Online shopping has made everybody’s lives easier, but it’s not always without disappointment when a product doesn’t meet expectations. After all, not everybody can make a sound decision when they’re only presented with visuals that might not even tell the whole picture. Even if the necessary details are there, it can still be difficult to grasp unless you have the actual product in your hands.
To avoid such disappointment, many consumers have relied on reviews made by content creators like bloggers and YouTubers to know more about a certain product. While this works, it’s a one-way communication, unless a consumer comments and gets an instant reply, that doesn’t immediately convert. Moreover, the interest on a product could drift away when questions aren’t answered as quick as possible. To cut the slow back and forth, businesses have shifted their methods to sell products through livestreaming. Once an obscure form of shopping, it’s now the next big thing in e-commerce. But what is livestream shopping exactly and should you join the bandwagon?
An Introduction to Livestream Shopping
Livestream shopping allows retailers to sell any product to a live audience. It’s like watching a home shopping network, except it’s online and more personal. It’s usually hosted by an influencer or a brand representative who interacts with customers and replies to their comments during the stream.
The popularity of livestream shopping grew particularly in China through platforms like Taobao, Weibo, and WeChat in 2017. In 2020, the gross merchandise value (GMV) of e-commerce livestreaming alone accounted for 10.6% of the country’s total online shopping GMV and it’s estimated to grow up to 24.3% by 2023. With these numbers, soon enough Hong Kong and other countries will follow suit. If you’re thinking of starting livestream shopping yourself, we’ve listed below some of its benefits.
1. Invite a Bigger Audience
No matter how big your retail shop is, there’s a limit to the number of people you can invite. Adding the COVID-19 curbs in that mix, your expected audience might get cut in half depending on the severity of the situation. With livestreaming, you can invite as many people as you want no matter where they are and what they’re doing.
2. Provide Real-time Engagement
As mentioned, livestreaming is one of the keys to solve the slow back and forth between a brand and its consumers. Real-time engagement encourages customers to buy products on the spot, which means no cart abandonment. The faster you answer queries, the faster a customer checks out.
3. Inspire Impulse Buying
As we have yet to see the end of the pandemic, staying at home is still our best bet to keep ourselves safe. But what we have learned in the past two years, among other things, is that it’s easy to run out of things to do. The result? We turned to social media for support and entertainment. Livestreaming is partly entertainment. When done right, you don’t only entertain your audience, but you also make them check out products they think they need.
4. Build a Stronger Relationship
Livestream shopping helps build stronger relationships with your current and target audience. The fact that consumers can interact with a brand directly already gives the impression that you’re serious about customer service, and that you’re willing to answer questions until they’re satisfied.
5. Increase Brand Recognition
A strategy that many businesses are already doing is having deals with influencers. Instead of simply making them post on social media, though, it will do your business good if you make them readily available to their following. Consumers are likely to make a purchase during a livestream when it’s someone they know promoting a product, even if they have no idea of the said product.
6. Boost Underselling Products
If you have a product that seems to be ignored on the shelves or has been sitting in your warehouse for too long, you might want to move its selling online. A possible reason that a product is ignored is because people have no idea about it. Livestreaming is a good chance to show and demonstrate your underselling products and in turn, have more space for incoming inventory.
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