Livestream shopping – A new wave for marketing?
If you have ever wished you could shop with your favorite influencer, then a shopping livestream can make that dream a reality! When an online influencer records a live video feed of themselves buying stuff in a store. Meanwhile, viewers can comment on the products the influencer picks out.
This proves that everything is going through a digital transformation, specifically marketing. It has not become that popular, though, so this could be your chance to enter and grow in this field early. Let this article guide you into this new age of influencer marketing!
Let us start by discussing how Livestream shopping came to be and how it works. Then, we will go through the benefits and risks of this new marketing trend. More importantly, we will talk about how businesses can adapt to this new way of promoting products and services.
How Livestream shopping came to be
If you grew up in the 90s, you might compare this with the home shopping networks of those times. As a kid, you may have watched it while you were sick and could not go to school.
Specifically, you might have seen THE Home Shopping Network airing while your parents were working. You may even remember how popular marketers like Billy Mays were featured in the show.
The man would enthusiastically promote the supposedly amazing features of cleaning products like wiping cloths and deodorizing solutions. Now, we don’t watch TV as much.
The internet has made home shopping channels highly ineffective. That’s why marketers had to develop a new way to sell their goods with this new tool.
Eventually, they came up with digital marketing. This gave us influencer marketing similar to how Mays did it decades ago. A regular person shows themselves using a product and promoting its features.
You can find them on social media platforms like TikTok and Facebook. Some content creators on YouTube even double as influencers when they dedicate parts of their videos for sponsors.
For business owners, they knew that this wasn’t enough. Eventually, too many people would be using the same methods, reducing their effectiveness in the long run.
Where else can you take marketing to the next level? It turns out that you can find it on another side of the world: China! Its influencers or key opinion leaders (KOLs) have come with livestream shopping.
Some call it “Livestream selling” or “live online shopping,” but it refers to the same thing. As I said, livestream shopping is when online influencers walk their viewers through their shopping trips.
The first Livestream shopping trials started in 2016 with the eCommerce firm Alibaba Group’s Taobao marketplace. It allowed influencers to open live shopping channels.
Two of the biggest names in this growing marketing field are Huang Wei or “Viya” and Li Jiaqi, the “Lipstick King.” Just how big are these online personalities?
The former sold a rocket launch service in 2021 for $6.3 million. Viya even helped Kim Kardashian-West sell her entire stock of 150,000 during Single’s Day 2019.
Meanwhile, Li Jiaqi is more well-known by Chinese internet users by his signature catchphrase, “Oh my god, buy it!” This 28-year-old millionaire got his title when he sold 15,000 lipsticks in five minutes.
He even set a Guinness World Record for “the most lipstick applications to models in 30 seconds.” Now, they’re what you call key opinion leaders!
Read More: How COVID Changed Consumer Behavior
Livestream shopping vs. traditional online shopping
It’s easy to see what makes this different from traditional online shopping. The latter is more static than Livestream selling because it provides the marketplace.
You get a lineup of products and services, but nobody truly guides you through your shopping experience. You may get the closest “guide” a live chat with customer representatives or bots.
The canned responses leave consumers wanting more. A customer service rep is unlikely to offer opinions on products. That’s because traditional online shopping lacks human connection.
On the other hand, Livestream shopping enables people to speak to a real human being buying the same stuff they like. Think back to how you shop with your friends.
Your pals may get excited once they find an interesting product. Then you may see them explore the features while explaining how it could help them. This is even better when shopping for clothes.
Your friends may try a shirt on, letting you know what it may look like while you’re wearing it. That is one of the reasons why Livestream shopping skyrocketed with the help of fashion products.
Overall, Livestream selling provides a huge benefit that traditional online retail cannot provide. This new way of marketing provides an engaging shopping experience via the internet.
Is live shopping the future of eCommerce?
— TIME (@TIME) February 18, 2021
At the time of writing, most countries do not have this type of online marketing yet. The closest we have are social media platforms’ traditional online shopping features.
For example, Facebook offers the Facebook Marketplace, while TikTok lets influencer accounts link to their third-party online stores. The United States is trying to adapt to the trend, though.
Walmart launched its first live shopping stream on November 28, 2021. Meanwhile, Twitter held trial runs for its Livestream shopping platform called the Shop Module in July 2021.
Other countries have tried sparking the Livestream shopping boom in their borders. The Livestream shopping company Shoppertainment Live is leading this in the Philippines.
CEO Hiyasmin Neri-Soyao said that the company experienced a 200% year-on-year growth. However, she admitted that Livestream shopping is not yet the biggest driver of online sales conversions.
As you can see, this is a trend spreading across the world. You might even want to adapt Livestream shopping early, so you’re more likely to dominate this new field of marketing.
How to start a live stream shopping event
China's Top Livestreaming Celebrity Viya Test Drives China-Made Tesla Model 3 on her show for 1 hour tomorrow. Now this is BIG NEWS for the Chinese Market! She is the Queen of Taobao previously helped @KimKardashian sell out their perfume within seconds in China 🇨🇳#Tesla $TSLA pic.twitter.com/1XSnJSo1Ua
— Jay in Shanghai 电动 Jay (@JayinShanghai) April 27, 2020
Believe it or not, you can become a Livestream shopping host even with current social media platforms. The following steps may help you:
- Ask yourself what your talents and interests are. This will help you find what kinds of products you can feature in your Livestream shopping sessions. You will have to get people excited about the products, but you can only do that if you’re enthusiastic about them yourself.
- Watch other livestream shopping personalities and other online influencers. They could provide you with insights on how you should conduct yourself during a shopping livestream.
- List the good suggestions you’ve found, then narrow them down to the ones that look the most interesting.
These are the most basic steps to becoming popular on the internet. The other ones won’t work for Livestream shopping hosts, though. Here are the steps a livestream shopping influencer needs:
Find the best platform.
YouTube is one of the best social media platforms you can use for Livestream shopping. That’s because it lets you connect with the most number of people.
It now lets you hold live shopping events because YouTube now enables live video streaming. It also has a live chat feature that lets viewers buy super chats and stickers.
These are images and icons that allow them to post messages that stand out in the stream. This also provides you with another way of making money from Livestream shopping.
You might want to reach niche audiences by using other platforms meant for specific interests. For example, you may want to host live shopping events on Twitch if you’re promoting products designed for video game enthusiasts.
Choose your products.
Get ready to scream for ice cream! Join us Friday at 6pm ET for a shoppable livestream with Jermaine Dupri @jermainedupri, founder of the Black-owned brand, JD’s Vegan Ice Cream. 😋 Watch & shop at https://t.co/SWUt74FCXr, powered by talkshoplive. pic.twitter.com/fpHDrbasOm
— Walmart (@Walmart) February 18, 2022
Do you recall what I said about knowing your interests? You will need it because you will have to show that you’re excited about the products featured in your Livestream shopping.
More importantly, you will have to know how the product works. That’s because you will have to answer questions from viewers regarding those products.
You’ll have a hard time doing that if you don’t have first-hand experience with them. If you genuinely like your products, you will have an easier time promoting them on a livestream shopping session.
Get the right equipment.
Your Livestream shopping session should look its best. People expect high-quality videos nowadays because it’s more accessible than ever.
If you’re using a phone for your live videos, it should be able to record at a high definition. This is when the latest models like the iPhone 13 can help you.
As you grow your career, you may want to invest in better equipment. For example, you might want to hire other folks to record you via a shotgun microphone.
What are the benefits of Livestream shopping?
In Q3, we launched a pilot of the Shop Module w/ a handful of brands in the US. The Shop Module is a feature that allows us to explore how shoppable profiles can create a pathway from talking about & discovering products on Twitter to actually purchasing them. $TWTR pic.twitter.com/HMZk6WxTif
— Twitter Investor Relations (@TwitterIR) October 26, 2021
This new marketing method has a lot of potential benefits for online shoppers and businesses. Here are some examples:
- Authenticity – Live shopping videos allow consumers to see products for what they are. It won’t have the post-production touches found in traditional marketing ads. Also, people may see that a brand is confident about its quality, improving its image.
- Product experiences – Imagine buying a camera online and seeing someone test your desired features. That’s another advantage of Livestream shopping over conventional marketing methods.
- Real-time engagement – The influencer gets to speak to the target audience. This fosters a relationship with consumers, making them more likely to trust and buy from a brand.
- Sense of urgency – Remember those calls-to-actions by TV marketers to “buy now, and you’ll get this promo?” Livestream shopping hosts may perform something similar by offering limited-time coupons or promo codes. In turn, this could boost sales for certain products that might not have been selling well.
- Complementary use-cases – Let’s say you have a startup restaurant. You might want to ask a Livestream shopping host to “take a break” at your restaurant after going around the mall. This could be a lowkey way to boost sales for sponsors.
- Analytics tracking – Online business platforms track certain metrics to help companies track their marketing campaigns. Most social media platforms gather this data type despite lacking a live selling feature.
What are the risks of a shopping livestream event?
Livestream shopping isn’t foolproof as some things may go wrong with it. Here are the downsides you should consider before trying this new marketing method:
- Tech errors – Your smartphone may run out of charge, or your internet connection may cut off, especially if you’re in a country with poor service. This could severely harm the Livestream shopping experience or stop it entirely.
- Mixed results – Many people may watch a Livestream shopping host, but that doesn’t mean those viewers will become customers. Many of them could just be there to watch more of their favorite streamer, but not the brand.
- Long-term results – A company will find it hard to get immediate results from Livestream shopping. It usually takes several sessions before it could affect company profits. That’s because the Livestream shopping host needs time to develop a follower base and promote a product carefully.
- Need for consistent content – An online influencer should make sure their content matches the real-life product. Livestream shopping content might miss covering a specific product type, frustrating online shoppers who wanted those.
- Stunted community growth – If you try to cover an entire product lineup in a Livestream shopping session, you might not be able to answer all questions from viewers. Others may feel ignored by the host, so they leave the host.
Livestream shopping shows businesses that there is still room for innovation in marketing. People thought everything that could be done with online shopping had been done already.
Many people changed their minds when Livestream shopping became a thing. If you thought you’d done all you could with your marketing campaigns, think again!
Perhaps you haven’t tried all the online marketing methods available. Alternatively, your business might be one of the few that has not adopted this trend.
Try speaking with the experts at LeadAdvisors for help. This digital marketing agency can find ways to improve how you promote your business. Click here to learn more.