From the East to the West, livestream shopping has spiced up the e-commerce industry, and brands and retailers are quickly discovering its benefits. Shopping restrictions due to the pandemic accelerated this mega-trend, and customers are loving it. So, what’s the fuss all about? Let’s dive deeper into the topic of live video shopping and its potential to inspire millions of customers to purchase.

Firstly, what is livestream video shopping?

Livestream video shopping has been around for decades and now comes with a few modern twists. Much like the age-old practice of TV infomercials (which still thrives today), livestream video shopping features a host who promotes products that customers can buy. Customers can tune in to watch, learn, chat, and shop from tagged products directly from inside the live video. What used to be shopping from the comfort of your home has now extended to shopping from wherever the buyer is at that moment in time.

There are different types of livestream shopping. One combines advanced technology with social media channels, where customers can interact and purchase products directly from inside the video on their favourite social platform. An example of this is Instagram Live Shopping. The reach is only limited to the users of that social media network and can be a huge opportunity for brands to boost conversions.

Another type of live stream shopping includes technology that can be embedded into an online store, where the reach is limited to the visitors of that site. One example of a company leading the way in this form of live video shopping is Bambuser with its pioneering technology. This can greatly increase add-to-cart and conversion rates for brands, if the content aligns with the audience.

Why people love livestream video

Understanding why people are so engaged in live stream video is the first step to appreciating its value to brands. What actually drives people to tune into these shoppable live streams at a breathtaking pace?

Have you ever gone to an event just because you didn’t want to miss out? Similar to the event – a live video only lasts for a short time, so if you do not attend, you miss out. The “FOMO” is real, and that is the fuel that is firing this trend.

Think about TV for a second. The reason people love watching TV is because it informs them of the latest news, lets them feel connected to the world, people and companies, and gets them excited about fresh content. Online live streaming is no different, just a new and modern way to consume video content that also allows customers to buy when they feel connected and inspired.

Why brands should host live video shopping events

The lockdown made online consumption rise above any predicted numbers, and e-commerce grew by 30% in 2020.  Live streaming services were already popular, particularly for people between 18-34 years old, where 63% watch live videos regularly. So it makes perfect sense to add an e-commerce feature to live videos, where there is no new technology to get used to, and users are already engaging with the content.

If brands need any reassurance on just how popular live video shopping can be, a simple look to the East offers a great insight into how big this trend could become in the West. In 2020, 39% of China’s population viewed a live stream. That is an incredible 560 million people that brands can potentially leverage by hosting e-commerce live streaming events. Estée Lauder liked the look of these numbers and successfully did exactly this during Singles Day, where it is estimated they sold $300 million worth of products.

Another clear indicator that there is potential for brands to drive serious results comes down to two key sales metrics. Bambuser reported an average add-to-cart rate of 11% for a live stream shopping event, and around 35% of viewers would engage with comments. Putting this into perspective, the average add-to-cart rate for an online shop is 3-4%. Those additional percentages can add thousands, if not millions to your revenue.


Early adopters of livestream shopping events

There will always be early adopters of new technology, and brands in the beauty & fashion industry seem to be the trend-setters for livestream shopping.

Ted Baker was one of the first brands to launch their own live video shopping channel, providing a new and exciting customer experience. And the Swedish fashion brand Monki (owned by H&M), recently did a live event featuring loungewear.

Other brands that have jumped on the bandwagon are L’Oréal Group and Estée Lauder, which both integrated a livestream shopping function on their websites. Not to forget the influencer Nikita Dragun, who’s livestream event on Instagram had 5000 shoppers add-to-cart. With big brands and influencers like these leading the way, it’s only a matter of time until other hungry players enter the game.

Is livestream shopping here to stay?

Shoppers are still getting warmed up to this new way of buying, and as data shows – they are already loving it.  It’s an experiment that gives customers the power, and where brands can learn from each interaction. With other words, livestream shopping is becoming a great friend for retail. Forward-thinking brands are already adopting the trend, with laggards sure to follow. If done right, it’s a superpower with the ability to exert influence on a local and global scale.

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