Video Commerce Guide: What is Livestream Shopping?

Everything you need to know about live stream shopping: how it works, the benefits, software, tools, tips and tricks.

Video Commerce Guide: What is Livestream Shopping?

Livestream shopping is real-time live shopping experiences that give shoppers the ability to engage and buy products and services in real-time while watching a live video broadcast. Most livestream shopping experiences mimimic shows that you would find on the popular home shopping network TV channel QVC.

Livestream shopping is rapidly increasing in popularity and is one of the easiest ways for buyers to purchase at home, on the go, in real-time. For brands, livestream shopping is a great platform and way to stand out from the competition and increase engagement with buyers and ultimate drive sales.

This video commerce guide will teach you everything you need to know about live stream shopping, specifically how it works, the benefits, software, tools and tips and tricks.

What is Livestream Shopping?

Livestream shopping is real-time online shopping that enables buyers to watch live video of the vendor or seller demonstrating or highlighting products. Livestream shopping enables the buyer or viewer to purchase products and services directly from the live stream.

Real-time livestream shopping is a great alternative to traditionally online ecommerce shopping as it offers a more intimate, personalized buying experience while giving the shopper a way to interact with the seller as they shop, such as asking questions, providing feedback, etc. The live commerce market is expected to be valued at more than $750 billion by 2023 and while it is already popular in China the West is just catching on.

How Does Livestream Shopping Work?

Livestream shopping is now more accessible than ever, both for brands that want to sell in-real time and for shoppers that want to purchase this way. So how does livestream shopping work? It all starts when the seller fires of up a live stream, this usually takes place on a popular social media channel such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram but can also be part of a mobile app or on a website. Once the livestream is up and running usually a representative from the seller or a popular influencer will demonstrate products and services.

As products are demonstrated in real-time, the host will walk through its features and benefits and and customers can then purchase the product directly from the live stream, using interactive links either placed in the live video or buy links in the chat that accompanies the live presentation.

What Are The Benefits Of Livestream Shopping?

Livestream shopping has no doubt changed the way shoppers engage with the brands and products they love, it’s also given small retail businesses a platform for unlimited reach and commerce potential. We will now take a look at the top benefits of livestream shopping.

The top benefit of livestream shopping:

Personalizes the shopping experience for buyers

Livestream shopping offers a more personal shopping experience than traditional online shopping. Customers are able to engage with the seller beyond the product and the brand by asking questions of the presenter, this humanizes the entire interaction and creates a repeat loyal customer.

Customers can see products in real-time before making a purchase

Livestream shopping gives customers the ability to see the product demonstrated in action and the forum for them to learn more about it by asking the seller questions about it before making a purchase. Ultimately, livestream shopping helps sellers build greater trust with their buyers, increasing brand value and the chance they will purchase from your business again in the future.

Real-time shopping creates a sense of urgency

Moving inventory quickly can be a challenge for some online sellers, livestream shopping solves that by creating an immediate sense of urgency for the buyer to make the purchase. Most sellers incorporate livestream deals, discounts and other promotions to entire buyers to purchase live while watching the livestream.

How To Create a Successful Livestream Shopping Experience

To be successful with livestream shopping you need to focus on five key areas:

Humanize and Authenticate Your Brand

Livestream shopping experiences should reflect the values and personality of your brand and be authentic to your brand image. By being authentic you build trust with your audience and increase the value of your brand. The best way to do this is to tell your brand’s story as a component of the livestream. The result of all this should be loyal customers.

Personalize and Cater To Your Audience

It’s important to personalize the livestream to your target audience and create content, themes and stories that they are interested. By catering the livestream to your audience, you will increase the chances that your audience will make a purchase. To do this effectively make sure to spend time learning and profiling your target audience.

Make The Livestream Experience Interactive

To drive purchases (conversion) you need to create opportunities for engaging with your livestream shoppers in real-time. A few good examples of this are Q&A with your viewers, promotions and offerings such as drawings or giveaways and behind-the-screens preview of the happenings at your brand. If you manufacture a product you can show how that product is made, highlighting the quality, etc.

Try Different Streaming Times and Days

Outside of the content you are planning to share, its also a good idea to determine the best days of the week and times of day for your livestream. Test a number of different days and times and see how that changes the audience size and how successful the livestream is.

Try Different Livestreaming Platforms and Software

The livestreaming software and distribution channels you use to livestream your shopping experience is also a very important factor in the success of the stream. Make sure you test a number of video streaming software platforms to find the one that’s best for your needs. Sometimes it’s also best to go native using the built in streaming of the social media platform you intend to broadcast on. Unless you plan to broadcast across multiple social media accounts simultaneously, if that’s the case, there is software for that.

See a comprehensive list of Livestream Shopping Software Vendors

When it comes to social media channels, livestream shopping success will depend a lot on your audience size on each of the platforms. Also consider how video is consumed on each social channel and how that may impact the ‘user experience.

Suggested Livestream Shopping Software

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