If you’ve recently been online, especially on your favorite social media platforms like Instagram, you would have noticed that Live content is taking over. From general Q&A sessions to how-to videos, and of course, live commerce, it’s pretty much become a new online staple.
When it comes to e-commerce, it’s important to keep up with the latest trends and changing markets. What better way to reach out to your audience during a live stream? This led to the development of e-commerce live streaming, also referred to as live commerce.
Businesses have been using these live tools to stay ahead of their competition while ensuring the best possible user experience, and we expect to see a lot more live commerce in 2022.
What is live commerce?
And so, we arrive at the million-dollar question, what is live commerce? Think of it as e-commerce taking to the next level. Similar to how brands use platforms such as Instagram Live to interact with their audience in real-time, live commerce uses the same functionality to sell products.
Influencers or brand advisors share the product during a live stream and answer real-time questions. Viewers are then able to purchase the product during the live stream. Sound pretty simple, right?
Well, yes, in some cases it is, provided you have the right tools of course. The idea is to host everything in the live environment and not redirect users. This means that you need to invest in live chat functionality, a live video shopping tool, and even look into a shopping cart integration.
You don’t need to go to extremes when first trying to use a live commerce platform. If you watched the LuLaRich documentary about LuLaRoe, you would have seen some of the consultants doing live auctions and sales of their products. This is a more basic form of live commerce. And the best part? It’s all online and can be done from home.
Where did live commerce originate from?
Live commerce first made its debut in May 2016 in China. Retail giant Alibaba’s Taobao Live was the first brand to host a live broadcast linked to an e-commerce store. The ability for audiences to watch the live stream and make purchases was an absolute game-changer.
Given the fact that China was the first to do this, as well as the size of the country, it only makes sense that live commerce is thriving there. So much so that researchers estimated that by 2026, 10 to 20 percent of all e-commerce sales will be generated by live commerce. Other countries are following closely behind and are already seeing the benefits of this new way of online shopping.
Why is live commerce essential for e-commerce brands?
Billions of people have made the move to shopping online, and it’s only natural to consider the next steps in ensuring the ultimate online shopping experience. More importantly, finding ways to personalize the online shopping experience has become all the more important.
You see, society has been actively looking for ways to get things done in the simplest, most effective way possible. Shopping online checks all of the boxes when it comes to this. From daily groceries to lavish gifts and everything in between, consumers have stopped venturing out into the world and instead order everything from the comfort of their homes.
Brands that can elevate what would otherwise be an impersonal experience will find themselves becoming the go-to solution. And isn’t that the point of it all? To stand out from the crowd.
So, to embrace the world of e-commerce and deliver a personalized shopping experience, live commerce is incredibly important. An in-store experience from home if you will.
To put it into perspective, imagine a person is looking for the best pair of wireless earbuds. They would look for a brand specializing in it and research their products to decide. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t always have all the answers, but a salesperson does. Live commerce bridges this gap by allowing real-time feedback.
6 live commerce strategies worth trying
When it comes to live commerce, there are a few ways that you can keep things interesting while promoting your product. We’ll even share a few strategies that will make it easier than ever to do so.
Invite your audience to ask you questions about your brand and product and answer them in real-time. You can then link the segment to the product in question and allow viewers to add the product to their cart. It’s a chance to connect with your audience, be an advocate for the brand, and ensure that nothing gets lost in translation.
To build credibility, reach a wider audience, and add entertainment value to your live commerce session, we recommend partnering with an influencer. This person needs to be familiar with your brand and be relevant in the industry.
Why say what your product can do when you can show people? Live product demonstrations are an opportunity to showcase your range as well as all the things that make it unique. You could also make it more of a how-to session if you like, showing people how to use it properly as well as any hidden features.
A glimpse behind the scenes
This is a chance to get personal and show people what goes on within your company. Share a team-building session or a brainstorming session for an upcoming product.
Exclusive content that shows something that people would otherwise be missing is always a winner.
Another great way to engage with your audience is to play live games. Pose a question and wait for the first correct answer in the comments, or use it to launch a more conceptual campaign, the options are endless.
People love free stuff, so when it’s part of your live commerce session you know you’ll have people interested. Offer a prize for the first person to spot a product in the background or answers a question directly – there are so many ways to go about this.
The challenges of live commerce
As great as live commerce can be, it’s not without its pitfalls. The most obvious challenge is connectivity. If audiences have a lag, it will interrupt the experience and be off-putting. It also runs the risk of them missing something important.
Another challenge is a lack of preparation from the brand’s side. Not starting on time or having things set up will look a lot like amateur hour, and if you don’t care about it, why should your audience?
The final challenge we will be mentioning is the tools and infrastructure to do this. You want this to be the best possible customer experience, and while the o hiccup may happen, you need to invest in a proper setup to do this. From Your camera to your connection and even the e-commerce functionality that you will be pulling over to facilitate the session. Everything needs to be perfect and in working order.
Online shopping has been reimagined
Gone are the days when people ordered goods online only to have them arrive 3 weeks later. We live in an age of instant gratification. The ability to shop for your favorite brands has become more accessible, the turnaround times halved, and payment gateways are now more secure.
Everything has built up to this moment. This point is where live commerce combines the beauty of online shopping with an in-store experience. All that’s left to do is use this tool to dominate sales and take your business to the next level.
About the author
Ghia Marnewick is a creative content writer for Aumcore, a digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO and creative content marketing services. She is passionate about finding new ways of sharing information with the world.