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How to grow eCommerce brands with ‘Live Shopping’

If the pandemic taught us anything – it’s that eCommerce is an industry always on the hunt for innovative ways to ensure life (and purchasing) goes on.

Clearly, when the going gets tough, the tough still go shopping. 

Enter live shopping, an eCommerce phenomenon where customers can have a personalised in-store shopping experience virtually. 

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Marketing Strategists discussing Live Shopping.

First taking off in China, live shopping has completely revolutionised the eCommerce industry, with the Chinese market now expected to reach $423 billion in sales by 2022

Now that live shopping is picking up steam in other countries (Coresight research suggests the US market will hit $25 billion by 2023), there’s no time like the present to incorporate live selling in your marketing strategy. 

In this article, we’ll take you through the basics of this new trend and how it can move your business into the next gear. 

Top 5 Benefits of Live Shopping for Marketers

1. Higher Engagement = Higher Conversion Rates

Considering how much time we all spend on the internet, it’s no surprise that live shopping is a great way to increase engagement and conversion. In China, conversion rates have reached as high as 40%

It’s particularly effective in engaging Gen Z shoppers, who spend an average of 4 hours and 15 minutes daily on their phones. In fact, some companies have seen their Gen Z shoppers increase by 20%.

2. Lower Consideration Period

How often have you seen an intriguing new product in traditional media yet forgotten about later? Unfortunately, it happens all the time!

Live shopping can seriously narrow the space between discovery, inspiration, and purchase. Customers can discover a new product or brand, watch the live shopping event to conduct their own research in real-time, chat with the community over the live stream, and complete the purchase from the live stream itself. 

3. Reduced Return Rates

Education. 

That’s the big game-changer that gives live shopping both higher conversion and lower return rates.

Live selling is an opportunity to educate your customers about how products work, what to expect from them, and how they look. Customers actually know what they’re buying, so return rates for live shopping sit as much as 40% lower than traditional eCommerce channels.

4. Rapid Sales Generation

Market your live shopping sessions well, and you can expose your products to thousands of people in just a few minutes. Plus, once your viewers are engaged, they’ll invite others to join the session too. 

Take, for example, the video shopping platform NTWRK, which showcased a celebrity jeweller selling $120,000 worth of products in five seconds.

Or, Chinese influencer Viya, who did a live selling session with Kim Kardashian just before Singles Day, ultimately selling 150,000 bottles of perfume in seconds. 

Clearly, if you do your live shopping right, you can boost your revenue in the blink of an eye. 

5. Increased Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)

There’s nothing more frustrating than buying something online, only to discover it doesn’t work or look how you expected.

Moreso, how often have you repurchased from a brand after experiencing this? Rarely.

Why? Because you no longer trust the products that particular brand provides.

With live shopping, customers already know how a product will work and what it will look like. So when their product arrives at their door, customers already know they’ll be satisfied with the results.

Once you’ve built that trust with your customers, they’re more likely to both buy from you again and purchase more products. 

So, rather than constantly trying to generate new leads, you can build on your relationship with existing customers via live shopping and increase your customer lifetime value. 

Live Shopping Best Practices

1. Platform Matters

It can be tempting to test live selling on just one platform when starting out. This tactic has a problem, though – you could accidentally ignore a portion of your customers. 

We recommend broadcasting your live shopping session across multiple channels. 

Here’s why:

Existing infrastructure.

It takes time to build a live selling audience, but if you utilise your existing social media platforms, you can broadcast to your already existing community. Channels like Facebook (Meta), Instagram, TikTok, and Youtube all have live shopping capabilities you can use to your advantage.

Greater visibility.

As any eCommerce business knows, each platform tends to appeal to a different audience (think Gen Z and TikTok, for example), so streaming to multiple platforms allows you to reach more of your existing customer base on their preferred channel.

Looking to expand into other channels too? Now that live selling has gained traction, several platforms have adapted to support it: Amazon, NTWRK, and Google, just to name a few.

2. Consider Collaboration

The face of a live shopping experience matters to customers. When Chinese company Alibaba launched its live shopping platform Taobao Live, key opinion leaders (KOL) were critical to its success. 

A publically associated figure is key for any brand to build trust and loyalty with their customers. For you, these KOLs would be influencers. 

Collaborating with influencers is a great way to help your live selling events take off (think back to that collaboration between Viya and Kim Kardashian). 

If you’re a smaller business, there are also affordable ways you can include collaboration in your live selling strategy:

Use micro-influencers.

These are social media influencers with roughly 3,000 to 50,000 followers. While this may seem counter-intuitive given their smaller audience, they actually have a more engaged and trusting following than mega- or macro-influencers – reportedly 10 x more, in fact.

Use your employees.

According to research by Coresight, people closely tied to brands are the most effective sellers because they’re passionate and authentic about their enthusiasm for the product. TikToker Ryan Dubs reportedly made $4000 for his brand, Dew, from just one live shopping event he hosted himself.  

3. Customer Connection is Key

The key to any eCommerce marketing strategy is to create meaningful, authentic customer connections. Customers want to be able to have honest, 1-on-1 conversations about products.

So how do you create that connection through a live shopping event?

Keep it simple.

Relaxed, spur-of-the-moment type live streams are perfect for this. Hosting a live shopping event from a phone is also great – it comes across as more relatable to your audience.  

Interact directly with your customers.

This is one of the most important takeaways from your live shopping strategy. Create a real-time feedback loop between yourself and customers so you can build an authentic, meaningful connection. 

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Marketing Strategists discussing Live Shopping.

Want to learn more about growing your business with Live Shopping? 

There’s no question that live shopping is quickly transforming the shopping playing field. Want to learn how to get started with live shopping to grow your eCommerce business? Talk to us now to claim your FREE business growth plan worth $1200!