What is Live Shopping? E-commerce's Next Big Thing

Live shopping is an emerging e-commerce trend that blends live video streaming with online shopping. It allows retailers to showcase their products in real-time while interacting with potential customers, creating an engaging and personalised shopping experience.

In recent years, live shopping has gained significant popularity, spreading rapidly across the globe. Increasing numbers of brands are utilising it as a new way to connect with customers.

How does Live Shopping work?

Live shopping involves a host or influencer showcasing products in real-time through live video streaming. These hosts can be experts, influencers, or brand ambassadors who may have a large following on social media platforms. They can use their expertise, charisma, and influence to create an engaging and interactive shopping experience.

The live stream typically takes place on a social media platform or directly on a brand’s site, the latter streamlining the purchase journey. During the stream, viewers can interact with the host by leaving comments or asking questions. The host can respond in real-time, providing additional information about the product, demonstrating how it works, or even taking requests from viewers.

Benefits of Live Shopping

Live shopping offers several benefits for retailers and customers alike. For retailers, it provides a unique way to showcase products and connect with potential customers. It also allows them to create a sense of urgency, as viewers may feel more compelled to make a purchase during the live stream.

For customers, live shopping provides an immersive and interactive shopping experience. They can see the product in action, ask questions, and get instant feedback from the host. This can help them make more informed purchasing decisions and feel more confident about their choices. This encourages a notable fall in return rates.

Additionally, live shopping can be a fun and entertaining way to discover new products and brands. The hosts often provide valuable insights and recommendations, making it easier for viewers to find products that meet their needs and preferences.

Finally, live shopping can be an inexpensive and flexible way for brands to engage with their customers. A simple set up, mobile phone and a ring light is all that is needed to create a clear, engaging and professional experience for viewers. Brands can go live from anywhere, at any time, at minimal cost.

Challenges of Live Shopping

While live shopping has many benefits, there are also some challenges that retailers need to consider.

One challenge is the need for a skilled host or influencer. The host needs to be knowledgeable about the product and brand, as well as charismatic and engaging on camera. However, finding the right host is not always the difficult process it can be made out to be. Many brands use their own employees, who can quickly pick up the skills required to engage their audience as they begin to stream regularly.

Secondly, live shopping requires an investment of time and resources. Retailers need to plan and execute the live stream effectively, promoting their events and managing customer inquiries. This can be challenging at first, but after the first few shows are complete, and a regular schedule is implemented, the process becomes smooth and straightforward for all those involved. Smartzer, a dedicated live shopping platform, allows you to track sales data from your individual streams, making it simple to see how the shows can justify their investment.


Live shopping is an exciting and innovative e-commerce trend that is transforming the way retailers connect with customers. By combining live video streaming with online shopping, retailers can create engaging and personalised shopping experiences that help them stand out from the competition. However, live shopping also comes with its own set of challenges. These can be overcome over the course of starting out with live shopping, leading to a simple and straightforward process. As live shopping continues to grow in popularity, retailers will need to adapt and innovate in order to stay ahead of the curve.