It began with shoppers having to get into their car or onto public transportation to head to a shopping mall and browse store after store to make their purchases, then we started shopping from the comfort of our own homes while perusing websites on our computers, which led to shopping directly on social media posts from our smart phones, and now, we’re seeing the next step in the evolution of shopping – live shopping.
E-commerce coupled with video live-streaming has created a live shopping experience. An interactive experience that showcases shoppable content and allows merchants to bring the in-store experience to life – simply online. Rather than potential customers having to read product descriptions and scour the internet for customer reviews, they can now join a live video broadcast and have real-time conversations about products before buying directly from the broadcast.
Live shopping generated $60 billion in global sales in 2019, according to Coresight, and the U.S. only accounted for less than $1 billion of that.
A Mobile-First Experience
With more and more shoppers turning to their cell phones for everything from shopping, paying bills, taking photos, to their banking – it’s no wonder live shopping is a trend to keep an eye on. This new way to shop online focuses mainly on mobile devices, lending itself well to current consumer behaviors. More than half of all internet traffic shopping takes place from a mobile device.
Mobile retail commerce revenue via smartphones was expected to generate sales of $221.2 billion in the United States in 2021, and projected to surpass $400 billion by 2024.
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This exclusive content gives customers an interactive and engaging personal experience with brands, influencers, and experts. And the fact that it’s live, creates a time sensitivity to urge customers to act quickly.
Videos with integrated e-commerce allow consumers to buy from brands instantly without leaving the experience – delivering the instant gratification customers expect and want today.
Amplify The Power Of Customer Experiences
Live shopping is the closest we’ve been able to get to replicating the in-store shopping experience – providing direct contact with consumers who are able to ask questions and interact with salespeople. Products are displayed in real world settings, and people can even have friends join on the same livestream so they can give their input and shop together virtually – providing a more authentic shopping experience.
90% of consumers say authenticity is important in deciding which brands they support.
The experience allows brands to exhibit their products in unique ways – like a fashion show, as a sales pitch similar to QVC, or as a personal fitting experience at the mall.
“It’s basically digitizing QVC and HSN. It’s a huge opportunity,” said Deborah Weinswig, chief executive officer of Coresight Research.
Connecting with audiences and having candid conversations in real-time gives potential customers a feeling of greater connection and less formality than writing into a contact form on a website or emailing customer service with their questions or concerns.
Unlike video ads, live shopping creates an environment where shoppers join by choice, and are not having any ads forced upon them – no cookies or tracking involved – simply potential customers virtually walking into your live stream shopping event because their interest has been piqued. Very similar to the in-person shopping mall experience.
Videos allow brands to tell stories featuring their products, and as we know, storytelling sells – building awareness, engagement, and sales.
This latest trend in e-commerce combines social media, the popularity of video, and technological advances to provide a very timely solution for consumers who have been stuck at home in lockdowns and quarantines, and looking forward to human connection.
Whether people join live shopping events for entertainment, to simply pass the time, or to enjoy a more interactive shopping experience, the current climate has accelerated live shopping’s appeal to online and brick-and-mortar shoppers alike.