While no one was thinking about live commerce three years ago, it has suddenly surfaced and is now growing unstoppably; according to analysts, live shopping sales will make up to 20% of all eCommerce sales as soon as 2026.
That’s partly because shoppers want their brands to become more digitally innovative and partly because the very same shoppers are looking for more convenient ways to discover and purchase items.
So, why should you consider integrating live shopping into your strategy? Keep on reading and learn more about the benefits and trends of live shopping, and it might convince you to integrate it into your own agenda for 2023.
Live Shopping Benefits
There are some clear benefits that live commerce brings to the table, and we’d like to start counting them with the following:
Video content is the king ruler on all social media platforms these days. No wonder that being such, video content has higher engagement rates, with people twice as likely to share it with their friends than any other type of content.
That being said, live shopping also enables users to chat with the seller in real time and learn about the things they’d like to know about the product before purchasing. Moreover, because they can do it in real-time, the decision-making period shortens significantly, leading to almost-instant sales.
So, if you want your content to have better engagement leading to sales, live shopping might be your answer.
Rapid Sales Increase
Not all live shopping events enjoy the spotlight, but if done well, they can expose your product and brand to tons of people in just a few minutes. And when your viewers are enjoying what they see, they are very likely to invite others to join in on the event.
Here’s an example from 2020 – a celebrity jeweler was able to sell 120,000$ worth of gold-colored vacuum sealers (yes, vacuum sealers, not engagement rings or something) in just five seconds. The event was hosted on a live shopping platform called NTWRK, and there’s no need to tell you that it was a huge success. And that’s the power of live retailing!
Heightened Brand Awareness
Getting in front of your target audience is the key to building brand awareness. And live shopping enables you to do that quite literally.
Your audience is bound to remember you if they have a chance to see you via live shopping and interact with you there. And, to make things even more memorable, you could always collaborate with an influencer to host your event and make it into an entertaining soiree. This can absolutely raise your brand’s popularity among customers and improve brand recall.
Prompt For Impulse Buying
Impulse purchases are always good for business, and in order for this to happen, you should aim to fully immerse your audiences into a digital shopping experience.
And this is where live shopping steps in – once people see others buying the product, an urge to buy now arises and is heightened if the product is on a discount until the end of a live shopping session. And if the product is promoted by someone (like an influencer) to whom said person looks up, you probably have a certain sale on your hands.
Okay, with benefits all lined up, it’s time to dig deeper into upcoming year’s trends for live shopping.
Live Commerce Trends For 2023
Although live shopping has existed for a long while now, it truly came under the radar in 2022. Now, every article stresses its importance, and every brand tries to hop on the wagon in time. So, here’s what you have to know and should expect from live-stream shopping in 2023:
One-to-One Shopping Experiences
If streaming and selling to a broad audience isn’t your type of thing, there’s another venue that might present a great opportunity for you – one-to-one shopping. Here, each customer is directly paired with a product-matched specialist. This allows the client to have a personalized shopping experience and talk to a specialist who can give their complete attention.
The one-on-one shopping experience has proved to be a great tool for selling luxury items or purchases that require a bit more consideration. That said, this personal shopping experience also presents an opportunity to upsell, is easy to set up, and allows tracking customer satisfaction pretty easily. And besides all that, it is also much cheaper to run compared to streams hosted by influencers or celebrities.
Since a one-to-one shopping experience allows for lots of flexibility (and who wants to drive to stores these days, anyway?) and a chance to get a professional consultation, it is steadily on the rise in demand and popularity.
That’s what we are here for, right? And unsurprisingly, the merger between live stream shopping and influencer marketing proved to be a successful one. While initially, the idea of influencers hosting live shopping events gained popularity in the Asian markets, it is now popular around the globe. For example, Shopify’s recent collaboration with TikTok influencers enabled users to purchase products in live streams as well as engage with others in live chat.
Influencers in live shopping are so successful because they can create a genuine link between the customers and the host. And let’s not forget that an influencer will always be trustworthy in his follower’s eyes, a fact that greatly influences purchase decisions.
Introducing a new item during a live-stream shopping event creates just the right amount of buzz and allows you to track engagement easily. A product launch is also a great incentive to maximize influencer marketing.
While live product launches aren’t exactly new, they have never before been aimed at selling a product on the spot. So now that the rules have changed, live-stream product launches are regaining their popularity and solidifying their position.
Just as the name states, omnichannel retailing is aimed at creating a seamless customer experience, whether they shop in a physical store, through a mobile device, or a computer, and to create such a flawless experience, retailers have to make sure that customers will get the same amount of engagement and attentiveness shopping digitally like they would while visiting a physical store.
Although the omnichannel retail strategy was created when stores had to shut down during the pandemic, customers took a liking to it and wanted to see even more of this shopping experience.
AR And VR Shopping
The AR and VR market has already made its presence felt by garnering $28 million in 2021, with an expectation to make $450 billion by 2030. And with such big brands as Ray-Ban, Macy’s, and Sephora adopting AR/VR into their retail strategy, it is only a matter of time before it becomes mainstream.
If you need some facts, here they are – Shopify stated that adding video can help increase conversion rates by 60% compared to buyers interacting with images only. And for dessert – brands that added 3D content to their stores expect 94% better conversion rates.
That said, AR is one step ahead in the shopping race as compared to VR. Since AR provides customers with a physical, real-life environment where they can see both the real world and virtual objects, it serves better in selling products than the immersive, simulated version of reality in VR.
Think about it like this – you’re shopping for a sofa. Even if you go to a physical store, you have no real clue how it would actually look when placed in the room. So, you use AR to place it in your surroundings, and it gives you a clear idea of whether it matches the interior or not. So, with this technology, the client really doesn’t have to go to a physical store and rely solely on digital shopping.
And because the customer can visualize the product before making a purchase, it increases their confidence in the store and bridges the gap between physical stores and online shopping.
Intersection With Social Commerce
Social commerce is growing like crazy, and all because the younger generations turn to their favorite platforms (that’s TikTok, of course) for much more than just interactions and content. So, to satisfy the demand, social media platforms (again, TikTok) are starting to integrate live shopping into their agenda.
Shopping on social channels adds clear value to the live commerce experience. See, this way, the users can do all their item discovery and purchases right on their favorite platforms without even closing the app. So, be prepared to open a TikTok or Instagram shop as soon as the implementations reach us.
Voice Of Customer
Voice of Customer (VoC) integration is ingenious if you want to instantly collect customer feedback. Brands can include VoC in their live shopping experiences by deploying surveys on their websites, a post-purchase check-in via email, SMS, or a chatbot.
This, naturally, provides a way to gather insights into customers’ needs, expectations, and experiences, which, in turn, helps tweak strategies, improve shopping experiences, and boost conversion rates.
And since people are more and more open (and wanting!) to chat with brands directly, the Voice of Customer solution integration is a clear must in the upcoming year’s agenda.
Live shopping is, basically, an upgraded version of traditional online shopping. With live shopping, each customer can expect to get the same amount of engagement and attentiveness as they would shopping in physical stores and that alone presents a win-win situation that benefits both the clients and the retailers. And it’s definitely not a trend, but rather a new strategy that all online retailers should absolutely embrace.