Updated: Sep 7, 2021
The livestream industry is expected to be valued at a whopping 184.27 billion USD by 2027. The rapid transfer of events and retailers to the digital world due to the pandemic has accelerated this growth. As a result, livestream shopping just might be the future of e-commerce.
Although live shopping has been around for a while, China has been the first country to seize its true potential. Streaming commerce giant, Taobao, has taken live shopping to new heights with the combined transaction volume of its Marketplace and Tmall.com reaching 3 trillion yuan in 2017, more than that of all US e-commerce sites combined.
So, it isn't surprising that many of the top brands are taking a leaf out of China's book to take their businesses live to sell to the masses.
You might be asking yourself, how can I create a live shop?
In this post we will investigate the various options for brands to incorporate video interactivity and successfully break into the world of livestream shopping.
1. In-app formats on social media
You might decide to use the free and manual platforms that some social media applications offer. Facebook, Instagram and TikTok have been trialling formats that allow brands to shop live. For example Facebook allows users to create live streams by uploading pre-approved product links to their commerce manager. You can choose one of the following three options to go live on Facebook:
If you have a Commerce account with Commerce Manager, a linked Facebook Page and a product set in your Facebook catalogue, you can tag and feature product sets from your shop and add links.
If you have a Facebook Page but no commerce account, you can manually add the products and links that you want to feature just before going live.
You can also just start a live shopping video without the setup and talk about your products as you go.
DIY in-house formats can be a cheap way of creating a live shop. However, they remain exclusive to that platform and cannot be integrated into e-commerce landing pages. You will also need to gain approval of product links before adding them to your stream. Live shopping can be a great way to incorporate video interactivity into your campaigns. Streams provide a real-time community feel for viewers, building trust between them and the brand host.
2. Amazon Live
Amazon has created their own platform for influencers and brands to come together to promote products to audiences. This live shopping format allows hosts to give live reviews of products and demonstrate how they work. The videos are tagged with items in a shoppable carousel for viewers to purchase without leaving the video. Influencers are taking advantage of this new modality since they can advertise their products in action and use the streams video interactivity to answer customer questions in real time. Amazon Live has caught the attention of many and is now one of their most valuable features.
Founded in 2018, the streaming app exclusively sells streetwear and has become an essential buying experience for fans of Supreme, Off-White, Yeezy, Louis Vuitton and more. Live stream shopping has proven to be extremely effective on the app as NTWRK saw their sales surge 400% after using the tech to sell these limited edition pieces. Viewers can sign up to book spots on live product drops where hosts show off the items and consumers can purchase straight from the live shop video. Consumers can enter a lottery style system where they could win the opportunity to buy ultra rare products. This exclusivity offers customers a bespoke shopping experience that is both informative and exciting. Streetwear is just a small category, with the site selling a variety of items like cookbooks, toys and artwork. Through NTWRK's live shop, fashion fans can see the latest trends before anyone else.
Bambuser helps brands to incorporate video interactivity into campaigns by creating livestreams on brand e-commerce. The add on lets brands embed a code on their website that allows them to set up live stream events on ecommerce. Brands can then go live through the app and let their customers shop live alongside the stream. Viewers can add products to their basket from a shoppable carousel without leaving the video. They can also open a chat room where customers can interact with store associates to ask questions about products. This brings the benefits of in-person shopping online and helps build customer trust and loyalty. Bambuser's stream offerings include one-to-many or one-to-one videos. This is a great option for businesses looking to bring live shopping directly to their websites and build video interactivity into their content marketing strategy.
Smartzer's interactive video platform provides brands with the tools to create a livestream shopping experience for viewers across multiple websites. Brands can build a shoppable product carousel to show alongside the stream by importing directly from a product catalogue or manually. Brands can connect the platform to their stream using the RTMP ID and a Stream Key to go live. Smartzer allows brands to create a live shop on e-commerce and allows sharing across social media. Online luxury retailer, My Theresa, previously worked with Smartzer to deliver Burberry’s shoppable runway. Viewers could virtually sit front row at the highly anticipated fashion week show. Consumers could shop the products modelled directly after the show instead of waiting 6 months for release. This shoppable video stream excited fans through a “see now, buy now” ethos. The shoppability of the show introduced a sense of urgency to the viewer that encouraged them to make a purchase. This interactive front row experience brings customers and brands closely together in socially distanced times.
Whether you decide to create a live shop manually or using a paid platform, livestream can create a unique, interactive shopping experience for viewers. The memorable, engaging and immersive, real-time video gives consumers the confidence to make purchases by strengthening customer brand relationships.