Live shopping is a sales channel that relies on live videos online (the live streaming).
In 2016, the practice of live shopping (also called “live stream shopping” or “Live commerce”), already popular in China, exploded with the launch of Taobao Live by Alibaba: its live streaming platform.
Today, Live Streaming is the preferred solution for Chinese consumers when they want to discover new products and buy them immediately.
The COVID19 pandemic has accelerated its use in the US and Europe.
Live shopping recreates the in-store sales environment:
- the user benefits from a live shopping experience in which they can ask questions (chat room),
- observe the product from all angles,
- exchange with the community.
Digital merchants organize digital events similar to in-store events, without the customer having to worry about sanitary conditions, crowds, or shyness (because the interaction is not “one to one”).
For the customer, it is above all an entertainment, that encourages an impulse purchase.
For the merchant, it is a way to create an original event, at a lower cost and “without contact”, which is ideal to accompany a product launch or to highlight a selection of different products.
It is a real purchasing channel, complementary to in-store salespeople, which stimulates both engagement and sales.
Measurable, live shopping allows controlling its data: audiences, customer information, ROI, conversion rate, etc.
Often, the host hired by the merchant is an influencer and not a employee from the merchant:
- this encourages more spontaneous interactions,
- this creates a more genuine and friendly atmosphere with a more natural language, different from the brand’s official speech.
But it seems that the most effective way in Europe is to associate an influencer with a Product Expert.
Most social networks allow live shopping but some merchants use other platforms to integrate these events directly on their website (i.e with Caast.tv). The most important thing is to make sure that the participant can, from the live event, access directly to an integrated platform to buy, to pay, to follow the progress of the order, and to contact the customer service.
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