In the age of social distancing, people are staying home and only going out for essential purposes. How, then, would a business be able to connect with its audience, let alone make sales?
The answer is simple: live shopping. If your business is looking to up its online selling game, live video shopping is the ultimate solution. Let’s deep dive into the what’s and why’s of live shopping, and the best live shopping services for your business.
What Is Live Video Shopping?
Have you ever watched a QVC show demonstrating a product’s functionality, appearance, and qualities on TV? The live commerce trend uses a similar method for broadcasting services and products to viewers across the world.
The main difference is that live shopping involves an online platform rather than television broadcasting. This gives businesses and viewers the flexibility to broadcast any time, anywhere.
Live Shopping Trends
Live stream video shopping has taken up the ecommerce world by storm, with video streaming projected to make up a shocking 82% of content on the internet by 2022, according to Cisco’s Annual Internet Report.
But, that’s not all. Here are a few notable live commerce trends from Cisco’s report that highlight the importance of this growing market:
- In 2023, there will be an estimated 5.7 billion mobile users worldwide. That’s 71% of the population.
- In North America, 92% of people will have access to the internet by 2023.
- From 2018-2023, internet users are predicted to grow from 3.9 billion to 5.3 billion.
Benefits of Live Shopping
Live streaming is highly beneficial for e-commerce businesses due to a number of reasons:
1. Customers can see your products up close.
What makes live shopping stand out from normal online shopping is its real-time element. Similar to shopping in a store, live shopping lets viewers see the products from more angles through live stream video.
Additionally, live streaming shows raw and unedited products, as opposed to e-commerce platforms that might make edits to the product images.
2. It establishes trust and authenticity.
Live shopping is much more engaging because it makes viewers feel like they are part of more intimate discussions with brands.
The real-time nature of live streaming can help your viewers feel like they are on a video chat with a friend rather than watching a heavily edited pre-recorded video.
When a video is being streamed live, it creates a bit of “FOMO.”. Viewers don’t want to miss out and are likely to direct their attention to a video that may not be available at a later time. This essentially grows your audience, too.
3. It’s Easy to Do
It’s very easy to start streaming, especially if you are streaming from your smartphone. You can start live selling from social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, or you can engage in live shopping services.
Best Live Shopping Services for Businesses
BeLive Technology (BeLive)
One of the best live shopping solutions for businesses, BeLive Technology has the most expertise in the live streaming sector. They started as a consumer-facing live streaming app before focusing to provide premium live streaming technology and features to businesses.
BeLive’s clients are no laughing matter. This Singaporean company developed and powers Rakuten Japan’s social live streaming and shopping app.
Where BeLive Technology stands out from the rest is in high customizability. No two live shopping platforms by BeLive are the same, because they can tailor every nook and cranny of the platform to the client.
Bambuser offers a service in which you can maintain a live stream with those who visit your site, while they are able to browse, ask questions in a live chat, and make purchases all while you are maintaining your stream.
The service offers a “one-to-many” option, in which you can host a live video event and anyone can join the stream to ask questions, provide likes and other reactions to the products. This lets you know how customers are feeling about your products and what you may need to change or promote on a large scale.
Bambuser’s features are attractive, but one bane is their high costs and lack of flexibility. Clients of Bambuser are limited in terms of the user experience of the features and require prior knowledge of developing.
Livescale implemented its live shopping solution in 2019. The service is multi-dimensional, including the ability to create customized live shopping experiences for customers. They also offer support solutions to ensure that your business is using best practices in your live e-commerce strategy.
The service boasts the ability to increase engagement and to “transform your audience into a community”. Additionally, Livescale integrates with Shopify, one of the best e-commerce platforms currently available. However, customizability of features in Livescale is limited.
Choosing The Right Live Shopping Service
To maximize the potential of live commerce, your business needs to use a live shopping service that provides your business with the right features. Ideally, the live shopping service should allow customization, because a cookie-cutter service would blend you in with other businesses, which we don’t want.
A good live shopping service should allow you to:
- Incorporate monetization features that allow you to earn more
- Have the best video quality (nothing below 720p)
- Customize the live shopping platform to your business’s needs, and more
Let’s go over each of these points in further detail.
Incorporate Monetization Features
No one likes feeling limited in how their business can profit off their hard work. Live stream ecommerce is no exception. You want options that enable your streaming channel to make the most sales.
While you can use your live shopping platform to make direct sales from your viewers, you can also incorporate subscription plans, pay-per-view services, and customized ads onto your live shopping platform.
One major perk of using a paid live shopping service is the ability for users to view catalogs and check out products in-stream.
Amazing Video Quality
If you’ve ever tried using social media for your live streams, then you may have been surprised to see significant lags and a video that lacks a crisp, clear resolution. Many social media platforms cap their resolution capacities at a low quality to make it easier to broadcast on their servers.
In other words, your live stream can do your products harm by displaying products in a low resolution if you use free social media services for your live stream.
Customize Your Platform
Don’t be fooled, customization doesn’t only apply to aesthetics and branding colours. Only some live shopping services allow you to customize individual live streaming features.
For example, you can choose to have the live chat message pin function react differently than the normal pin-to-top behaviour.
What this means is that you can have full control of the user interface and user experience. After all, who else would better know your audience’s preferences than your own business.
The online world is constantly changing, but one thing remains certain: live stream ecommerce isn’t going anywhere. If your business is ready to make that next move, contact BeLive Technology for a free consultation.