection with its customers as the event hosts read and respond to comments and queries in real-time.
Let’s see how these benefits apply to the following retail segments and their eCommerce efforts.
1. Fashion and accessories
Online shopping can be thrilling, but the most significant challenge for consumers lies in understanding the product and making an informed decision purely based on images. In today’s online marketplace, it is not sufficient for consumers to merely look at pictures of clothes. The solution? Livestream shopping.
A significant advantage of live selling is the ability to show the fit, fabric, and sizing of the clothes being showcased. In addition, the hosts (quite often sales associates) of the livestream events can answer customer questions.
With frequent livestreams, brands can deliver an authentic omnichannel experience to its consumers.
Another significant issue that livestream shopping addresses is consumer hesitance when it comes to shopping online for luxury accessories, including handbags and watches. Better product showcase combined with real-time interactions with sales associates puts customers at ease and makes them more confident about making the purchase online.
2. Beauty and wellness
During the pandemic lockdown, make-up videos and tutorials emerged as one of the biggest hits, as did health and wellness guides. Beauty and wellness brands were some of the first to leverage the power of influencer marketing; live shopping is the next step in the natural evolution of this partnership.
While videos, especially live ones, will always do a great job of bringing in large audiences, livestream shopping adds an eCommerce layer on the how-to guides and tutorials.
For brands, this is the perfect way to reduce the gap between intent and purchase. Not to mention that constant basket building during live shopping events helps boost the average order value.
3. Food and beverage
The food and beverage industry is emerging at the forefront of using shoppertainment to power their livestreams. From consumer packaged goods (like Heinz) to supermarket chains (including The Fresh Market), F&B brands know how to unlock the potential of live shopping sessions.
For example, a supermarket chain can disguise a live shopping session as a cooking event with celebrity and influencer chefs. Instead of shepherding consumers to recipe blogs, live sessions are used not only to demonstrate how ingredients can be used in various ways but also allows customers to purchase all the featured ingredients during the livestream.
Supermarket chains have also been taking advantage of live shopping to better showcase and sell expensive and exotic produce that customers would usually pass on during in-store visits.
4. Home furnishing and decor
Home furnishing and decor companies already have an extensive brick-and-mortar presence, stacked with well-trained sales staff. So, why not leverage their existing infrastructure and talent pool when reaching out to a broader audience?
Home decor and furnishing stores make for the perfect livestream shopping venues, with sales associates present as the face of the brand – much like how they would be if a customer were to visit the physical location.
Buying a piece of furniture is a decision that requires some consideration as furniture is not cheap. A livestream provides customers with an opportunity to see and analyze a piece of furniture while also having their questions answered in real-time – something that is critical but lacking in most e-Commerce ventures in this retail space.
Livestream selling also lets brands reach a wider audience that goes beyond the foot traffic to their distant brick-and-mortar stores.
5. Consumer electronics and gaming
There was a time when people stood in long queues to watch Steve Jobs at the next big Apple event. Today, every major consumer electronics and gaming company conducts livestreams for their biggest announcements.
These livestreams have millions of people watching from all across the globe, ready and eager to get their hands on the latest gadgets. Streamers on Twitch – the world’s most prominent gaming livestream platform – also play host to millions of viewers, with the platform boasting 20+ billion hours of live gaming watched, according to research from Newzoo.
When it comes to electronics, gadgets, and gaming, the sector has a wide and eager audience that is already comfortable with spending money online.
Live shopping adds a commerce layer has that makes it easy for a captive audience, with very high intent, to make purchases.
Consumer electronics brands have also been using livestream shopping sessions to gauge consumer reaction to new launches. This data is critical for shaping future go-to-market strategies for product launches.
Livestream shopping is here to stay, and retailers – regardless of industry or segment – should start leveraging it in order to deliver a true phygital experience for their customers.
The five retail segments mentioned above are already very well-placed to tap into all the benefits that live shopping has to offer. However, opportunities to leverage the true power of livestream selling are open to all retail segments, especially with the right live shopping solutions partner on board.
What are the benefits of livestream selling?
Livestreams allow companies to create compelling content targeted at the largest audience in real-time. In addition, live videos are highly successful and have hugely favorable outcomes, including boosting customer engagement, sales, and more successful product launches.
Is live shopping effective for retail?
When leveraged correctly and consistently, live shopping can be extremely effective, yielding results that surpass other eCommerce channels. In 2023, the Chinese live shopping market is expected to grow to $600 billion, with the US live shopping segment estimated to hit at least $25 billion.
What are some retail live shopping examples?
Firework has partnered with retailers across segments to help them deliver best-in-class video and live shopping experiences for their customers. Want examples of how the best retailers do it? Click here to see our curated list of the finest live shopping examples.