Image via dribble.com
If you’ve been online shopping a lot more than usual this past year fret not because you are definitely not alone. Sometimes the convenience of staying in your bed to buy that new thing you need (bonus: free shipping!) is just a little too tempting.
With a growing demand the estimation is that by 2023 ecommerce will make up 22% of global retail which is an 8% rise from 2019. On the other hand, there are many of us that still enjoy the IRL shopping experience and enjoy the human interactions that come with it. Some brands are trying to offer a little bit of both through live stream shopping.
The OG form of live stream shopping comes in the form of infomercials (ever hear of ShamWow?) which allows for viewers to shop from the comfort of their own home.
The ads are typically anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and consist of demonstrations and promotions of a product. Viewers are continuously prompted with a toll free number to call to make their purchase and there is often a special discount being offered.
Quality Value Convenience (QVC) is one of the more popular shopping channels, founded in 1986 and still running live 24/7 to this day. Before you had to go out of your way to put the QVC channel on and if you saw a product you wanted to buy you would have to call in and actually speak to a real person to make your purchase.
Now that is not the case for many shoppers as the development of technology has completely shifted the process.
Live stream shopping is really just the newer version of the infomercial. But now your salespeople are your favourite influencers.
And you don’t have to suffer through hours of ridiculous products to maybe see something you want because now you can look up exactly what brand or product you want.
And finally absolutely no moving or talking required as you can make the purchase directly from the live stream.
Image via Vogue Business
Live stream shopping is still making its way into the Canadian and American markets.
China is the main investor in the market and shoppers are forecasted to spend more than 300 billion this year on products featured in live streaming videos. And while sales only hit 1 billion in the US market in 2019, they are expected to hit over 11 billion by the end of 2021.
Brands are slowly realizing the potential of live stream shopping and it is only going to become easier to access and use. Social media plays a huge role in ecommerce and 43 percent of global shoppers research products online via social networks.
Imagine watching an instagram live stream of your favourite influencer doing an unboxing haul and then being able to purchase the products right then and there alongside with them.
Additionally, like a live stream, users have access to a chatbox where they can speak with the influencer and anyone else who is tuned in making it a truly interactive experience.
The success of live stream shopping relies on audience interactions and usually brands need something to draw the buyers on beyond just the products. Getting celebrities or influencers seems to be one of the preferred marketing strategies. The popularity of live streams in China comes from their use of influencers as the hosts. Chinese influencer Viya is at the forefront of the social commerce market and in October 2019 she sold over 49 million dollars worth of goods in one day. And in a campaign with Kim Kadardashian her viewers bought 150,000 bottles of perfume in a matter of minutes.
Lauren Farleigh realized the potential of influencer marketing and launched her social shopping app Dote in 2014. The selling feature of the app is the shopping parties where influencers host a live stream where they will be shopping from one of the app’s partnered brands.
Farleigh and her team are trying to recreate the experience of shopping in real life with friends and she says this is a way to bring back the social aspects of shopping that we have lost due to the convenience of online shopping. They launched their first collection in a collaboration with influencer Emma Chamberlain who currently has over 13 million followers on Instagram.
Image via New York Times
As one of the leading ecommerce companies in the world, Amazon just recently launched their livestream shopping option “Amazon Live takes the fun and interactive nature of live video and joins it with online shopping”.
Via their website, you can interact with Amazon live one of three ways: as an influencer, as a brand, and as a shopper. Anyone has the option to sign up for the ‘Amazon Influencer Program’ where they can earn commissions from purchases made during their live stream.
Brands also have the option to live stream and these can then be uploaded to the product page. Finally, you can sign up through your Amazon account to watch live streams.
The live streams show the Influencer using a product and the watchers can easily purchase the product through Amazon with just a few clicks.
The top three things that draw consumers to online shopping are free shipping, lower prices, and convenience.
Free shipping is often a marketing tactic where a certain amount of money has to be spent in order to receive the free shipping.
On the other hand, high shipping costs are the #1 reason for cart abandonment therefore companies need to remain competitive. Online shopping makes it easier to browse and compare prices where this might not always be available when shopping in person.
Finally, consumers enjoy the ease of being able to easily purchase a product in a few simple steps from the comfort of their home.
With Tiktok being the preferred app for Gen-Z we know that videos are going to be at the forefront of our technological consumption in the years to come.
Over 60 percent of TikTok users are Gen Z and the app has higher user engagement rates than its competitors.
Other apps have also jumped on the video bandwagon such as Instagram that has made reels and IGTV two of its main features. Additionally, Instagram has launched live shopping but it is currently only available to U.S users.
Otherwise, influencers can create branded content but the shopping experience still has to take you out of the app and onto the brands website.
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