Live shopping, or live-stream shopping, has a history stretching back decades. When television programming exploded in the ‘70s and ‘80s, shopping channels engaged in live product demonstrations and ran call centers to take orders for the products shown on screen.
These shopping channels are still around today, though they are not as popular as they once were. Instead, live stream shopping reinvented itself, cropping up again in China in the mid-2010s. It all started when several influencers used live video apps to take fans with them on shopping adventures in cities like Los Angeles and New York. The influencers would explain products through virtual journeys and show viewers how they could purchase the products themselves.
It wasn’t long before this new type of entertainment took off. Now you can find live shopping experiences provided on platforms like Instagram and more. Many successful ecommerce companies are looking to leverage live retail shopping for their own brands’ success, and you can too.
How live shopping can bolster your brand
So how can live shopping help your brand succeed in the competitive ecommerce environment? There are several distinct advantages you might see if you start using live shopping smartly.
Increase audience engagement
For starters, live shopping can help significantly increase audience engagement across the board. Say that you have a brand or product that’s having difficulty reaching its target audience. By using influencers and live shopping platforms, you’ll engage your target audience with your products in a way that can’t be matched with a traditional web interface.
While it’s important to hire a developer to design a professional online store, this can be expensive. The average intermediate freelance front-end developer charges $61-$80 an hour, and that price goes up with experience.
And those efforts can only go so far when it comes to engaging with a live audience. Live streaming interfaces are the only ways to connect many younger shoppers, especially if your products rely on a dynamic and interactive experience to sell. Simply put, it’s more interesting and engaging for viewers to watch products put to use than it is to see them listed on-screen in 2D. In this way, you can make your ecommerce website more attractive and informative.
Leverage influencer connections
Live shopping experiences are a good use of influencer marketing to drive action and provide memorable experiences for viewers. This is a mutually beneficial relationship that can help you and your affiliates.
As you develop connections with influencers who participate in live retail shopping platforms, you can keep those contacts and use them for future marketing ventures. This live shopping strategy could help you revamp your digital marketing overall and position your business as high-tech and well-connected.
There’s an understated element of the live shopping experience that doesn’t get enough attention: urgency. Buyer urgency is best understood as the tangible yet invisible sense that an audience member needs to make a purchase now.
There’s something hardwired in our brains that makes it tempting for us to make a purchase when we see someone else buy it too. This effect is increased when a target audience’s favorite influencer makes a purchase or even recommends a product. The more buyer urgency you can cultivate, the better your products will sell in the short term. Track your KPIs and watch the sales roll in.
Finally, live shopping allows your products to be showcased in a way that’s not possible through any other online avenue. While your products may not be put through their full paces on live streaming platforms, it’s undeniable that your target audience will get to see and interact with what your brand offers more closely than otherwise.
This can be very important for certain industries or services. For example, if your brand relies on products that are difficult to communicate value for online, live shopping may help to bridge the gap and show your target audience what your brand really offers.
Ultimately, live shopping is very beneficial in the modern ecommerce market. It can help brands just like yours reach target audiences more directly, drive urgency to buy products, and make your brand seem more engaging and dynamic. With that in mind, it might be worthwhile to look into setting up a live shopping team for your brand ASAP.