Brick and mortar stores are slowly fading, and Dead Malls are iconic. The retail experience we remember in these store’s heyday had a tremendous shift in the last several years. When asked a favorite store, a go-to answer is Amazon which dominates the market because consumers prefer to shop online. Even if consumers use a brick-and-mortar store for their purchases, they are just as likely to use services like Instacart. Although many people enjoy the ease and the entertainment value live stream offers, others still think of it as e-commerce which is a predecessor to this concept. Many people feel that they won’t receive the same assistance level if they shop online. However, Live Stream shopping is changing that perception. E-commerce stores have a broader reach because they can help more customers at the same time. Additionally, they serve a global community making it easier for people to choose smaller companies that otherwise wouldn’t have this reach. According to Neil Patel, “Livestream shopping effectively combines the two, putting digital retailers in front of a vast online audience while still allowing them to respond to customers on a one-on-one level.” One example of Livestream shopping is influencers who broadcast live on social media showing off trendy products. These videos inspire consumers to go to the website and purchase the product. According to influencermarketinghub.com, “eCommerce has grown by 30% in the last year.” China is the global leader, which is projecting 170 billion dollars at the end of the year. Livestream surpasses e-commerce because consumers can see the products and comment on live stream broadcasts, giving them the ability to make better-informed decisions. These are five companies shaping this emerging trend.
1. Amazon Live
Amazon dominates the online shopping market. Now, it’s leveled up its success. Its new venture is Amazon Live. The concept is perfect for influencers. Their platform allows the user to create a list of products, allowing their potential customer to click on it and purchase it directly from Amazon. Amazon Live also has a native app, downloadable from their store. Additionally, features like product highlighting, live promotions, and a chat feature are similar to the live stream features on social media platforms like Facebook. Many products promoted will generate commissions for the influencer. Amazon also gives additional benefits for longer streams. As you continue to use the forum, your commissions increase and being in more strategic placements.
They are the go-to for DIY videos, makeup tutorials, and general how-tos. Now, the company is opening up its platform further. They’re integrating their videos with the products, allowing access directly from the video while displayed. The at-home shopping network QVC is the largest client to use their website. Youtube offers several ad options to monetize your live stream successfully. There are three different ad types someone can use. Pre-roll ads run before the live stream viewable on mobile and computer. Mid-roll ads can be added manually by the person doing the Livestream. Additionally, there are display and overlay ads that run across the Livestream, much like traditional advertising.
Their website proclaims, “Ever wanted to be the star of your shopping channel? Good news: Instagram’s new Live Shopping feature is here to make you a shoppable star, baby!” There are several qualifications to use this service, having a business account and being a US citizen. Afterward, you can build a catalog of items. The website has numerous tutorials for help. Your loyal fans will be able to click on y our products during your live broadcast, see the details, and decide to purchase. Instagram has also added a checkout feature that tags products from the influencer’s Facebook Shop before going live. Their site strives to be fully integrated, making it one of the most accessible platforms for purchasing items.
According to marketingtochina.com, “Taobao has been hailed as the Chinese equivalent of Amazon. For foreign brands, it is still difficult to enter a distribution channel in China, as most of them are difficult to understand and are not very open to innovation and integration of foreign products.” The platform has millions of Chinese sellers and shops utilizing a C2C system, allowing goods directly to the consumer. Equating it, Amazon is not overselling. The website is the go-to platform for Chinese people to make an e-commerce purchase.
Area 120 is a Google division that focuses on cutting-edge products. Its platform Shoploop stands out because it is more interactive than the other live stream services. The videos are 90 seconds or less, allowing viewers to make a quicker, more informed decision. Influencers might seem a little over the top, some using wild antics and over-the-top videos to sell their products. This platform strives to use real people who use these products with success. If the product is something the consumer is interested in, they can opt to purchase or save it later.
Many more retail changes and online shopping platforms tried this format. Klarna was a surprising choice since it is a model based on multi-part shopping. Nordstrom launched several events focused on the emerging concept. Recently, Aldo tried the trend. They asked Mimi Cuttreell, a celebrity stylist, and TikTok star Nate Wyatt to participate. Aldo CEO commented on the emerging live stream shopping experience, “While Livestream never truly replace the in-person shopping experience, it’s a great alternative for people whose shopping habits have shifted.” Although many people will still choose to walk into local stores because they like face-to-face interaction, or it’s a way to catch up with people they always see at the store, live stream shopping continues to trend. Perhaps platforms like Etsy will integrate LiveStream shopping on their platform. The landscape of shopping changed drastically during the Pandemic. More people opted to follow stay-at-home orders but craved interaction that e-commerce didn’t provide. The need for this shopping experience without other options helped bring LiveStream shopping experiences to the forefront of consumer choices.