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Live Shopping – what is it and what does it mean for e-commerce?

LiveShopping, or Social Shopping, is one of the most dynamically developing methods of promoting online stores. It is a way of advertising products, mainly fashion ones, which has the potential to revolutionize the e-commerce market, not only in the era of a pandemic. What is Live Shopping?

Live Shopping – how does it work?

Online shopping has been gaining more and more popularity over the years, and the pandemic situation has only accelerated the process of switching customers from brick-and-mortar stores to the web. It is an option that we value for its convenience and time saving, but it cannot be denied that it does not provide shopping emotions similar to those that accompany us when we visit a shopping mall. We are talking here not only about the inability to try on, but also the lack of professional advice, the possibility of obtaining additional information and the feeling that shopping is not a mechanical activity, but a kind of experience.

Therefore, in order to meet the expectations of customers, clothing companies more and more often offer a slightly different, but for many people equally exciting experience of communing with the brand, namely Live Shopping. It is a type of online event that interested people can join via social media platforms to take an active part in presenting the collection. How does it look in practice? The brand organizes an event to which stylists or even influencers are often invited to present products live, discuss trends and provide fashion advice. Models who try on clothes from the collection, combining them according to expert advice, also participate in such meetings. Thanks to this, customers also get an element of inspiration, which in stores appears in the form of stylizations shown on mannequins. During such a presentation, there are often discounts that can only be used during the broadcast.

Live Shopping – the power of interaction

The very idea of presenting products through the media is not new. Already in the 70s of the last century, the first television channels specializing in the sale of live goods appeared in the United States. Recognizable program hosts participated in showing off product features, and as the show grew in popularity, stars recognized from other formats also joined them. The role of recipients, however, was limited only to the possibility of ordering goods over the phone. However, the idea of Live Shopping gives customers much more. Each user has a real influence on the shape of the program: they can ask questions, comment on an ongoing basis and ask for expert advice. Thanks to this, the whole process resembles standard shopping in a gallery, where you can count on the help of a salesman or saleswoman at any time.

An interesting aspect is the ability to interact also with other people who join the online event. Each user can read the opinions of people who have already bought a given item, which in turn gives the so-called social proof, i.e. social proof of rightness. Potential customers don’t have to rely solely on information from people the brand pays for the ad, but have access to user reviews like themselves. An additional attraction for buyers is the presence of influencers who present products, share their experiences and answer users’ questions. Thanks to this, two important mechanisms work: the shopping process turns into a show, and the user has the feeling that the distance between him and the star admired on TV or the Internet is shortening. And who of us would not like to go shopping with his idol as with an old friend?

Live Shopping and benefits for e-commerce

LiveShopping is a solution that is beneficial not only for customers, but also – and perhaps most importantly – for e-commerce sellers. The restrictions related to COVID-19 only accelerated the process that was visible much earlier – customers more and more often prefer comfortable online shopping to visiting stationary stores. For brands looking to adapt to the demands of today’s audience, it was clear long before the pandemic that they needed to find a way to engage their customers and provide them with an amazing online shopping experience, it was only unclear how.

However, social media came to the rescue. This is where the social life of people of the 21st century is more and more often focused and there we most often look for entertainment, advice and inspiration. It is also a natural way of interacting with people – not only friends, but also strangers with whom we share similar interests or life situations. For brands – especially clothing brands – it became clear that this is a response to the needs of a changing market. From the point of view of entrepreneurs, this form of shopping has several basic advantages.

Gives you immediate feedback on products
Live community shopping participants share comments, which allows the brand to gain feedback on its products and learn from them when planning next collections.

It allows you to reach your customers wherever they are
A city center, a cabin in the mountains or a villa on another continent – no matter where your potential customers are, you can engage them and help them make their purchasing decisions. The distance to the nearest shopping mall with a customer advisor is no longer important.

It allows you to use the potential of influencers
Events with recognizable faces always arouse emotions and interest among users. Their involvement increases the attractiveness of products in the eyes of buyers and may contribute to increasing sales.

It gives the possibility of establishing interpersonal contacts
Properly conducted LiveShopping gives the user the impression that they are shopping with friends, even if they do not know the people participating in the event. The feeling of communing with people is an additional bonus, especially in the age of pandemic restrictions.

Introduces the show element
Trying live, creating styles, discussing trends and interacting make online shopping more attractive and provide more excitement, which translates into a greater willingness to buy.

It allows you to better present the product
Photos are not able to show all the details of the product, and even the best text will not replace a live story. Therefore, streams give stores much more opportunities to present the advantages of the product.

It helps to attract new customers
Attractive content with a lot of useful information about the products is an element that attracts new audiences who have not had anything to do with the brand before.

Where does Live Shopping take place?

LiveShopping can be done using various mobile applications – both those dedicated to live purchases and the more versatile ones that we use every day. Currently, the most famous among Internet users are online shopping via Facebook and Instagram. The social giant offers the possibility of creating this type of event to every user with an account on the website, even if it is not a company fanpage. However, creating LiveShopping as a store gives you additional sales support options – you can add links to the goods in question or even distinguish products from the store run by this social platform.

There are even special groups on Facebook, such as Live Broadcasts or Sales Broadcasts, where live broadcasts of various brands are held. What does this mean for sellers? You can benefit from LiveShopping even if we don’t have our own community built around the brand yet.

In addition to Facebook and Instagram, there are also other applications that allow you to sell online. These include, among others:
ShopShops – one of the first platforms of this type, operating since 2015. Initially, it was popular mainly in China, but now it is also very popular in other parts of the world, including the USA.
Buywith – an application mainly for influencers who want to promote themselves in this way among Millennials and Generation Z.
Popshoplive – also an app mainly for teenagers. It acts as an intermediary in payments and shipping, so it works well for teenagers who want to prove themselves in the sales field and appear online. IPhone only application.
Yeay – the application is also aimed mainly at the clientele in the form of teenagers, but also available on the Play Store.
WEBLIVEview – a platform created for larger brands that want to increase online sales. Intended primarily for the sale of high-end goods. Rather not for teenagers, but for a more mature clientele.
Livescale – an application primarily for brands, not beginner influencers. More subdued in overtone, so it can be used to attract customers from higher age groups.

There are naturally many more applications for creating this type of content, and new ones appear on the market all the time.

Who is Live Shopping for?

This shopping model is used today by everyone – from large, recognizable brands, through small boutiques, influencers, to teenagers who want to get rid of unnecessary clothes from their wardrobe. You don’t need professional equipment, lighting or a recording studio to start selling this way. All you need is a smartphone with an application for LiveShopping, a charismatic conductor and basic knowledge of social media and you can join the starting race for the attention of live buyers. Will this trend really revolutionize e-commerce? One thing is certain – LiveShopping becomes louder and louder and is a method of brand promotion that is definitely worth getting to know better these days.

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