Published on January 21st, 2022 | by Bibhuranjan0
Best Livestream Shopping Platforms to Use in 2022
Livestream shopping is anticipated to be the next big thing in e-commerce. Both large and small retail and e-commerce businesses should be therefore prepared to integrate it into their marketing strategy along with social shopping features.
Live commerce can enhance the online shopping experience and bring in more customers. It also helps to increase customer engagement, create brand awareness, and boost sales, all of which can help beat the ever-increasing competition and stand out from the crowd.
Like TV shopping or teleshopping, live commerce focuses on selling products like clothing, accessories, jewelry, and home merchandise through people presenting the items through a live video as people can buy the products while the show is on directly.
This post will first clarify what livestream shopping is and then dive deeper into the best live commerce platforms to use for your brand or business.
Livestream shopping trend is growing
In China, livestreaming e-commerce has taken the market by storm – in 2018, live commerce sales were at 120 billion yuan, reaching 1237.9 billion yuan in 2020, and is forecasted to soar to a whopping 4.9 trillion yuan by the end of 2023 according to Statista.
In the US and Europe, the trend is still ought to catch up. However, the adoption rate is forecasted to increase significantly in 2022, as a total of 81% of brands are planning to either maintain or increase their investment in live commerce to boost sales and engagement, found research by Forrester.
What is livestream shopping?
Livestream shopping is an online video stream where the host – usually an influencer or a celebrity or key opinion leader (KOL) in China – presents and promotes products sold by brands and retailers.
Video shopping events occur either on social media platforms like TikTok or Instagram, on specialized live commerce platforms such as ShopShops or Talkshoplive, and other hosting platforms like Amazon Live.
Viewers can ask questions about the products through chat or SMS messages and are encouraged to share their opinions and feedback with other people watching the stream. The audience is also encouraged to engage through likes and comments to increase engagement and boost sales.
The livestream shopping trend started in China, with China’s behemoth Alibaba’s Taobao Live app in 2016. On this platform, shoppers can learn about new products and trends through key opinion leaders and make purchases presented in the video directly from the app while streaming. By linking livestream broadcasts with e-commerce, Alibaba pioneered the live commerce trends that are now expanding in the US and Europe.
Best livestream shopping platforms
If you wish to use livestream shopping for your brand, there are several good options to choose from. You can either promote your brand via live videos through influencers and creators on social media platforms or opt for a specialized live commerce platform as a relatively new area.
Dedicated platforms have a built-in audience and are a great option for sellers looking to expand their customer base beyond social media platforms. Now that this trend is developing, new platforms and apps are popping up to support it, from WeChat live stream function to the Amazon Live solution.
With 1 billion annual users, TikTok is the 7th most popular social media platform globally, just after WeChat and Instagram. TikTok is a video-focused app that allows people to create and share short-form clips, anything from stunts, dances, pranks, or jokes in a duration of 15 seconds – 3 minutes.
At the beginning of December 2021, TikTok hopped on the live commerce trend to leverage their 1 billion users and monetize on brands who wish to reach new audiences and grow their sales. The first event, “Called On Trend,” was an event that featured offers and exclusive deals by beauty brands such as Charlotte Tilbury and L’Oreal, promoted through live streams by popular TikTok creators and influencers.
On the 18th of December 2021, Walmart partnered with social media platform TikTok to launch their first-ever livestream commerce event called “Holiday Shop-Along Spectacular” ahead of the holiday shopping season.
Suppose you wish to promote your brand through TikTok live streams, partner up with some of the most relevant creators for your brand to reach new audiences. Viewers can engage with others through chat and purchase items seen directly through the app.
With nearly 1.4 billion active users, Instagram is the 4th most popular social media platform globally, just after Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp. Instagram started as an image-sharing platform where users can post engaging content. They have since developed into a powerful marketing tool for brands and retailers.
Through Instagram, businesses can create customer connections, raise brand awareness, and grow sales. Besides Images, Stories, Reels, and Videos, and in 2021, Instagram also started a Live Shopping function.
Brands and retailers in the US can now leverage this tool to sell via live broadcasts and sell products directly on the app, instantly connecting with customers and engaging with them in real-time. Customers can save your videos to continue shopping after the broadcast is offline. This feature will be rolled out to other EU countries soon and is a powerful tool that can help boost your online sales and grow your audience and brand presence.
ShopShops is a platform launched in China to connect US retailers to customers in China in 2015 and has since become a massive platform for livestream commerce. Since 2018, the platform has been rapidly expanding, the US being their second-biggest market. In December 2020, ShopShops also launched their app and allowed brand partnerships opportunities.
ShopShops platform has got its unique value proposition: hosting sellers from influencers, content creators, people with a passion for fashion, as well independent brands, to use this app to bring customers in from all over the world and connect them to brick and mortar stores, offering an interactive shopping experience.
Compared to other platforms, ShopShops is about connecting local boutique sellers to present vintage finds, crafts, and designer goods. Sellers can curate livestream events that allow customers to engage directly with other shoppers through chat to exchange ideas and ask questions.
NTWRK is a mobile app that allows users to livestream shows to promote and sell limited-edition collections and products, for example, limited drop sneakers or designer items. Some streams on this platform have reportedly reached over $1 million in sales in around 10 minutes, with sales surging by 400%.
In April 2020, hosted e-commerce platform Shopify started integrating live videos on their platform. If you are looking for more customization and want complete control over your live shopping event, and your store operates on Shopify, you can leverage Shopify Plus live streaming service.
There are various benefits and downsides to setting up the livestream event yourself. First of all, as a bonus, you can collect and analyze complete data about your customers, how many people buy, most popular products, and repurpose your content after the stream has aired. For example, Nordstrom has launched their live shopping channel and developed a following.
The main downside of hosting yourself is that a more significant chunk of your budget would be spent on marketing, whereas other platforms have a built-in audience. However, the budget you’d spend on influencers might make up the same as marketing the event, so you should think about the balance and figure out what works best for your business needs.
Talkshoplive platform was launched in 2018 and has got itself a following of over two million people, which is continuously growing. According to some sources, their sales have since increased by seven times. The idea came when the founder and CEO Bryan Moore realized the potential of live commerce for brands and retailers.
The company sold products other than clothing and fashion, focusing on books and music through live events; however, it has since expanded to food, beauty, fashion, and sports categories.
The bonus of the Talkshoplive app is that they have managed to attract numerous well-known names such as Matthew McConaughey and Dolly Parton. For example, they have built a community on the platform around food products, with celebrities showing sneak and peek of their pantries.
Use livestream shopping to boost sales and brand awareness
Live commerce is growing at speed, with new platforms and apps developed and launched as we speak. Numerous other social media and e-commerce platforms are integrating this functionality. Brands, retailers, and independent sellers should use it to their advantage and catch on early to boost their sales, increase brand awareness, and stand out from the ever-increasing online competition.
Cover Image by Freepik