What is video commerce – live shopping a success in e-commerce
Live shopping is one of the revolutionary trends in online sales. Live shopping was started by HSN team and Chinese bloggers. Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, brands took advantage of increased consumer online activity to expand this trend, thereby earning millions. HSN now has two brands, QVC and HSN, which offer video trading platforms with more than 380 million channels.
Streaming in commerce
National Retail Federation (NRF) points out that live shopping is nothing more than using real-time video content. During the broadcast, products are shared, questions are answered and sales are finalized with customers who join remotely to watch, chat and buy products. The organization notes that this follows the original TV model and has gradually gained popularity in recent years. In the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers around the world are racing to offer a compelling message, thereby expanding the marketing mix to include interactive elements during live streaming.
The trend started in China in mid-2010. Influencers in Asia have started using live video applications to “take” their fans on boutique shopping trips in New York or Los Angeles. Chinese women on the tours shared product reviews, and the virtual journeys gave viewers a glimpse of often exotic locations with the option to explore and buy previously unknown products that are unavailable in China. Meanwhile, Chinese e-commerce giants have begun offering live events via video. Often the presenters were celebrities and bloggers. Chinese consumers loved such events, as on Singles’ Day 2019, the Taobao sales event hosted an eight-hour live stream with popular influencer Viya. Streaming has attracted more than 43 million customers. The presence of popular people in effect proved to be a temporary success. Quite a few people made purchases solely because of the presence of a whistle, and this all too often did not translate into brand loyalty and repeat purchases.
Commerce in other markets
Many different approaches to real-time video shopping are emerging in the United States and Europe. As in China, the leading theme is adding these types of sales to popular e-commerce platforms or in social media apps. Instargram has allowed in-app audiences live shopping options. Facebook has taken similar steps, offering QVC – Facebook Live. Walmart recently partnered with TikTok to offer its products via live streaming. Amazon has launched Amazon Live with a range of programs and tools to allow brands to create their own programs. Other commerce players are developing online marketplaces for live shopping or helping retailers use live streaming to engage audiences on their digital assets. Some are experimenting with personalized broadcasts that connect customers with shoppers or in-store staff.
Live sales a fusion of several trends?
The success of influencer marketing can be traced back to several existing trends. Digital media consumption is growing rapidly as new technologies make it easier than ever to create and share video experiences. Celebrities are increasingly influential in society. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a shift among consumers, as they have been forced to interact more with retailers and brands online. The success of the Swedish company Bambuser AB, where some time ago it launched a technology enabling streaming commerce, can testify to the strong online sales trend. The decision of the company’s managers turned out to be correct, as the company’s shares rose thirteen times. The Swedish company is worth approximately USD 177 million. Meanwhile, Bambuser AB reported sales of $842,000 in the first half of 2020. In the near term, new commerce players face more practical challenges – for example, the rapidly rising cost of attracting customers participating in live sales. The basic needs that have always defined commerce have not changed. It is not enough just to offer sales with a famous person, but the key to success invariably lies in building lasting relationships with the customer
As live shopping evolves, consumer behavior will change. Perhaps artificial intelligence in social media will allow us to provide each customer with a fully customized channel of live interactive content. Maybe virtual reality will transport the customer to the front row at fashion shows, where creatives and experts will sit next to consumers and be able to answer all questions and concerns. Anything is possible, especially with Paris Fashion Week 2020 taking place entirely remotely.