The future of retail: a guide to Live Video Shopping

An overview of Live Video Shopping for the modern consumer in the Retail Industry; how Live Video Shopping works, how it benefits brands, and what the key differences with Live Broadcasting are.

What is Live Video Shopping?

Live Video Shopping, live stream shopping, live shopping, live commerce – however you want to call it – it all means the same thing. But what is it exactly? This popular trend offers the ability to show your audience the products you would like to sell and advise them about it in real-time. As a presenter, you can interact with customers that are watching your live stream and they can directly make a purchase with the click of a button. This way, consumers are receiving a far more engaging experience than using a traditional self-service e-Commerce platform and just filling a virtual shopping cart. 

Where it all started

Digital commerce is on the rise. This whole live streaming trend started in China originally, but is spreading across both Europe and America. Chinese influencers are producing live video content for a while now, and it works. Many brands are looking to livestream shopping as an opportunity to strengthen their e-Commerce platform. In China, products are selling out in a matter of seconds, which means it’s a profitable venture to implement. When this trend started picking up in China 3 years ago, it already made up more than 10% of e-Commerce sales. Customers are loving this way of shopping: the add to cart and sales conversion rates are incomparable.

One article with CNN Business reinforced the financial potential behind this market, using China as an example. “Hu [Meng Hu] is part of a rising class of creators in China who are racing to get in on live-stream shopping, an emerging form of retail that has grown into an industry worth an estimated $66 billion.”

What is the difference between Live Video Shopping and Live Broadcasting?

Live Video Shopping and Live Broadcasting have a lot in common: they both offer marketing channels where you can talk to a presenter in real-time and ask questions about products you’re interested in buying. The key difference is that with Live Broadcasting you’re watching a live stream where you can show your interest in the products and with Live Video Shopping you can immediately buy these products – which makes it an even more engaging experience. We’ve written a whole guide about Live Broadcasting, if you’re interested in learning more about it, read our dedicated guide.

What are the benefits of Live Video Shopping?

Livestream shopping brings significant benefits to the world of retail and e-Commerce. You can see the products in real-time, ask questions about them and even buy them directly from the live stream. Let’s sum up some more benefits of Live Video Shopping:

  • Drive product sales: our customers achieved a 5X increase in sales for broadcast viewers, by enabling their web visitors to purchase products directly from the live stream
  • Bring the in-store e-Commerce experience online: it’s the closest thing to being able to physically connect with your customers – which is a huge benefit relative to traditional online retail
  • Customers value personalized one to many experiences that reflect each of their individual interests and live shopping makes this possible
  • Our Retail Research paper states that customers find the online buying process more enjoyable and faster if they didn’t have to visit a retail store and can speak with a brand expert in real-time online
  • Customers expect to use the same or similar channels to the ones they use in their personal lives to talk to friends and family – live video is definitely one of them
  • IIt’s very convenient to use live shopping to make online purchases. You don’t need to leave your house for it, and our survey respondents said that they would like to minimize visiting physical stores due to COVID-19
  • The human element is very important for customers to feel connected to your brand and that’s exactly what live stream shopping brings to the table
  • There are so many options when it comes to live stream shopping: you can educate your audience about specific products, collaborate with other brands or influencers, launch new products, and much more!

Key differences from Home Shopping

Do you remember the QVC and Home Shopping Network channels? This was the same kind of approach during the 90’s and early 2000’s. But still there are some key differences between the ‘old fashioned way’ and this new, popular trend.

Live Shopping is, as the word already implies, live – and takes advantage of interacting with the audience in real-time. With QVC shopping the interaction between the presenters and the audience goes via call-ins, and Live stream shopping allows a way more personal interaction between the one to many stream and the audience.

How does Live Video Shopping work?

First of all, if you want to approach Livestream shopping like a pro, you should invest in a solution that A) you can easily embed on your website and B) that smoothly integrates with your existing e-Commerce store, so that your audience can purchase products directly from your live streams. By providing this innovative, engaging, and highly entertaining e-Commerce shopping experience to your online customers, you can drastically increase your online conversion rates and online sales.  

Make the most out of livestream shopping content

Livestream shopping enables audience engagement, which gives you full access to increase sales and get to know your target audience. Retailers who choose to host their own domains can offer video archives where viewers can watch past events on demand. Always think ahead how your online shopping content can be repurposed from livestream shopping events. Also consider to use your live stream shopping content in smaller segments via influencer marketing, social media, and other possible marketing channels. Think about how a livestream shopping might enhance your product detail pages or create a live shopping app to enrich your e-Commerce.