Everything now: live shopping is the future of retail
According to statistics, e-commerce profits are rising up to USD 6.54 trillion in 2022, which is almost double the amount from 2019. — Statista
How? The rising trend of online shopping. It has becomes the most popular online activities worldwide. Now, it is really easy to browse and shop online. With a single swipe, your purchase is instantly made. It has become more interactive now withe hugely popular & rapidly growing trend that is known to be the future of retail; live shopping.
Live stream shopping or ‘live shopping’, is a mixture of traditional home shopping in television, live streaming, info commercial as well as influencer marketing. It comes in different forms such as fashion shows where the customers can purchase the products showcased during the runway in real time, but the most looked up to will be live streaming of celebrities & influencers reviewing their favourite products & selling them to their followers.
The real-time excitement & drama inside the live stream have been altered to have e-commerce integrations so brands & influencers can capitalise it to a captive audience. There is something addicting about experiencing live promotional sales from celebrities & influencers which people seems to not get enough of it.
What’s the fuss?
A major attraction to live shopping is that viewers are able to interact with brands and influencers in real-time. It has become the perfect bridge between online browsing and in-store shopping, where customers can ask questions and receive immediate responses from their TVs or computers without ever having to leave home! This has a positive effect for retailers as live videos bring a traditional photographed product catalogue alive — especially when viewers can see products being used through video chat on social media sites like Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp. The ability for people who may be curious about purchasing an item but aren’t sure if they want it yet because of changes over time such as price dropping will have all of their questions answered by watching the stream during which they’ll also get instant feedback from the brands/ influencers.
Live shopping tends to lead people into buying products at the last minute with discounts because they want not to miss out on a good deal, and live streams play right into that fear. Live streaming can be exclusive by only allowing purchases during these times when viewership is high, which increases FOMO (fear of missing out) in viewers who are determined to buy something even if it’s still available later down the line.
People also see this format as a more honest depiction of a product, without the high-tech marketing and promotional tricks seen in traditional advertisements. This leads viewers to establish a more engaging personal connection with the influencer promoting new products as they are living, breathing personifications of the brand they are representing. This, of course, helps brands establish emotional connections with their customers which further boosts brand loyalty.
Influencers are more than just human billboards, they represent brands in an authentic and engaging way. Influencer marketing has been proven to be successful when a connection is established by the viewer with the influencer that promotes new products as living beings of their brand representative. This connects them on a personal level which helps boost customer engagement and loyalty for this product.
Where is live shopping trending currently?
Live stream shopping started off strong in Asian markets this past January when Chinese companies had a total market average of $4.1Bn annually; that number is expected to grow exponentially for 2020 and beyond! Alibaba’s popular marketplace, Taobao, offers its own Live Streaming Channel where you can watch your favorite sellers show off their goods.
Tencent, the creators of WeChat has invested $294 million into a new live-streaming and shopping platform that will allow for better real time communication with customers. Tencent is counting on Now Live to capture China’s growing demand in both online retail markets as well as social media trends. With over 1 billion users worldwide, it seems like an easy bet!
The Chinese people are increasingly turning towards eCommerce outlets due to their longevity across many platforms such as messaging apps like WhatsApp or Instagram Stories which have carved out niches by emphasizing immediacy thanks largely in part to its availability at any given moment of day through data accesses typically available via smartphones alone.
As you can see, live shopping is clearly not being seen as a passing trend but indeed the future of retail. This year many US tech companies threw their e-tail hats into this new field and introduced features that allow users to shop on Instagram or Facebook with ease. Amazon even went so far as to launch Live for influencers who want an opportunity at increased exposure in exchange for broadcasting themselves doing whatever they normally do while wearing any clothes they wish — which could mean anything from cooking recipes or announcing deals. Social media has also been making its mark by launching more platforms dedicated specifically towards live streaming fashion shows like Shoploop where viewers are able to purchase items directly through the app.
With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping everyone at home, live shopping has taken centre stage in keeping our desire for commodities alive. With advancements in technology making e-tail an interactive and simple process, people are starting to believe that this is how we should shop online. This was shown when Taobao opened up a pop store which went on to prove that live shopping isn’t just a passing trend but instead the future of e-tailing!
This generation has been trained and conditioned to live in an ‘everything, now’ culture. We are so used to technology that is constantly updating with information we crave from global newsfeeds like Twitter or Snapchat, for example. So it only makes sense that this new trend of living shopping will take off with our insatiable thirst for everything online as well!
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