The 1980s ushered in many fads that defined a generation – big hair, leg warmers, and The Walkman. This decade also marked a significant milestone in retail with the introduction of QVC and HSN, making it possible for consumers to purchase products seen on TV from the comfort of their homes. Fast forward to the present day, and commerce strategies are continuing to evolve with livestream eCommerce as the latest trend.
What exactly is livestream eCommerce? We’ve provided the four things you need to know about this latest tactic and how this selling strategy will change how we buy in retail settings and beyond.
#1: It’s a Bridge Between the Physical and Digital World
Livestream eCommerce is selling products and services via an online streaming service whereby the host marketing the products and services takes questions from the audience in real-time. These demonstrations are conducted on an eCommerce website or via a social media platform and typically hosted by a retailer, influencer, or celebrity. What livestream eCommerce does well is how it can mimic in-store shopping. Customers can ask questions just like they would in a physical store, see how a product looks from different angles, and even see the product on a model (if need be).
#2: It’s Gaining Momentum
Livestream eCommerce is not a new sales tactic; however, as with many digital-based initiatives, the concept significantly accelerated due to the pandemic. Livestream eCommerce first started gaining traction in China in 2015 and is now estimated to be a $157 billion market (in China). With physical stores closing and in-person restrictions imposed worldwide, livestream eCommerce is becoming a popular alternative to keep sales moving in a difficult time and is starting to catch on in the US and European markets. According to Coresight Research, livestream e-commerce is on track to reach $25 billion in sales in the US by 2023.
#3: It’s Highly Interactive
Meant to be an immersive experience, the level of interaction is a cornerstone of this type of commerce. Consumers can interact with the host by chatting in a Q&A format along with a gamification style with coupons and giveaways to increase engagement. What sets livestream eCommerce apart from other online selling strategies is the authenticity cultivated between the host and audience. This opportunity to interact creates a more personal synergy.
#4: It’s Applicable to More Than Just the Retail Space
Gartner, Inc. predicts that by 2024, 80% of ordering and replenishment will be touchless for most organizations. This doesn’t mean that consumers won’t go to physical stores; however, they will look for ways to not come into close contact with other people or have to touch public structures. This predicted shift does signal that livestream eCommerce will not just be limited to purchasing in the retail space. Other industries, such as automotive, travel, fitness, and real estate, are prime candidates for livestream eCommerce.
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