Why Is Livestream Shopping So Popular Right Now?

Sukanya Shettigar

Who would have imagined that customers could have one-on-one interaction with globally popular brands one day? Enter Live streaming video that is enormously adding context to consumer environments.

Since the pandemic, shoppers are less likely to visit physical stores. Though the situation has come to moderation, the percentage of store footfalls has significantly reduced. The drastic reduction in customers’ visits and engagement with retail shops has directly impacted sales. Live streaming is the best solution as it is closest to a real-life shopping experience.

The concern for staying safe, coupled with the social distancing directives, has led to the boom of livestream shopping in the recent past. In fact, since last year, livestream shopping has emerged as a top trend, as reported by the Coresight Research projects. The report suggests that the live-streaming market share can reach 25 billion USD by 2023. In another survey by Vimeo, around 82% of customers like to engage with a live stream video from a brand rather than a social media post.

The article shares insights on the increasing popularity and uses of live streaming services in retail and consumer shopping space.

The Growing Popularity of Live Streaming in Business

Mike George, board chairman of the National Retail Federation (NRF), quoted:

“The current livestream-shopping craze has its roots in China in the mid-2010s, when influencers began using live video apps to take their fans with them as they travelled to boutiques in New York or Los Angeles …. These virtual journeys offered viewers a glimpse of exotic locations with the option to discover and buy products that were not readily available in China.”

The premium immersive experiences through live streaming are why it is gaining popularity among brands and consumers. The format provides personalisation and convenience to shoppers, which can be a key competitive differentiator for retailers and brands to attract more customers. Brands can extend their business reach to a wider audience as live streaming removes the limitation of geographical distances.

Brands can also tap into the GenZ demographic through live streaming. One example is the collaboration of Walmart with TikTok influencers for a one-of-its-kind live stream shopping platform.

Walmart reported that the event received 7X more views than its original reach and improved brand presence on TikTok by 25%.

Walmart Live Stream
Source: Retaildive

 

Brands can directly read comments from the viewers and interact with them in real-time. Live streaming enables viewers to receive immediate responses to their queries, improving the brand’s engagement score. Streamers can include an impromptu poll for fun and display real-time stock availability, enticing people to make the purchase.

Acing Brand Growth with Live Streaming

Boost marketplace shopping via interactive live streaming
Suppose Brand A has a large portion of its consumer base that wants one-on-one communication with the brand’s representative to resolve their queries. But, human agents can only take a limited number of calls per day, making customers wait for days or stay on hold for long hours. Thus, they might lose interest in purchasing from brand A. In this scenario, Brand A can energise its marketplace by connecting with thousands of customers simultaneously in real-time, answering their queries via shoppable live streaming. Brand A can make the Live stream more engaging by interacting with customers via polls, live chats, and on-demand content.

Livestreaming polls

Host Live-shopping events on the brand’s site
Let’s again take the example of Brand A, where its customers’ persona belongs to the shopper category that is more likely to purchase at physical events like auctions, product launches, etc. But, due to the pandemic and geographical limitations, they aren’t able to do it. But, brand A can make it possible for them by introducing shoppable live streaming. By connecting with a reliable live streaming service, Brand A can organize virtual product launches and sales on retail holidays like Black Friday, Valentine’s day, etc. It can also drop a limited edition product line to entice shoppers.

Live shopping event_Muji

Recreate retail experiences online
Suppose Brand A has launched its shopping app to recreate the retail experience on an online platform. But, often, customers face difficulty navigating the app, and they are quick to leave. This can hugely lower the sales revenue of Brand A. Now, it becomes necessary for Brand A to provide a channel where customers don’t have to feel the inconvenience of learning how to use the app. This is where live streaming can be a solution. Customers need only to join the stream and shop directly from the platform. In case of any confusion, they can ask their query directly to the streamer and get answers in real-time. Displaying product details, stock availability, price, discount, and sales would become much easier for Brand A.

Retail Experiences_online

Benefits of using live streaming services

  • Live streaming services allow brands to facilitate a TikTok-like experience with shoppable live streaming. Here brands can integrate their products during the live sessions enabling viewers to check out the products in real-time. Additionally, unlike other mediums like YouTube, where a 10-minute video is created in 2-3 hours, a 10-minute video of live streaming takes no more than 10 minutes to produce, saving time and effort.

Tik_Tok_Interactive

  • Brands can increase viewership by showcasing on-demand content to their audience. With live stream services, brands get the flexibility to use different multimedia and video contents like text, live chat, and pictures. These interactive elements within live shopping streaming enhance customer engagement by facilitating them to interact directly with brands humanising their online shopping experience.

Retail Experiences_online

  • Live streaming shopping activates a full-funnel marketing strategy. Live product demonstrations help customers understand the product in detail while promoting it. The live Q&As provide an opportunity to the audience to ask their queries about the product. Knowing about the products that touch their pain points further leads the audience to the consideration stage. This increases the probability of customers making the final product purchase. The direct browsing and buying options simultaneously with real-time communication with customers makes the entire funnel run smoothly.

On_demand_demo

  • Brands get to access valuable metrics like viewer numbers, behaviours, engagement etc. Real-time engagement analytics gives detailed insights on customer impact, helping develop the viewer’s persona. When connecting with a live audience, brands can obtain their first-party data from viewer feedback, embedding polls and quizzes in the stream etc. Further, these insights would help brands create personalised service and product recommendations. With this, brands would be able to make changes in live events as needed, helping them refine their entire content strategy accordingly.

Livestream_Metrics

 

  • The reliable live streaming services come equipped with video API access. Brand live streamers can integrate external programs and apps to customise their video hosting experience. These might include mixers, encoders, CRMs, etc. By leveraging this feature, brands can easily incorporate influencer stores onto their brand website in live stream shopping. Thus, they can employ influencer marketing at its full potential and take advantage of their captive audience and fans.

Creator_CMS

 

Examples and Use cases of brands
Only facilitating a shoppable live stream channel won’t make the approach successful. Brands need to offer value to the viewers to attract and engage them throughout the live streaming. Let us check out how some retail brands leveraged the shoppable live streaming to grow their business revenue.

Aldo

Aldo_Livestream
Source: Retail Insider

Last year Aldo announced its inaugural live shopping event. To add more value for viewers during the live streaming, the brand brought Mimi Cuttrell, a popular celeb stylist, and TikTok star Nate Wyatt as their co-hosts. Both shared their fashion tips and shared their favorite products from Aldo. The live event allowed viewers to browse Aldo’s spring 2021 collection simultaneously. The website received up to 17,000 page views and a 308% engagement rate.

Nordstrom

Nordstrom_Livestreaming
Source: Drip.com

The brand has launched a dedicated live shopping channel. Live streaming has enabled the brand to engage customers more effectively. Nordstrom allows customers to buy products featured in the live stream.

The brand’s channel has hosted many more live shopping events. Some of the popular ones are:

  • Dressing for special occasions
  • Spring beauty trends
  • The best of fall fashion

It showcased special offers like limited-edition travel sets, complimentary skin consultation etc. These efforts gave the brand an eightfold return on adverts spending.

How does Firework help brands implement the live stream shopping experience?

Firework_Livestreaming

Firework allows brands to seamlessly incorporate high-impact video shopping experiences into their operated websites and apps with a no-code platform that connects to custom websites and popular E-commerce CMS solutions.

With Firework, brands can build emotional and authentic connections with customers on the back of superior technology. Dynamic short-video are designed to boost customer engagement. Plus, the platform gives a swipeable, shoppable, and interactive experience that links smoothly across every major CMSs.

Firework provides a suite of enterprise services and tools that assists publishers and brands design, curate, and host mini videos. The facilities also include Open Story Page which provides brands a dedicated destination to help them monetise their content.

Summary
The brands must focus on building a lasting relationship with their audience, and the above information indicates how shoppable live streaming can be a great aid to this. Live streaming shopping experience packages entertainment and commerce together to engage with customers and drive sales effectively. Connecting with a direct live audience helps brands create native video shopping experiences. Live streaming enables brands to engage with customers in real-time, positively impact conversion numbers, and deliver community-led experiences.

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