For some, the phrase live shopping conjures images of big hair and big discounts on late night TV channels. But for others, live shopping is the future of reaching audiences naturally. Welcome to the return of the impulse purchase.
Is this the new way of shopping for Gen Z?
Even though the concept of live shopping has been around since as early as the 1970s, this generation's new take on the online ways of shopping is something that has now gained worldwide mass popularity.
This new wave of live shopping exploded on popular short-form video app, TikTok with their in-app shopping centre ‘TikTok Shop’ currently gaining over 1 billion shoppers globally since launching the feature in 2021. The social media platform already has a live streaming feature, following other platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Amazon.
When hearing ‘live shopping’ most people will think of TV shopping channels such as QVC or JML. Before the internet or social media boom, this was the original shopping from home concept that grew in popularity due to the ease of access allowing consumers to purchase products from the comfort of their own home. And while most audiences have become accustomed to that, the principles of ease for the audience still remain the same.
The social media app TikTok has launched their own marketplace shopping feature TikTok Shop, in which hosts can link products in their livestreams when showing products and services in real time. Instead of hosting a live event, creators can also post a shoppable video for viewers to shop online directly through the creators profile. This has been an extremely successful feature for TikTok as big creators on the app can earn commission from viewers buying products through their links.
TikTok is also a fantastic way for brands to increase exposure and reach by using the marketplace and reaching the new community of shoppers using social media. It can help build brands, grow businesses, and increase sales.
TikTok Shop enables merchants and brands to display and sell products for the TikTok community to discover and purchase directly through livestreams and in-feed videos.
As TikTok's main target audience is towards a younger generation of social media users, the selling point for the in-app shopping feature was that it provided an easy-to-use platform for a predominantly younger audience.
Another global company that offers live online shopping is Amazon Live, which gives the customers reviews of products in real time, contributing to their success of increasing customer experience. The strategy of live commerce was first started at Amazon in 2017 when creating a marketing campaign for their prime day deals.
Within the live shopping experience streaming viewers had the chance to view celebrities using Prime Day Deal products. This marketing strategy of using A-list celebrities such as singer Demi Lovato and comedian actor Kevin Heart drove huge success for Amazon on their Prime Day. Reports show Amazon's Prime Day live shopping platform had viewers engage with creators "over 100,000 times via its live chat feature." This targets specific audiences and provides a unique shopping experience compared to traditional e-commerce.
From working with our client M&S, they have now launched their own live shopping service - M&S LIVE. Within this, the beloved brand features new products in topical live videos which are simultaneously recorded and added to the M&S LIVE collection for consumers to catch up or re-watch the streams.
So, what exactly does livestream shopping consist of?
· Influencer/celebrity host endorsing products.
One of the best ways to get your product noticed on live streaming will be to target relevant markets of influencers and celebrities to be the face of the livestream. This will inevitably draw their large audience and cult following to your page as the star describes, tests, and reviews the products.
· Promote, Push, Popularise.
Why would a consumer engage and view these live shopping streams? No matter if you choose to use a highly rated influencer, an upcoming TikTokker or even a regular presenter - viewers have the want and need to see the products being used by a real human, describing the touch smell, quality, fit of the product and the ways of use.
For a potential customer to be able to interact through live chat and get a real time review from a trusted source is practically like a friend recommending a product to them. You are automatically more interested in buying the product!
· Engaging with an audience.
Having an enthusiastic, engaging product promoter will encourage potential buyers to ask questions to the host. For example, “What is the fit of this dress like?” ... "How do you charge this product?” and “What would you pair this with?”. This is when a host can take full advantage of showing all the features of a product, probing viewers with the same questions to also finalise a purchase.
Another great technique to increase engagement rates used by hosts on live shopping events is through implementing flash sales.
One of the most notable uses of this to generate huge revenues was a Chinese influencer known as the “Lipstick King.” Chinese social media star, Li Jiaqi - also known as Austin sold an outstanding 10.653 billion yuan ($1.53 billion) during the Chinese shopping festival, ‘double 11’.
In this livestream shopping event, Li talked through 252 products in a matter of 4 hours which was captivated by audiences and a huge factor towards the success of his overall sales and conversion rates from having the ability to inform the viewers about such a plethora of products.
As a marketing agency, we recognize the transformative power of live stream shopping. By leveraging this dynamic medium, your business can propel their marketing efforts to new heights, connect with their customers on a deeper level, and achieve remarkable results.
So, if you’re thinking should you or your brand hop on the live shopping bandwagon, the answer is yes!
Ready to find out how you could make it work for your business? Get in touch and let’s talk about a bespoke live shopping strategy.