Shopping patterns witnessed a sea change with the advent of online shopping. Now, the combination of technological advancements and social media is all set to bring an entirely new and exciting phase of shopping to our lives. Live shopping will define the eCommerce industry in the coming years.
Live shopping is a hybrid that combines traditional home shopping with live streaming, content marketing and influencer marketing.
What is live shopping?
Live shopping is the new phase of retail shopping, which provides you with an interactive way of shopping. The origin of live shopping can be traced back to the late 70s and mid-80s when live shopping networks like Home Shopping Channel introduced a novel way of shopping. These channels sold goods ranging from home products to beauty and fashion.
The products were sometimes endorsed by celebrities, but the hallmark of these channels were its well-known hosts. Here, customers could call and order products from the comfort of their homes.
In its current form, live selling allows celebrities, influencers, or store owners to create their own shopping channels, which are interactive and interact in real-time. You can ask questions and leave feedback or comments. The host can see these questions or comments sent by you; they address these queries during the live broadcast.
Live shopping can take many forms; it can be a fashion show, it could be celebrities reviewing a product and encouraging you to try it out, or an influencer running their channel to sell products.
Live streaming has digitised home shopping with the help of social media, websites, and apps. The interactive sessions where buyers can ask questions and share information with followers and friends is a crucial aspect of this live stream experience.
Why is live shopping gaining popularity?
Shopping from the convenience of your home in some form has been around for a while. However, it has gained immense popularity recently due to the following reasons:
- The COVID-19 pandemic confined us to our homes giving live shopping an impetus that saw sales shooting up multifold. Live shopping presented an option that most closely resembled with the in-person shopping experience.
- Live shopping allows you to watch people in real-time, try products and get instant feedback.
- Live selling allows you to have an emotional connection with sellers and encourages loyalty. Influencers also add a human touch to the entire shopping experience.
- When you shop through a live streaming channel, you have access to more information when compared to traditional forms of advertising.
- Live shopping creates excitement and also showcases the products well. The engaging format keeps users hooked for a long time and increases the likelihood of making a sale.
- It allows the sellers to target the right customers and save advertising monies.
Live shopping and the future of eCommerce
Before we discuss the future of eCommerce, let us have a look at these numbers:
- As per Statista, retail eCommerce sales worldwide amounted to $3.53 trillion in 2019. By 2022, these numbers are expected to grow to $6.54 trillion.
- iResearch data shows that China is likely to have 524 million online live-streaming users by the end of 2020.
- Kim Kardashian appeared on the Tmall live stream platform with one of China’s top influencers and sold 15,000 bottles of perfume in a matter of minutes.
Big brands like FaceBook and Amazon have taken cues from the live streaming boom and are providing customers with user-friendly ways of shopping. FaceBook, has introduced a new checkout feature on the popular app Instagram making selling products easy for sellers and more convenient to buy for buyers.
Brand owners need to stay informed and ahead of the curve. With the changing online ecosystem, they need to make sure that they invest in making social media platforms an integral and profitable part of their business. Brands that are quick to adapt to this changing environment are more likely to succeed and stay relevant.
Live shopping is not a passing trend but is the future of e-commerce. Just like social media has become an integral part of our lives, live shopping is also here to stay. Brands will have to create unique experiences for customers that blend online and offline modes in the future.