A market estimated by Coresight Research to be worth $512 billion with brands such as TikTok, Poshmark and eBay testing out the craze, livestream shopping is ready for its European moment. Mixing the best of both worlds, the comfort of online shopping and the interaction of hitting the high street, shoppers can now get up close and personal with products and sales assistants from the luxury of their own home. 

Livestreams currently attract 17% of all internet traffic, thanks to popular social apps like Twitch, TikTok and Instagram. Liveshopping – adding real-time shopping capabilities to livestreaming – already drove $60 billion in 2021 globally. 

59% of European consumers are interested in liveshopping. The ability to engage in real time with product experts, influencers and other shoppers provides a value added, entertaining and trustworthy way to discover and purchase products.

But what do merchants need to take advantage of live commerce? 

Benefits of live commerce

Live commerce leverages the best of digital and physical shopping

Buyers can tune in from anywhere in the world to catch streams live or on demand. Real-time visitors can chat with other customers, ask questions of the streaming host, build wishlists and carts, and even transact with a single click. Many liveshopping streams also add gamification to their events, such as spin-to-win, live polls, quizzes and the ability to earn loyalty points for engagement. This entices customers and might persuade them to return to shop with a specific retailer. 

Live streaming fosters more trust than online reviews

Video demonstrations enable customers to experience products in a richer way as they’re able to ask the experts the right questions and engage in real-time chat with shoppers like themselves. But the choice of host is as important as the products featured. In the age of fake news, many consumers don’t trust hosts opinions’ or often find them lacking in knowledge. Ensuring hosts are likeable and knowledge about the products is key. 36% of consumers from the UK, France, Poland and Spain actually prefer having local product experts as livestream hosts. 

On-demand streams enhance site content

Livestream replays can be embedded throughout your online store. With the right APIs, you can even deep link featured products, so the exact clip appears within an image gallery or mini player on product detail pages. Short clips also make great social and email content.

Social platforms vs Live streaming

Popular social platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram for Business have all offered liveshopping capabilities. While social platforms are a great way to try live commerce without much investment, they have several limitations. For example, Instagram only allows up to 30 featured products per stream. Third party platforms can’t seamlessly integrate with customer accounts, wishlists, personalisation engines, loyalty programs and other features of your online store – aside from click-to-buy buttons. And in many cases, streaming platforms take a cut of your sale.

To fully optimise a liveshopping experience, businesses can consider adding a livestreaming platform to their ecommerce website or mobile app. 70% of liveshopping events are held on brands’ and retailers’ own websites, versus a social platform. livestreaming capability, integrated with your webstore enables you to go beyond simple transactions. For example:

  • Connect participants with their customer accounts to offer loyalty discounts or points for engagement
  • Show personalised cross-sells based on purchase and browse history
  • Use geolocation to show the right currency, pricing, and shipping details to each viewer
  • Show real-time inventory and remaining units in stock during flash sale events
  • Add interactive features like polls, spin-to-win, and other gamified experiences
  • Enable add-to-favorites list or cart to checkout later or through another device

In addition to livestream features, using your own live streaming capability can help you track important KPIs like views, watch time, segmented customer engagement, conversion rates and delayed conversions.

5 tips for successful live commerce programs

Time events right 

Both in time of day, and length of stream. Consider running localised events with local influencers or hosts to hit the “prime time” in the targeted market. And be mindful of streaming length. More than 50% of consumers want to spend no longer than 10 minutes continuously watching a liveshopping stream, and 23% no longer than 5 minutes. Of course, your buyers are unique. Experiment with time of day and stream length to find your optimal recipe.

Choose the right products

In general, Europeans that liveshop prefer purchasing electronics, fashion, and cosmetics products through the medium. Products that benefit from live demonstration, live application and tutorials are prime candidates. 

Choose the right host(s)

Shoppers want likable and relatable hosts. The good news is you don’t need to snag an influencer or famous face. Consider using your own staffers (store associates, merchandising talent, customer care experts) – or even your own customers! As long as they’re comfortable with the camera and experienced with the products shown, anyone can make a great livestream host.

Promote your events

Evangelise your events through social media, home page banners, email, and SMS marketing before the event, and invite site visitors live with pop-up players on your website. If you try the pop-up invitation method, respect the opt-out. Include “maybe next time” and “don’t ask again” options in your modal.

Make it worth it

Liveshoppers want to save time and get exclusive deals. Reward their time and attention with exclusive deals, time-limited offers, or loyalty rewards for participation. To create excitement, consider giving early access to new product drops, deeply discounted products or unique bundle offers.

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