8 Reasons to Embrace Livestreaming E-Commerce
Video is a powerful tool for retailers to drive their e-commerce strategies and boost sales. Specifically, there’s a fast-emerging trend of livestreaming e-commerce that has transformed the online shopping experience with heightened interactivity. For the savvy retailer, there are several reasons to invest in this new era of livestream shopping.
Consumers are more receptive to video than to any other form of content. Per a Wyzowl survey, 86% of people would actively like to see more video from brands. Further, 72% of consumers prefer video to text for receiving branded marketing information, according to a HubSpot research study. Video does so much more than static product descriptions or great images do. It affords a level of audience interactivity that is simply not possible with other marketing tactics.
For example, with live video interactivity you can give your customers the power to make in-video purchases, communicate with other shoppers, access click-to-call features, and share their sentiments on specific products. This level of insight can provide unparalleled data-driven personalization. You can even allow customers to determine their own “adventure path” by giving them the option to choose how the video content they are engaging progresses.
But video interactivity doesn’t just allow brands to offer consumers a route to buy; it lets them create a community of shoppers. If you interact, and allow customers to interact with each other on your property, you stand a much better chance of making a sale and retaining that customer for future purchases.
A 2021 survey by Statista found that 46% of consumers trust analyst or expert reviews as a source for identifying the best brands; 39% cited online reviews and 37% said word-of-mouth. In addition, a recent Retail Customer Experience article discussed how e-commerce websites and mobile applications are not designed to provide the cohesive customer experience today's consumers demand.
The interactive nature of video, however, permits ongoing dialogue and feedback that can help inform messaging, improve products and offers, and develop loyal customers who keep coming back for more. As the saying goes, people buy from people. More importantly, people buy from people they trust. And who do consumers trust more than their peers traveling along the same purchase journey?
FOMO, or “Fear Of Missing Out,” is one of the most obvious benefits afforded by live video e-commerce. You’re creating an experience. Audiences who have connections with brands want to participate in the experience they provide. Historically, this hasn’t been something that brands can facilitate online on a scalable basis. Livestreaming offers a mechanism to forge this connection universally. A point-in-time event creates the potential to engage other fans of the brand, engage the brand itself, and engage influencers. Since the pandemic, this has only become more normalized.
Live e-commerce increases a brand’s appeal and distinctiveness and pulls in additional web traffic. There is so much information available online that users can’t keep up with it all, and even great quality content can quickly become buried. A path to differentiate is critical. Providing consumers with an experience that captures their attention in that specific moment will help you stand out and show—not tell—exactly why they should be purchasing your products. Live shopping events shouldn’t just be an ad; they should be entertaining.
When people can’t go into a store–touch something, engage with it–where do they go? They go online and look for videos to get a “feel” for it. Live video provides that sensation of engaging with a product and incentivizes the shopper to transact. According to Wyzowl, 84% of people say they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video. Live shopping is the closest brands have come to replicating the in-store shopping experience. It displays products in real world settings and allows consumers to ask questions and learn more prior to making a purchase, just as they would in-store.
Live product launches, fashion shows, and trade events are great. We all love attending and seeing what’s on the floor, but for businesses, these events are costly. Given the unpredictable nature of today’s event space, it’s even more difficult to properly plan and deliver an event. Livestreaming, paired with proper promotion and marketing, can be a great substitute. When livestreamed experiences are done right, they can result in more sales, more leads and engagement, and more cost savings. There’s also the added bonus of being able to use the same content on multiple platforms.
Furthermore, customers who purchase through live shopping events are considerably less likely to return items. Thanks to the two-way nature of live shopping, consumers who buy through this channel are 40% less likely to return an item than other online shoppers, according to Coresight data.
Some may argue that livestreaming requires a professional studio and video team, but QVC isn’t the only act in town anymore. Today, all you need is a smartphone and a bright light. In some cases, overproduced livestreams can detract from that all-important element of authenticity.
Livestreaming feels more “human.” People subscribe to unboxing channels on YouTube. They follow influencers, shops, and products on social media. Why? They like the human connection of seeing how a product or service could impact their lives. Using people, not just images or text, helps make the experience real and authentic in a way that stands out. One of video’s strengths as a medium is storytelling. When you tell customers your brand story through video, they relate to your brand more, leading to stronger connections and loyalty to the brand.
No matter your level of sophistication or the resources at hand, there is likely an option for you. You can start with your phone, you can work with an events planner, or you can work with a vendor who can help you set up the technical aspects and then guide you in making the most of your content distribution.
While the fashion and beauty industries unsurprisingly thrive in these opportunities, livestreaming is versatile and can be an avenue for many different categories. For example, after apparel and fashion (35.6%), and beauty (7.6%), the top product hawked on live events is actually fresh food (7.4%), reports McKinsey. All you need to know is which platforms and apps your buyers are using.
Live e-commerce not only informs your video marketing efforts, it delivers insights that can be leveraged across the board. Using analytics tools to understand who watched your content can help you develop personas of potential customers and guide your choices on your target demographic. It can also help you track your most engaging products and content, which will keep you attuned to the demands of your consumers.
Livestreaming e-commerce is fast, convenient, and affordable, and it provides valuable insights while offering a level of interaction previously available only in-person. Most importantly, it’s not another pandemic stopgap. By integrating influencer strategies and creating buyer communities, livestreaming e-commerce has carved a niche that is only set to grow. And the video platforms offering live retail solutions like Brightcove are helping brands see heightened engagement and greater customer propensity to buy.
If you want to learn more about livestreaming e-commerce, Brightcove partnered with IMRG, the UK’s e-commerce association, on LinkedIn Live. You can watch the entire Q&A, Delivering E-Commerce Videos that Convert, while demoing our award-winning player.