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Live Shopping is the New Way to Shop

March 11, 2021 - Erikka Innes

Stuck indoors for so much of the past year, consumers are looking for interactive experiences wherever they can find them.

When Covid first led to people quarantining themselves in March and April 2020, "every major livestreaming platform experienced growth with 45% more hours being collectively watched." (Stream Elements)

People love live streaming because it not only entertains, it allows them to engage as part of a group social interaction. The uptick in live streaming led to an uptick in live shopping. People can't easily go to a store, so what's the next best thing? Being part of an online social gathering with your friends and favorite celebrities and influencers, checking out the latest fashion, makeup, and more.

Like this...but online.


Live Shopping Used to Be Home Shopping

While live shopping seems like a new trend, it's actually a modern take on something that's been popular since the 70s and 80s. Back then, people had TV channels like the Home Shopping Channel and Quality Value Convenience. These channels typically targeted stay-at-home moms with products and celebrities they'd be interested in. Each segment featured interactive chat by phone with the women selling the products, special deals you could only get during that sales session, and light hearted banter.

Sometimes men did the light hearted banter too...


It's difficult to pinpoint when live shopping moved from TV to mobile and internet, but most people agree that live shopping first took off in China. For some time, it's been a trend that people interested in video content are aware of, but once Covid hit, the trend grew in popularity. Now people all over the world want to give live shopping a try. Huge companies like Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube all offer their users the ability to create live shopping experiences on their channels. In a time where ecommerce is on the rise and people want to watch their favorite online influencers just as much if not more than celebrities, live shopping is an incredible way to earn money from your following.

Host a Live Shopping Event

If you're looking for a simple way to monetize your followers and you love performing, live shopping is a great way to generate income. Live shopping works well for small businesses with an online following, or individual influenceers with a strong personal brand. While you can create your own live shopping streams through existing platforms, you lose out on some of the benefits you garner from creating your own website. Here's just a few of the benefits of a do it yourself set up:

  • You can collect information about your audience more easily. Collect phone numbers so you can reach people by text. Collect emails and send them a newsletter. It's easier to set up mechanisms to do this on your own website.
  • You can collect better analytics data about your viewers.
  • You can create exclusive events more easily. Spoil fans who engage often with special events that only they can attend.
  • You can curate ads that appear on your video content. Maybe only companies you arrange deals with can appear, for example.
  • Charge for access to a live stream, or a subscription for a series of live streams that offer special deals fans can't get anywhere else.
  • Use the live shopping experience on your own website to interest your followers in other content, products, or projects.

What if I Don't Code?

There are many cost-effective no and low-code solutions for websites and live shopping. You can build your own website quickly using Wix or WordPress without needing to code. If you want to do a little bit of coding, you can hire a developer for small add-ons to make your website really pop, or learn yourself. Some api.video customers built their own sites and offer live stream classes and VOD content, all without ever learning to code.

What if I Do Code?

If you do code, api.video offers a video API that provides everything you need to build a great live shopping experience:

Why Try Live Shopping?

Here are some incredible statistics about live shopping:

  • U.S. sales account for 1 billion of the live shopping market. (Bloomberg)
  • Global sales for live shopping are 60 billion. (Bloomberg)
  • 75% of millennials say videos are helpful when comparing products while shopping. (Tech Jury)
  • (Techjury) predicts that the live streaming market will be worth $124.6 billion by 2025.

What Businesses Benefit the Most from Live Shopping?

All businesses can benefit from incorporating live streams and live shopping. Ecommerce and live streaming are so popular right now that it's much easier for anyone to increase their sales by offering live shopping as well as VOD recordings for viewers who want to watch and buy later. That being said, there are some businesses that traditionally benefit the most from live shopping. They are:

  • Clothing
  • Makeup and beauty products
  • Fashion accessories
  • Jewelry

Some examples of huge brands that have already started live shopping events include Louis Vuitton, L'Oreal, Nars, Clinique, and more!

All of these do very well in the world of live shopping and video on demand. People, particularly women, like seeing items such as these displayed and used by celebrities and influencers they trust and admire. Small and big businesses alike can capitalize on this trend. Influencers with strong personal brands can also market these products with great success.

Fitness and Coaching Classes

Given the rising popularity of live shopping, there's probably room for other types of businesses to give the trend a try too. For example, if you offer fitness classes or coaching, perhaps there are products you want to endorse? You can create special live streams on your website for fans and customers marketing your own branded clothing or products through affiliate links from Amazon or endorsements from companies that approach you.

Electronics and Appliances

Women-focused products as well as fitness, coaching, and other types of e-learning are traditional avenues for live shopping given the nature and history of the products. But there's room to do more. How often have you seen interesting electronics advertised online that you have questions about? Live shopping could add value for the sale of electronics and appliances because it would enable customers to see the products in action and ask questions about how they work.

Takeaways

If you're interested in developing your own live shopping experience to increase your existing ecommerce business, or starting something brand new, contact api.video today, we can help with your use case. And if you are the type who wants to build it all yourself, sign up for an account and head over to our demos page for more information: a.video

Now is a good time to start because:

  • Live streaming and video on demand has never been more popular.
  • Live shopping is a global trend allowing you to potentially reach customers all over the world.
  • It's easy to get started live streaming (tutorial).
  • api.video is here to help you every step of the way!

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Erikka Innes

Developer Evangelist

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