In 2020, Alibaba livestreamed its pre-sales campaign for a popular Chinese shopping event. The results were outstanding, with a total transaction value of a whopping $7.5 billion in just 30 minutes of the livestream shopping experience. This was a major breakthrough as engagement and conversion are major issues faced by e-commerce businesses. Brands have to constantly compete with incumbents and new players to capture and hold customers’ attention. Livestream shopping is like a breath of fresh air that helps brands build human connections and grow their business.
Surveys in China and the United States show livestream shopping will soon command a 26% share in total e-commerce sales. China is witnessing an exception in e-commerce popularity, with 67% purchases from live stream events.
Live stream shopping lies at the intersection of convenience and connection. It is a blend of viewing a product or service demonstration and scratching the shoppers’ itch of purchasing the same on a real-time basis.
What is Livestream shopping?
Livestream shopping is an online shopping experience where brands can showcase their products or services, engage with viewers in real-time, and facilitate a frictionless purchase journey. It helps customers across different touchpoints of the buying journey — from discovery to consideration to purchase. Live shopping experiences can be designed as one-to-one or one-to-many. It connects customers with a brand representative to bring a personal touch and store-like experience to the brand’s e-commerce store. Brands can also rope in influencers and creators to craft compelling livestream shopping sessions that increase metrics such as engagement and session time.
The process of purchasing a product during the livestream shopping session is easy as pie. The technology allows viewers to click on the purchase CTA and select a payment method to place the order. Another advantage is no-bounds the access to first-party data. With livestream shopping, retailers have complete control over session data to create and customize the shopping experience for their viewers.
Which Brands are Spinning Magic using Livestream Shopping?
Many of the world’s leading brands have started leveraging livestream shopping experiences for a multitude of use-cases to further their digital transformation agenda. Let’s take a look at a few –
Fresh Market leverages livestream capabilities to recreate its gourmet in-store experience in the digital realm. The brand hosted its first livestream event from its recently remodeled company store in early 2022. This move has significantly boosted engagement among shoppers. Allowing to deepen the connection, the technology has brought in new customers for the brand and improved sales.
Albertsons is one of the first US grocers to use livestreaming shopping to create, host, and curate short or livestream videos to connect with customers. The brand aims to become the single source for food-related content through lives streaming shopping and shoppable videos. By integrating livestream shopping on their website and mobile application, they seek to replicate the in-store buying experience — where customers can browse through the produce, choose and select, ask an associate for advice, and complete the transaction.
Aldo recently organised its inaugural livestream shopping session with a co-hosting partnership with TikTok influencer Nate Wyatt and celeb stylist Mimi Cuttrell. The brand showcased its collection in real-time, and the audience saw its favourite influencers promoting the brand in unique ways. The results were astounding with an average watch time of 12 minutes resulting in an engagement rate of more than 300%.
Nordstrom is a US-based brand that is betting big on livestream shopping. The brand recently launched its live video shopping channel. It hosts several live shopping events with specific themes for different occasions resulting in a more interactive experience for the viewers
CAIA is a Swedish cosmetics brand that forayed into livestream shopping in the year 2019. Its first-ever live stream saw a conversion rate of 5%, which is markedly higher than the brand’s average website conversions. Since then, there has been no looking back and the brand continues to design livestream shopping experiences that resonate with its audience.
Purple Panchi is a premium ethnic wear brand based out of India. It recently included live stream media and shoppable videos in its marketing and promotional activities. The brand has registered an 18% increase in its click-through rates.
Kiehl’s is a skin and hair care brand. The company recently organised a live commerce event in Malaysia. The livestream was targeted to attract customers through the Ramadan campaign. The results were outstanding, with an 8x return on advertisement and event hosting spend.
Gucci is a globally renowned fashion and lifestyle brand. It was the first luxury brand to leverage livestream shopping and launched its video shopping interface, viz. Gucci aLive.
Heinz is one of the leading fast-moving consumer goods brands, and it recently organised a livestream event on its website to promote its Halloween pop-up event. With livestream media, the event was able to capture huge success in terms of viewer engagement and conversion. Heinz registered a 7% engagement rate and over 16 million impressions across different platforms.
Quivr experimented with livestream shopping for the first time in 2020, where the founder spoke for an hour to an audience of 50 people about Quivr’s brand story and products. The session was well-received by the audience and the brand has hosted many such livestream shpping interactions ever since. The brand generally records upto 150% increase in sales for the next 24 hours after every livestream because of the session’s popularity and reach.
Retailers are racing to adopt livestreaming after seeing the impact it has had on China and with companies like Amazon. It brings the personal touch of real human interactions to a brand’s online store to help supercharge their conversions, reduce the cost of acquisition, and improve retention rate. Real-time feedback and customer interactions are collected on live streams that help brands look beyond transactional data to tailor a hyper-personalized shopping experience for customers. Live stream shopping creates a community built on trust and is set to become mainstream in 2022.