Live video shopping or live stream shopping is the new trend among online buyers where they join the live video of their favorite influencer and buy the products they are promoting right away. It’s like an auction because multiple buyers can participate in the same live video to watch an influencer promote products. Unlike typical social media commerce where buyers shop items from a vendor or influencer’s social media post or bio, buyers join and shop instantly from a live stream.
But livestream shopping is not exactly a new trend. It has been around in China for a few years. Live video shopping is part of social media commerce, and China has the most established social commerce industry globally, with about one billion buyers with access to the internet. Due to China’s population, economy, and technological advancement, live stream video shopping has become a thriving shopping channel.
In 2019, a popular influencer known as Viya held a live video shopping that attracted over 43 million buyers during the Taobao’s Singles Day event. A McKinsey article predicts that China’s live video shopping industry will accumulate up to $423 billion in revenue in 2022. So, you see why live stream shopping is the new topic in the mouths of eCommerce players.
Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok have all started positioning for the trend. Instagram has upgraded its Instagram Live to have shopping functions, and Facebook is building its own live video shopping tool. TikTok and Walmart partnered up to sell Walmart’s products live.
Why Are Buyers Engaging in Live stream Shopping?
The recent growth of eCommerce in the last three years can be deceiving, and you may think that buyers now prefer the convenience of eCommerce shopping over in-store shopping. But buyers are at a point where they have “been there, done it,” and they miss the brick-and-mortar shopping experience. While buyers can order from anywhere globally, eCommerce shopping doesn’t give buyers the same experience they get when they shop in-store. In-store shopping allows buyers to talk to shop attendants, inspect products, try products, and interact with other shoppers. These experiences make brick-and-mortar shopping feel more human than eCommerce shopping.
Live video shopping kind of replicates these experiences, but instead of shop attendants, the buyer gets to engage an influencer about the product. Live stream shopping brings personalized shopping experiences to eCommerce, hence why buyers are shifting towards it.
How eCommerce Businesses Can Use Live stream Shopping to Increase Sales
Before we learn about how you can use live video shopping to increase your sales in 2022, first, let’s look at some of its benefits.
Real-time Feedback and Engagement: with traditional eCommerce, businesses have to put in background work and hope everything works according to plan. But they can’t be sure how the purchase journey will go for each buyer or the buyer’s pain points as they shop. Live video shopping lets businesses display their products and receive an immediate response from buyers in real-time. Besides buying products, buyers can also leave comments during live stream shopping events.
Social Proof Builds Trust: as a business, when you conduct a live video shopping event and invite a top influencer in your target niche to host the event, more influencers may join the live video in the audience section. Additionally, if your live stream shopping event attracts many people, buyers will see that many people regard your brand. Hence, you can capitalize on influencers’ power, the power of numbers, and FOMO to attract even more buyers.
Be an Early Adopter: when there’s a new eCommerce trend, it is always good to take your time to learn the ropes before joining the bandwagon. But at the same, there’s always a special reward for early adopters. Now that the trend is relatively new, you can impress your target market with its novelty.
Preparation For Your Live Video Shopping Event
Know Your Target Audience: before you do a live stream shopping event, identify your target audience to help you develop an effective strategy around that demographic.
Find An Influencer: once you know your target audience, find an influencer in your target market who speaks their language. You can’t be trying to sell fitness products or protein supplements for muscle building and partner with a fitness influencer in the intermittent fasting niche. Other factors to consider when choosing an influencer are the engagement rate and professional outlook of the influencer, regardless of their follower count.
Marketing: start marketing your live video shopping event at least one month before the day. You need time to build momentum and anticipation. Advertise the event on all the necessary platforms, focusing on the channels your target audience uses the most.
Make The Event Available on Your Website: talk about your live stream shopping event on your website, and make the live available on your website on the day. Some potential buyers will visit your website to confirm details of the event, and some will actually participate in the event via your website. Hence, you will lose sales opportunities if you don’t put the event on your website.
Assign a Moderator: the influencer can’t do everything for you on that day, so you have to monitor the event, record relevant information, and engage buyers. So, assign one of your employees the moderator to comb through comments, answer questions and follow up with buyers as they show interest.
Finally, on the day of your live video shopping event, make sure you keep it simple. Avoid complicating things by addressing unnecessary issues even if some buyers bring them up because they will. Make a detailed plan of everything you will do and the order of the event, and make sure you follow it.
When you start the live video with the influencer, don’t start the shopping event immediately. Instead, announce on your website and social media pages, including the influencer’s social media pages, that the event has started using the unique hashtag you created for the event. Wait for people to join before starting the shopping event. Decide with the influencer on the side issues you can use to keep your audience engaged during the live event when there’s no shopping going on.