Livestream Shopping: The New Online Shopping Experience

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Do you remember watching TV infomercials and shopping channels? The host would address common pain points in their industry, show off the featured products, demonstrate how to use them, and offer limited-time deals to encourage viewers to purchase. They always created a sense of urgency with phrases such as “not sold in stores,” “limited TV offer,” “but wait, there’s more,” and “for the low, low price of $19.95.” 

This style of marketing and sales has morphed and evolved in recent years. Though still focusing on product promotion, it has moved from televised pre-recorded infomercials to unedited, real-time videos streamed through e-commerce apps, social media platforms, and websites. During these live virtual shopping events, viewers can leave questions about the product or service in the comments and get an immediate answer from the streamer. The livestream is less scripted and focused on demonstrating the product or service, so it is more authentic than traditional marketing strategies. As a result, brands that use livestream shopping as a strategy report conversion rates ten times greater than e-commerce conversions. The success of this marketing technique is largely due to the appeal: livestream shopping is entertaining, people are bored, and people love to shop.

There are four main elements of a livestream: the platform, the host, the product or service, and the content of the video. The shopping event can be hosted on e-commerce sites or social media platforms. YouTube is the most popular, with 30.2% of U.S. businesses marketing through its platform. Close behind are Facebook (29.2%) and Instagram (28.9%), then Amazon (20.7%) and TikTok (19.8%). As with all marketing strategies, it’s important to use the platform that best fits your target audience demographic – you want to broadcast where your audience is.

The host of the livestream can make or break its success: if the host is not entertaining and engaging, consumers will continue on to the next video. Influencers or celebrities are highly effective, as they have an established audience that trusts and engages with them. In fact, 17% of U.S. consumers frequently watch influencer livestreams. However, if partnering with influencers is not your style, there is nothing wrong with hosting it yourself!

Livestream shopping can be used by any industry, ranging from fashion to technology. The majority of these events (36%) are hosted by apparel and fashion brands, followed by beauty (8%), fresh food (7%), electronics (5%), home decor (4%), and automobile (1%).

The final piece of livestream shopping is the content, or rather, the experience offered to the audience. While the main goal is to sell or increase awareness, the best consumer experience occurs when there is an entertaining demonstration as well as a reward for watching. Raffles, giveaways, promotions, limited-time deals… These are all common tactics to keep viewers engaged throughout the process. They build hype and a sense of urgency while you educate, entertain, inform, or connect with your audience. 

Livestream shopping is a rising marketing trend, not just for sales but for awareness and engagement, as well. 78% of brands indicate that they use it to build deeper connections with their audience. Brands also implement livestream shopping events to make their videos more accessible (66%), humanize their brand (59%), engage with their audience (57%), and achieve higher conversion rates (28%).

Utilizing this strategy can result in boosted customer relationships, marketing reach, and sales conversions. It has boomed in China over the last three years, growing from a market worth $3 billion to $171 billion. It is currently estimated to be worth $11 billion in the United States and is projected to reach $35 billion by 2024. 

If you need help navigating livestream shopping, or want help with your marketing strategy in general, reach out to us today!


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