Live Shopping: Next Wave of Consumer Shopping Trends
Projected to be a $25B dollar industry in the US by 2023, Live Stream Shopping or “Live Shopping” is one of the latest trends in consumer behavior in our ever-changing digital landscape. Already a go-to shopping channel for consumers in China, it began to grow in popularity with US consumers as well, fueled by the inability to shop in-store during 2020.
In a landscape of increasingly cluttered messages and hard-to-reach audiences, live shopping offers brands and retailers a unique way to connect with their customers. Because it hasn’t quite reached mass adoption here in the US, brands and retailers can secure a key advantage by testing and building out a strategy now.
Because it hasn’t quite reached mass adoption here in the US, brands and retailers can secure a key advantage by testing and building out a strategy now.
What is Live Shopping?
Think QVC, but on social media live-streamed video. A host or influencer appears on a live video feed within an app or website, where viewers can shop the products mentioned in real-time, engage with the influencer, and ask questions about the products. This “two-way” conversational aspect of live shopping is what makes it so full of potential for reaching today’s consumer in a relevant and authentic way.
Recently, major platforms like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok have added live shopping capabilities to their apps, and as it continues to grow in popularity in the US market, we expect to see a large need for brands to develop a multi-channel live shopping strategy to remain competitive, especially with the millennial and gen z audiences.
Why all the Hype?
As the social commerce world shifts to a more personalized and authentic shopping experience, consumers are simultaneously seeking out the experience in addition to the product. Live shopping gives consumers a dose of human connection in an otherwise human-less buying interaction.
92% of consumers trust user-generated content (UGC) more than they trust traditional advertising. Video content creators are the perfect vehicle for creative, engaging content that helps brands connect directly with their potential customers.
Not only is it an entertaining way to shop but the path to purchase is considerably less complicated. Brands can meet consumers where they are (on social!) and shoppers can checkout on-platform vs. driving to a complicated checkout process.
With targeting options dwindling, marketers can tap into influencers’ fans for hyper-focused, hyper-engaged audiences.
Retailers are embracing the trend: Nordstrom has streamed over 50 live shopping events ranging from celebrity collabs to interactive beauty classes.
The Science of Influence
It’s not just trendy – it’s science!
Most marketers are familiar with concepts like social selling, word-of-mouth, social commerce, etc., but they all boil down to the same essential concept: human connection.
At the end of the day, authenticity is key, and influencers who have been creating content and cultivating connections with their followers over time are in a unique position of trust and authority. So much so that 4 in 10 Millennial subscribers say they feel their favorite influencer understands them better than their friends.
Influencers are at the core of live shopping success: consumers are able to shop where they are already spending time (social), entertained by their favorite influencers and creators while shopping.
Live shopping creates a unique and dynamic experience for consumers to hang with their favorite creators and shop their top picks.
Why Live Shopping?
Connect with new and existing customers in an authentic way through human interaction — a crucial step that has been removed from the e-commerce experience. Influencers will act as your digital salesperson! Receive consumer feedback instantly as users engage with creators about their selections in the chat. Educate and engage consumers through product demonstrations and answering their questions in real-time.
Case Study: Forever 21 and Afterpay Live Shopping Events
Live shopping finally made its way from China to the U.S. but very few U.S. retailers have dived head-first into the new social commerce space. Forever 21 and Afterpay approached MagicLinks as the leader in video social commerce to establish their live shopping presence with a custom live shopping activation.
- Diversify it: Our team worked closely with our video influencers to develop and produce 7 live shopping events across video social platforms.
- Share it: Influencers pre-promoted their live sessions and positioned the events as an exclusive for their fans.
- Prep it: Our team did a lot of prep work with our influencers to guarantee a premium experience for viewers.
- Measure it, always: MagicLinks used our various linking technology solutions to drive fans to purchase during and after the live shopping sessions.
MagicLinks Live Shopping Results:
Live Shopping events outperformed average video engagement rates significantly.
- We saw average engagement rates of 14% to a whopping 28% – almost 6X above the industry average of 4.9%.
- 7 live shopping streams garnered over 5.4k live viewers, with over 265k post-live views to date
- Creators’ fans were highly engaged, expressing positive sentiment across multiple touchpoints. One creators’ first text via our proprietary tool Text2Shop™ had a CTR of 15%, with lots of enthusiastic responses from fans.
Guide to Live Shopping Success
Influencer Fit is KEY: Our influencer specialists leveraged our data machine Match Intelligence™ technology to determine which influencers were the best fit for Forever 21 based on over $1B in sales transactions across 21K video influencers.
Strategy & Planning Were Essential: Our team did a lot of prep work with our influencers to guarantee a premium experience for viewers.
Instagram & YouTube Are It: Currently, YouTube’s and Instagram’s livestream functionalities are better suited for live shopping experiences. Plus, app users already know their way around!
Incentivize Consumers: Special drops or collabs, special discounts, limited quantities, and payment options like Afterpay.
Authentic Pre-promotion Laid the Groundwork: Influencers pre-promoted their live sessions via various channels like SMS and Instagram Stories and positioned the events as an exclusive experience for their fans.
Multiply the Investment by Repurposing Video: Negotiate rights upfront to secure usage of the video creative ads after the live event in paid performance media (hot tip: we handle this process for our brand partners.)
Use a Multichannel Approach: we found success in working closely with a variety of video influencers to develop and produce 7 live shopping events across video social platforms.
Measure, Optimize, Repeat: MagicLinks used our various linking technology solutions to drive fans to purchase during and after the live shopping sessions.
Go Beyond One-off: Look towards long-term partnerships to increase brand affinity with your chosen influencer partners’ audience over time.
Alright, I want to try a Live Shopping Campaign, how do I start?
Bring us the KPIs, we’ll bring you the talent! No, but seriously, live shopping campaigns work similarly to video campaigns except with a lot more prep time involved! Briefings, programming, and pre-promotion are the secret sauce for successful live shopping campaigns, and we partner with you on all of it. Think of us as an extension of your marketing team. 🙂
Connect with us to learn how to leverage the power of live shopping in your next campaign, we’d love to hear from you!
- Coresight Research: https://www.retaildive.com/news/livestreaming-popularity-expected-to-grow-in-2021-coresight-research/599121/
- Nielsen: https://www.zdnet.com/article/nine-out-of-ten-consumers-trust-ugc-more-than-traditional-advertising/
- Think with Google: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-strategies/video/youtube-stars-influence/
- Pex.com: https://pex.com/blog/analysis-of-user-engagement-videos-worlds-biggest-social-sites/
- https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-video-metrics/ avg IG video ER: 1.87%, our live shopping IG video ER: 23% https://pex.com/blog/analysis-of-user-engagement-videos-worlds-biggest-social-sites/ avg. er benchmark on YouTube: 0.71% vs our ER of 6% ER on YouTube live shopping