An Introduction to Livestream Shopping

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    eCommerce trends come and go. While this can certainly add some variety to your typical marketing meeting, it can also make it hard to determine which ideas are worth investing in. Livestream shopping is one of the newer concepts to grace the online retail space – but does that mean it’s going to stick around? And if it is, how do you utilize it to best serve your unique organization?

    Let’s take a closer look at what livestream shopping is and the possible reasons for embracing it as a part of your marketing strategy. We’ll also throw in a few tips to help you get started. Let’s dive right in!

    An introduction to livestream shopping

    Livestream shopping is a form of visual commerce. That means that it’s an engaging, immersive eCommerce experience that favors visual stimuli over walls and walls of text.

    However, this version goes above and beyond. Instead of photos or videos, it’s a live broadcast of someone. They model products in a hands-on way and discuss them in real-time with their audience. These viewers may be able to comment, react, or otherwise engage with the presenter. The result is a more detailed look at products that also comes with a unique personal touch.

    The concept started in China, quickly picking up steam as the pandemic ramped up. It has become a worldwide phenomenon thanks to its benefits and relative ease of use. There are even entire platforms dedicated to the concept, such as TalkShopLive. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have also begun offering it as a native feature.

    An image of Twitter's live shopping feature.

    So one thing is for sure: this trend has exploded. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more tangible benefits that it can offer.

    The benefits of livestream shopping

    This marketing technique isn’t popular for nothing. The industry is projected to generate up to $35 billion by 2024! Visual commerce has shown us that users want a vivid customer experience driven by a connection to brands. Adding the live interactive element seems to only be building upon these benefits.

    One reason for this is that livestream shopping gives you the opportunity to address customer concerns in real-time. No longer will viewers have to submit a question to customer service and wait for a response – instead, they can simply as in the chat and get an answer almost instantly. This could also cut down on the number of inquiries that your service team needs to handle.

    By the same token, storytelling also becomes easier when you’re guided by live viewer questions. You can adjust your focus to match your customers and shape your sales pitch around those exact interests. This is typically aided by a chat function, like this example from The Curated Kitchen&Home:

    An example of a chat function in a livestream.

    his trend also gives your physical products more time in the spotlight. Images are helpful (especially those using AR/VR technology to create a 360 view), but it can be hard for them to tell the whole story. Livestreams let presenters do so entirely, giving a better idea of how the product works and clearly demonstrating its practical applications.

    hint:

    Visual commerce isn’t either/or! Don’t be afraid to embrace multiple marketing trends at once as long as you can give each the attention they deserve.

    How do I get started with livestream shopping?

    This trend is relatively simple in concept, but like all marketing techniques, a little bit of strategy will go a long way. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of it.

    Give the people what they want

    A live interactive experience means you can react to customers' needs as the video goes on. However, it’s also worth starting with a clear goal in mind. After all, you need a strategy to start with before you can change it up!

    As for what that goal should be, a recent study revealed the top three reasons that customers engage with livestream shopping:

    1. Taking advantage of great deals

    2. Discovering new exciting products

    3. Learning more about products

    Try to keep these in mind as you craft your campaigns. For example, you might want to do a livestream shopping event in tandem with a site-wide sale. You should also make sure that you’re offering as much detail as possible and not rushing through any explanations.

    Maximize the value of your on-air time

    The biggest benefits of livestream shopping occur when the video is, well, live. That means you’ll need to advertise it well in advance to maximize the number of attendees. You should promote the events on social media and in company newsletters. You’ll also want to make sure that viewers can easily consume the content regardless of what device they’re using to access it.

    To get the most exposure, you should also push this content to as many channels as you can. This kind of omnichannel marketing is best accomplished with a headless system. That’s because it prevents you from having to silo content and instead enables you to craft a consistent and seamless customer journey.

    Make purchasing as easy as possible

    Finally, this one might seem obvious, but it bears repeating: provide easy, frequent opportunities for viewers to buy your product. The most effective way to accomplish this is through integrating the purchasing process directly into the livestream. If a user doesn’t even have to leave the window to get their hands on what you’re selling, this removes a ton of extra steps and roadblocks that might make them second guess it. Here’s an example from The Curated Kitchen&Home:

    An in-engine way to purchase products while livestream shopping.

    All the users have to do is navigate to the correct tab. There’s no friction and no confusion. Extra information like shipping details or star ratings on this page might also help your customers feel more prepared to buy.

    Key takeaways

    Not all trends end up being worth your resources. However, when it comes to livestream shopping, we’re confident in saying that this one is. That’s because it builds on well-established benefits of visual commerce, with research showing that user interest and value is only going to increase. Our recommendation? Give it a shot! It provides your products with a personal touch that can go a long way.