The e-commerce landscape is ever-evolving, making it important for online retailers to regularly reinvent their approach to keep up with changing market trends and consumer expectations.
One of the most talked about developments in e-commerce is the integration of livestreaming. Live shopping, livestream shopping, live commerce — you can call it by many names.
But what’s worth noting is that it’s fast becoming an indispensable part of the online shopping experience.
The Rise of Live Commerce
The concept of live commerce or livestream shopping isn’t new. Teleshopping channels like QVC are known for hosting live broadcasts to showcase various products for years. Viewers can talk to a host on the phone, ask questions, and buy products at discounted prices.
The best part — all of this happens in real-time. QVC has been operational for nearly four decades and broadcasts to more than 380 million households in seven countries.
Livestream shopping, though, takes things up a notch by integrating live online broadcasts into e-commerce stores. Launched in 2016, Alibaba’s Taobao Live is one of the first livestream shopping platforms worldwide.
In 2020, Alibaba’s Singles Day campaign on Taobao Live generated transactions worth $75 million within the first 30 minutes. The popularity of live shopping in China has skyrocketed further, with 460 million Chinese consumers purchasing products via livestream in 2021. That’s nearly half of all internet users in the country.
While China has spearheaded the livestreaming revolution in e-commerce, many Western brands have followed suit. In December 2020, Walmart hosted a livestream fashion event on TikTok. It helped the retail giant increase its TikTok follower count by 25%. Other popular brands, such as Tommy Hilfiger, JCPenny, and Aldo, have also tried their hands on live commerce.
Livestream Shopping: A Closer Look
Simply put, livestream shopping or live commerce refers to the use of online livestream broadcasts to promote and sell products.
To achieve this, you can host livestream events on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Alternatively, you can take things to the next level with your own streaming platform.
It’ll help strengthen brand awareness and reputation. Moreover, it can help you craft a customized user experience, as you’ll have full control over your platform.
Finally, it’ll help you build a loyal audience that looks forward to watching your content. While launching a branded streaming platform can be resource-intensive, using a no-code app-building solution like Zype Apps Creator can simplify the process.
That said, irrespective of the mode of distribution, you’ll need a well-defined content strategy to hit the right chord with your audience. Listing out product features and prices isn’t enough. Instead, you need to give compelling reasons to your audience to buy from you.
To influence them better, you can collaborate with influencers and key opinion leaders in your niche to build an audience. You can invite influencers to do a quick product tutorial and share their experience using it. Alternatively, you can get influencers to talk about the various products you have on offer.
Why Use Live Shopping?
The business benefits of livestream shopping include:
Improved Audience Engagement
Live commerce replicates the personal touch of shopping at a brick-and-mortar store. Shoppers can consult an expert, resolve their queries, and decide whether to purchase a product. It creates a more immersive and personalized shopping experience. Essentially, it combines the best of e-commerce and brick-and-mortar shopping experiences.
Partnering with influencers for livestream broadcasts helps earn your audience’s trust and boosts your reach. When an influencer tries your products or shares their review, it serves as a vote of confidence, encouraging their followers to purchase from you, thus leading to more conversions.
A Sense of Urgency
Offering limited-period discount codes and coupons during a livestream helps you harness your audience’s FOMO (fear of missing out). It tempts them to buy from you right away. For instance, you could launch special discounts for the duration of the stream.
Live commerce is still an emerging concept. That means using it now will give you a headstart over your competitors. It’ll differentiate the shopping experience on your online store and position your brand as cutting-edge and innovative. That, in turn, will reinforce brand authority.
Technical Requirements of Livestream Shopping
First, you can use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to try your hands on live commerce. But if you want to use it to enhance customer experience, it’s a good idea to build your own streaming app.
That, in turn, requires you to build a tech stack comprising the following:
Real-Time Streaming Solution
Building a livestreaming app usually involves more complexities than creating an on-demand, over-the-top (OTT) platform, considering you’d have to deliver video content in real time.
That calls for an end-to-end livestreaming solution like Zype Live that covers all aspects of delivering live video content to your audience. With Zype Live, you get a user-friendly dashboard to announce, host, and manage livestream events.
Irrespective of the solution you choose, make sure it takes care of transcoding, monetization, and distribution. Also, it should offer low-latency video streaming to facilitate real-time reactions from viewers and create an immersive experience.
Scalable Video Delivery
The video streaming solution you use must have the ability to support your growing audience. It’s essential to expand your reach and attract a global audience. Otherwise, it can hamper the viewing experience with poor video quality and delays due to slow buffering.
With Zype Live, you benefit from reliable, multi-CDN (content delivery network) support comprising thousands of POPs (points of presence). That makes delivering live videos to viewers in different geographic locations easier with minimal latency.
Monitoring consumer behavior is a crucial part of livestream shopping. It helps you identify best-selling products and top-performing content. This enables you to optimize customer experience with personalized product recommendations and offers.
The good thing here is that most livestreaming solutions will provide you with in-depth video analytics. You get access to video-level and user-level analytics, which can help improve your content strategy. Additionally, you get an insight into viewers’ preferences, such as when they’re most likely to be online or the devices they enjoy using.
How To Get Started with Livestream Shopping
If you’re ready to jump on the live commerce bandwagon, here are a few helpful tips:
Define Your Goals
The first step is identifying the reasons and motivations behind venturing into livestream shopping.
Do you want to use it to build brand awareness and attract a wider audience? Or do you want to drive more sales with it? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you create a well-rounded content strategy.
Next, you must determine how much you want to control the customer experience. If you desire to control how viewers browse and purchase your products while watching a livestream, consider building a branded app. Also, evaluate the benefits and feasibility of enhancing your app with tech innovations like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
Build Your Live Shopping App
The next step is to develop a user-friendly and well-designed livestreaming app with e-commerce functionalities. A branded app can help you stand out from the crowd and personalize the user experience.
To develop one, you can hire developers or use a customizable solution like Zype Apps Creator for a faster turnaround time.
The benefits of using Apps Creator aren’t restricted to convenience and speed. It lets you leverage Zype’s entire suite of tools to build an attractive, scalable, and user-friendly live streaming app. You can even implement various monetization strategies and use in-depth video analytics to enhance your app and content. The best part is that you can also use the app to publish on-demand content.
Don’t Ignore Social Media
A branded live shopping app is crucial for building audience engagement and loyalty. But if you’re starting out, it’s a good idea to use live shopping features on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
Besides, the vast reach of these platforms makes it easier to attract viewers to your livestream content to amplify brand visibility and sales. Also, you can use pre-configured e-commerce tools to showcase products and drive sales.
Once you’ve built your app, you can use social media to promote the app and live streaming events. This way, you can use it as a marketing channel to attract new customers.
Start Generating Sales by Livestreaming
Livestream shopping is here to stay, and online retailers can use it to gain a competitive edge and drive more conversions. Besides hosting live broadcasts on social media platforms, you can also launch your own streaming platform.
Zype Apps Creator helps you get your streaming app up and running in a few clicks. Request a demo to see Apps Creator in action.