With global e-commerce sales predicted to hit $7.4 trillion by 2025, the boom in online spending shows no signs of slowing down. Livestream shopping offers a unique way to capitalize on this growing demand. By providing a more engaging shopping experience for customers, you can boost your product sales and build brand loyalty.
In this post, we’ll provide an overview of livestream retail and explore the benefits of hosting this type of event. Then we’ll highlight three key things you should know about the live e-commerce experience. Let’s get started!
What Livestream Shopping Is
Livestream shopping is a form of live video content. It allows viewers to buy products directly from the broadcasting platform during a live show. This also offers the chance for unedited interaction between shoppers and the host through a chat box. Viewers can share thoughts and ask questions about the products being promoted in real time.
As a form of e-commerce, livestream retail is popular within the fashion and beauty industries. However, it is not exclusive to those sectors. Brands within the electronics, home furnishings, and food industries are also benefiting from the live commerce experience.
The growth in livestream retail has seen some of the largest social media platforms integrate the feature. This includes Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. E-commerce giant Amazon also jumped on the trend, offering Amazon Live for shoppable livestreams.
There are even dedicated online platforms for livestream shopping, such as China-based market leader Taobao and the U.S. social-shopping network TalkShopLive:
Livestream shopping is often compared to home shopping channels such as QVC. However, it offers much more interactivity. The use of a live viewer chat offers a more intimate dialogue between the audience and host. Furthermore, viewers can engage more frequently within a continuous conversation, when compared to traditional television call-ins.
The Benefits of Livestream Retail
You can enjoy a variety of benefits when you use livestream shopping to promote your own e-commerce products. Let’s go over a few of the key benefits.
Increased Engagement and Perceived Credibility
Livestream shopping offers viewers a more engaging, two-way shopping experience. What’s more, when your host gives custom product recommendations, this creates a closer relationship with the audience. This can boost the perceived credibility of your brand and improve your reputation.
Broader Reach and Accessibility
With a livestream strategy, you can easily expand your reach and attract new customers. For example, Aldo saw 17,000 page views in the five days after its first livestream shopping pilot, and a 308% engagement rate. Additionally, live streams are highly accessible, since they can be joined from anywhere in the world, at any time.
During a product demonstration, a host can clarify customer doubts in real-time. That way, viewers can make more informed purchases. This may result in fewer returned goods. In fact, according to research from Coresight, returns are 50% lower when items are bought in a livestream.
Increased Profits and Efficiency
All of the above factors taken together mean that you’re likely to make more sales and generate more profits. When customers feel comfortable engaging with hosts and products, they are much more likely to make a purchase. Furthermore, with reduced returns you’ll cut shipping costs and boost your efficiency.
3 Key Things to Know About Livestream Shopping
If you’re interested in taking advantage of the benefits discussed above, let’s cover three key things you should know before you plan your own livestream event.
1. Targeting the Right Audience is Crucial
Pinpointing the correct target audience for your product is essential. This will help you plan your livestream event effectively. Knowing your customer base can help you make the right decisions about:
- Who you choose to host the event
- What products and content you should feature
- What tone of voice to use
- Which platform you choose
- When you should host your livestream
- How you promote your event
If you’re not sure where to begin, a tool such as Google Analytics is helpful to understand your audience segmentation:
By analyzing your data, you can discover your target demographics. You can also gain insights on the topics and industries your audience is most interested in.
For example, a home goods brand might observe numbers indicating that a large majority of customers are moving into new homes. In that case, some variation of “best products for new homeowners” might be an effective livestream topic.
2. Choosing the Right Host Is Essential
Your livestream’s success depends largely on the host you choose. Picking the right influencer or expert is key to reaching your intended audience. The right host can further support the authenticity and close connection that livestream shopping has to offer.
It is also important to have a host who is knowledgeable about your product. Someone who can answer viewer questions effectively is more likely to help you boost sales. Ideally, you and your host will share a similar target audience.
Choosing micro-influencers can be a smart move. They tend to have higher engagement rates and smaller, more focused followings:
Hype Auditor’s State of Influencer Marketing report found that micro-influencers tend to have stronger connections with their followers. They gained the highest engagement rate (five percent) when compared to other groups.
There are even tools that provide you with some insights into an influencer’s engagement ratings. It can be useful to assess this data before you agree to partner with them. For example, the influencer marketing platform Phlanx provides an engagement calculator:
Knowing these numbers can help you gauge how effective a potential host is likely to be. A strong partnership is vital, since it can help you gain viewers and increase sales.
3. A Robust Chat Function Will Support Engagement
A successful livestream relies on a robust chat feature. That’s because a consistent, two-way dialogue is the foundation of the connection between hosts and viewers.
The host may encourage questions and ask for thoughts about the product. This exchange of ideas can build a shared experience. This is a stark contrast to merely being sold or pitched to. Brands may also consider scripting questions to promote community engagement throughout the duration of the stream.
A dependable live chat tool can allow the presenter to respond to audience questions in real time, with minimal delays in uptake. For instance, viewers can ask to see new angles or for the post to demonstrate different uses of your product. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure your chat feature does not lag. That way, the interaction will feel similar to the in-store shopping experience.
Brands may also have a second content moderator to reply to comments in the chat, while the host focuses on presenting products. Livestream retail platforms such as Livescale include built-in live chat and moderation features:
Having this function also allows you to gather real-time customer feedback on your products. You can then use these comments for informed, continual improvement of your stock.
With the e-commerce industry booming, livestream shopping offers a unique way to connect with customers and increase your sales. Knowing your target audience and choosing the right host can build a closer relationship with potential consumers. What’s more, a dependable live chat feature can further support this personal connection.
Do you have any questions about the livestream shopping experience? Let us know in the comments below!
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