Remember watching TV shopping networks? You could pick up your phone and book an order. Imagine that, but better – on your favorite social media platforms and more. That’s Livestream shopping.
Livestream shopping is a trend that’s catching on really fast worldwide. Here, a host (a business owner, an influencer, a celebrity, or an in-house team) can hop on livestream and sell exclusive products to you! You’re bound to have come across livestream shopping on your social media platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram.
How Does Livestream Shopping Work
However, these days, even Amazon and independent platforms are coming up to support livestream shopping. While online shopping is convenient and smooth, you often miss the touch of physical or direct engagement.
You see a product, and you either buy it or you don’t. If you have some doubts about the products, then you just go past it and forget it.
But livestream shopping allows you to get these doubts addressed in person. You can interact with a host who’ll typically give you more details about a product than you find on online platforms, answer queries, and show different live angles of a product. Pictures can be restrictive; that’s why video content in real-time works best.
Due to their huge popularity, brands—big and small—are looking to capitalize on livestream shopping. If you’re also one of them, you should definitely do your research before you get started.
Elements of Livestream Shopping
To work, livestream shopping needs these four elements:
#1. Video Content
The essence of livestream shopping relies entirely on video content. The main goal of this trending shopping mechanism is to sell products on a livestream or a live show. Hence, a video format is essential.
To make a livestream successful, creators or brands often rely on promotional offers, giveaways, and exclusive launches to build urgency and exclusivity. Promotional ads might be released before with event details to pull more crowds to the livestream.
Each livestream show lasts from 20 minutes to an hour, on average. Even some shows can go up to two hours or longer. It has been noted that shows between an hour or two perform the best, as creators and hosts can show off more products and an extensive collection. Hence, that piques interest and ensures there are products for almost everyone.
Livestream shopping is interactional, active, and LIVE! So, of course, it needs a host who can run it. The host showcases products, shares prices, launches exclusive or new products and also conducts sales. The host is responsible for letting you know if a product is sold out or it is selling out.
Most products have their own item codes, and they can be booked on a website or by calling a number. However, livestream shopping also works by a lot of users commenting to book a certain product.
If a product is limited, bookings are taken on a first-come, first-serve basis. Now, small business owners often act as hosts of their livestream shows. But for bigger brands, influencers and celebrities act as hosts.
They help build reliability, credibility, and trust with the audience. A new user might not know your brand but is sure to know a popular celebrity or an emerging influencer – which helps in brand discovery and brand familiarity.
It goes without saying that a livestream shopping show needs products that the host sells on air. Moreover, if you’re wondering if you should venture into livestream shopping, you might be interested to know which products sell the most.
The ideal choice for livestream shopping is fashion products – jewelry, clothing, and accessories. Furniture, furnishings, and food items are also picked up.
The market’s also beginning to look up for tech products and gadgets. More and more influencers are coming up with swanky new gadgets, consoles, and utility products that are getting a lot of traction on Facebook or TikTok Live.
In fact, people are also hosting livestream shopping shows for real estate. You can see houses, villas, and cars as well! You might be able to book a visit to the home or test-drive a car once you book the product to ensure it’s a good buy.
Livestream shows are quite popular on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. Not only that, you’ll also find them on e-commerce sites like Amazon.
You can also find independent shopping platforms like Grip, Bambuser, and Livescale. While Livescale allows brands and retailers to sell their products, other platforms like Grip allow anyone and anywhere to sell their products, including independent contractors and small businesses.
You can choose which platforms work for you by assessing three metrics:
The platform that’s most popular for your product category
The platform(s) where your target audience is or where your competitors are
A market gap where the platform has a great audience base but no current sellers
Furthermore, if you’re starting out, it makes more sense to use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. They’d not cost you a dime! You can also try independent sites, but be ready to pay a cut of your sales or a subscription fee.
Should You Hire an Influencer Host for Livestream Shopping?
An influencer host can put your brand on the map. This is extremely useful for brand discovery to a newer audience. Choose someone who’s vibrant and credible. If someone has a positive temperament, and audiences see that they’re promoting your product or collaborating with your brand, they’re in a better position to trust your brand.
Hence, it’s a good idea to hire an influencer host. Even big brands hire influencers as they’re really popular with the Gen Z or millennial crowds. Moreover, bigger brands hire celebrities for brand discovery and better engagement.
Let’s take a quick look at the benefits an influencer host or a celebrity can get you:
Better engagement and increased conversion rates
Brand loyalty once a brand has been discovered
Improved brand awareness and a clear differentiation from similar players in the market
Increased sales by encouraging impulse buying due to the fear of missing out
As great marketers often understand, people don’t buy people from brands – they buy from people. Hence, having a host who’s popular and positive can help you create returning visitors. However, don’t feel compelled to hire a host if it’s not within your budget.
For small businesses, the best bet can be for the business owner to be the host. It helps in building trust, and helps you build genuine seller connections who buy the product because they trust you.
How to Get Started With Livestream Shopping
As a brand or a retailer, getting started with livestream shopping might look like a challenging task. Let these pointers guide you to success:
#1. Choose a Platform
As a brand, it’s important to start off your livestream shopping journey with a free platform. Hence, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the best options.
While choosing a social media platform, you can decide to ruin livestreams on all the platforms to see how they’re working. Which platform’s getting more traffic, etc..
If you don’t have the bandwidth to do so, testing out the waters by picking a platform where your brand page has a decent follower count and engagement rate is a good idea. This platform should also be popular in the domain you’ll sell in, and you should have a few existing customers or brand loyalists who’ll log in to your first few shows!
Once you’ve caught the hang of it, you can expand to e-commerce livestream shopping platforms, as well as sell on multiple independent platforms to increase your brand presence and sales.
#2. Test Livestream on Organic Channels
Before you opt for any paid livestream channels, it’s recommended to test out on organic channels. It can operate as your practice ground for becoming a pro!
You can also conduct these test runs to ensure you do not have technical glitches holding you back. Moreover, organic channels show you if the demand for livestreams is existent and if your existing brand followers and shoppers prefer this channel of shopping.
#3. Select the Right Products
You might have an unlimited number of products. But your time on a livestream is limited! That’s important information to remember when you’re about to enter the world of livestream shopping.
Carefully choose an array of products that’ll do good in a livestream. For example, you can choose products/item designs that are trending at that point in time to make the most out of moment marketing.
Moreover, you can also pick products that show who you are as a brand. In fact, your selection of products should have something for everyone. You can choose a theme to showcase products and give users a sneak peek of other products you have to pique their interest.
#4. Choose the Right Host
Unless you’re hosting the livestream as a business owner or a brand owner, choosing the host can become tricky. You can either pick an influencer or pick someone from your in-house social media team who’s positive, can have fun conversations, and is a great talker.
If you’re choosing someone in-house, they should know how to sell by talking up products and engaging audiences. However, if you want to pick an influencer, you might want to pick someone who’s popular on the platform.
For example, if you’re hosting a livestream on Facebook, find an influencer who’s popular on Facebook and not Instagram, if not both. You also have to pick someone who’s funny, popular with people, and isn’t considered rude. Moreover, the person has to fit in with your brand. If your brand is all about affordability, and you hire an influencer who’s associated with glam or luxury, your products might never sell.
That’s because it’s not what your target audience wants. If you want to break into a new demographic with newer products, hiring a specific niche influencer can work!
#5. Promote the Event
If you’re just starting out with a livestream, we can’t stress the importance of promoting your event before the due date. You want people to join your livestream. High engagement, higher sales, and more chances of returning customers.
Do promotional ads and add posts and stories leading up to the events. Don’t forget to highlight the time (with time zone) and the channel. You can also include other important details like what products to expect, without giving away too much!
You can also build up anticipation for trending or sought-after products, especially through event promotions. Event promotions, if done right, account for half of the success of your livestream shows.
#6. Capture & Retain Attention
You should never underestimate the importance of the first few minutes. Introduce yourself, say what you’re selling, and ask people to engage with you via comments or likes. That’s a way of getting them to participate and engage in the first few minutes to build interest.
You also have to do a good job of retaining their attention throughout. So, turn the livestream into a fun conversation where it seems like you’re chatting with your buddies over a great product.
However, don’t forget to mention important details about the product: price, size, limited edition, stocks, and whatever you think is important for people to make a purchase. Take questions on air from comments and answer them to build interest in products.
For audiences who’ll be joining mid-way into your livestream, keep introducing yourself, your brand, and what you’re selling. Also, share links to where they can shop for previously shown items or find more collections in general.
Best Platforms for Livestream Shopping
You can’t get started with livestream shopping unless you know the platforms where it’s big. Take a look at the platforms you should rule in the upcoming months:
A lot of livestream shopping started from Facebook. It’s organic, and the brand is also adding eCommerce features like options to add your website link to support livestream shopping activities.
Another place where the trend’s picking up is Instagram. You can create online stores, showcase products, or shop directly from a button while the livestream is on.
TikTok lets you schedule a livestream event on the calendar. This helps your audiences discover about your upcoming event if they visit your page or interact with your content. TikTok also has numerous livestream shopping formats you can choose from. There are Behind-the-Scenes Demos/Tutorials, Product Releases, Q&A, and a variety of programs.
You can also add a moderator on shows, view analytics, invite a co-host, and find help to boost your engagement. Plus, you can use filters, music, effects, and other features to showcase your products better!
Twitch used to be known for video game streaming. But with its millions of users, it has integrated music and shopping-friendly features and is doing quite well for livestream shopping.
Livescale is an independent live shopping platform that allows anyone to sell. With useful integrations like Shopify, Livescale can help you hire a vibrant host who’s a good fit for your brand and do other promotional activities. It’s a one-stop solution for livestream shopping needs.
Amazon Live, the eCommerce solution, has a livestream dedicated service now with featured creators and popular products, all integrated with Amazon. You can see new product releases, launches, and sales and have your favorite creators test and recommend the products they swear by.
Livestream Shopping’s the Rage
Livestream shopping is incredibly popular, and why should it not be? It blends the beauty of physical shopping with the convenience of online shopping. Online shopping misses an element of personality, and that’s what livestream shopping makes up for!
However, you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. You can shop from your couch, sitting in a different country, and have it shipped to your doorstep. Brands are constantly looking for newer ways to sell, and this looks like one of the ways that’s going to stay.
Livestream shopping also allows users to find like-minded users and make friends. The rise of online communities are on the rise; hence it can be said that livestream shopping is showing no signs of stopping.
Gargi is an experienced writer & editor who specializes in creating copies that inspire confidence and conversions. With 7+ years in the industry, she’s currently the Lead Sub-Editor of a global magazine. Her expertise lies in the home… read more
Narendra Mohan Mittal
Narendra Mohan Mittal is a Senior Digital Branding Strategist and Content Editor with over 12 years of versatile experience. He holds an M-Tech (Gold Medalist) and B-Tech (Gold Medalist) in Computer Science & Engineering.
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