Live streaming allows merchants to showcase products in real-time. It gives a face to the brand and provides an opportunity to engage directly with multiple consumers, who react, ask questions, and receive product insights.
A successful live-stream event increases engagement and drives sales.
Live Stream Adoption
China is the global leader in live stream shopping. According to eMarketer, live shopping accounted for nearly 12% of China’s retail ecommerce sales in 2021. Over 560 million people, about 39% of China’s population, will have viewed live streams in 2020, per a Forbes contributor. Statista projects that live-stream ecommerce will reach $770 billion in China by 2023.
In the U.S., Coresight Research estimates the live-stream shopping market will reach $20 billion in 2022 and grow to roughly $65 billion by 2023.
Implementing Live Streams
Address four key components before conducting a live shopping event.
- Platform. Businesses can host a live stream event from their website, a dedicated live streaming platform such as Twitch, or one of the many live streaming options, including Facebook, Amazon, TikTok, YouTube, and Pinterest. Several all-inclusive services — CommentSold, Bambuser, Buywith — cater to small businesses and automate time-consuming tasks such as invoicing and inventory management.
- Host. A good host is crucial for hosting a live stream event. The person can be an internal resource or an external social media influencer that suits your brand or product.
- Engaging content. The right content is critical for live streaming. Include an exciting introduction and a “hook,” a reason for viewers to attend. The hook could be a giveaway, a contest, a special offer, or a featured guest.
- Promotion, before and after the event. Live video has much more organic social reach than any other content. Further, social algorithms love live posts and will include attendees in future live-stream feeds.
Live streams build social proof via comments, shares, and likes. Retailers can gain shoppers’ trust, thus shortening the sales cycle.
Folks who purchase products during a live shopping event are significantly less likely to return them, according to Coresight. The return rate for live stream purchases is up to 50% lower.
Nonetheless, due to the time-limited nature of live shopping events, attendees make more impulse purchases, accelerating the customer journey from awareness to purchase.