Live Shopping: Understanding the hottest e-commerce trend

February 16, 2022 by
Frank Calviño
Photo by Libby Penner on Unsplash

Live Shopping has become the hottest and newest trend in digital marketing and e-commerce. And if you still remember those midnight infomercials, that typical “As Seen on TV” spot, surely the concept of Live Shopping would be very easy for you to understand, because it is essentially the same thing. 

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Live shopping is a combination of live video streaming using social media - Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, or even Tik Tok - and a live broadcast.

The idea is to host something similar to those late 90’ infomercials showcasing a product, why it is the best, how you can use it, and examples of happy customers giving testimony to the product quality and excellence. A pretty basic, yet very powerful combination of arguments and topics that is aimed at boosting the sales of the showcased product, during the time of the Live Shopping broadcast. 

Does Live Shopping need an influencer? 

One of the first things you must consider, if you want to use Live Shopping to promote your products or services, is the fact that it drastically increases its effectiveness if you have an influencer hosting the show. 

It can be done, regardless of this fact, by any host. But, honestly, it is the influencer network of followers and its prestige, the two main key factors for any Live Shopping to be successful. 

Let’s review these two key factors, how we can achieve them, and how they interact with the brand’s products and the minds of our customers. 

Live Shopping sales are impulse-driven 

The success or failure of a Live Shopping event is measured at the moment it is done: if you are broadcasting and you are not getting anything sold, then it is not working. As simple as that might sound, it implies a lot of technical difficulties that need to be overcome.  

Firstly, you are pushing the sale. This means that you must entice the potential customer to buy your product, not when they want, but now. And to do so you have several tools at your disposal that can be used during the Live Shopping broadcasting: 

  • Create a sense of scarcity: By showcasing a limited edition product, a product that is numbered as a collectible, or a product that will be discontinued soon. 
  • Offer flash sales: Give your product considerable discounts exclusively during the Live Shopping event, or for a given number of potential buyers, let's say for example 80% discount for the first five buyers. 
  • Use the influencer star power: This is, at the end of the day, the most effective tool you can have to entice people to buy your product during the Live Shopping event. A powerful influencer will make it believable that buying the product right now - during the event - is the best deal possible for any customer. 

Keep in mind that the reason why you chose an influencer to host the event is that it should be broadcasted on the influencer's social media account. This is a must. Because by doing this, you get immediate access to the follower base of the influencer as your starting audience - or at least to a percentage of its follower base - which is at the same time the audience most prone to hear the influencer recommendations, because they are already following that influencer. 

Foto de Kindel Media en Pexels

Live Shopping requires a physical location

To broadcast your show live, you need a physical location. And due to several technical intricacies, it would be better if you could broadcast from a studio, or from a place fitted as a video studio. This means that you should have: 

  • High-Quality Microphones for the hosts. 
  • Lights and proper illumination tools - light rings, backlights, etc -
  • High-speed internet connection is a must, a clunky internet connection will yield a patch-up broadcasting  
  • A sound-proof environment. It doesn't matter if you have the best microphones in the world, even a Shure MV microphone won’t cut it if there are a lot of environmental sounds like traffic, people talking, or any kind of background noises.  
Foto de Kampus Production en Pexels

Script your broadcasting event 

A final consideration you must take before launching your Live Shopping event, is the fact that you need to script it. Do not take chances by just “going live” with the broadcast. For that could easily spell doom for the reputation of both your product and your brand. 

If you are hiring an influencer, he or she will most likely have a script drafted for your brand to review. If that doesn’t happen, you should ask the influencer to provide you with a script. 

If not, you should draft a script for the influencer to use during the live event. Many things can go wrong with a live broadcast, so having a script allows you to minimize the possible backlash of a mistake. 

How Live Shopping is being used successfully? 

There are several great examples of how Live Shopping has been used successfully by major brands, and we want to share three of them with you. 

  • Samsung Tech Meets: Samsung Panama used Smartzer's interactive video platform to deliver a highly successful live shopping experience with exclusive, event-based discount deals. Sales representatives from Samsung demonstrated a variety of products to hundreds of viewers. Customers could communicate with the hosts via a chat bar by giving themselves a nickname. This created a bespoke and personalized shopping experience that replicated the benefits of in-person shopping. 
  • Sephora Facebook Live Fridays: Brand representatives from Sephora have been using Facebook's new feature to sell via live events. The beauty brand was able to demonstrate a variety of cosmetics in a real-time tutorial, customers could buy straight from links next to the stream.
  • Aldo Live Shopping: Canadian retailer, Aldo, teamed up with celebrity stylist Mimi Cuttrell and LA entertainer Nate Wyatt to deliver a social shopping spectacular show. On the stream, the pair shared their favorite style tips on how to wear various shoes and accessories. After hosting a shoppable live stream in the Spring of 2021, Aldo noted a 308% engagement rate and registered 17,000 page views on its website in the first five days after the event.

All in all, Live Shopping seems to be consolidating as more than a simple trend, due to its great results. Results yielded by a winning combination of entertainment with infomercials, inside the viral world of social media.

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