Live Shopping: Is This the Future of Ecommerce?

Live shopping isn’t new, but it’s currently making headlines around the world. Brands across luxury fashion, homeware, beauty and many more are diving right into the medium, trying their hand at engaging shoppers in a new way.

Recent statistics from China show just how popular live shopping has become, and what this rise in popularity could mean for markets in other parts of the world. The Chinese unofficial holiday known as Singles Day, which is similar to Black Friday, saw impressive sales figures for live shopping platforms. TaoBao Live reported profits of $6 billion, an increase of 100% when compared with the previous year. Viewing figures topped the charts too, with over 300 million tuning in to the 33 live shopping channels on offer. 

The figures from China indicate the growing appetite for live shopping – one that has recently been accelerated. Live shopping has become a more appealing option for many. But could it really be the future of ecommerce?

What is live shopping?

With live shopping, customers can see products being tried out and even interact with assistants in real time. It combines the convenience of online ecommerce with the human element of shopping IRL, creating a new experience that shoppers can’t seem to get enough of.

While live shopping itself isn’t a new idea, it’s transformed in recent years. What began with the home shopping channels of the 1970s and 80s has since been digitized to suit the mobile-era. Social platforms are now being used to connect consumers with the brands they love – and many are already making the most of this new way to showcase their products.

Are we already living in the era of live shopping?

Brands are already embracing live shopping and video technology to showcase and sell their products online. The fashion and beauty industries have been amongst the fastest to take up the idea, with companies like Rebecca Minkoff and influencers like Nikita Dragun leading the way in reimagining live shopping for 21st century consumers. Dragun reported a great takeup of her own live shopping event, which saw 40,000 shoppers tune in to hear about her branded products. 

Top influencers are using some of the world’s best loved social platforms to create their live shopping events, revealing new product ranges via Instagram’s live stories and launching live shopping streams that allow shoppers to browse entire product catalogues without leaving the app. 

Solutions such as HERO® are giving brands the tools they need to bring live shopping to life. With one-to-one video calling and real-time messaging, brands can instantly connect shoppers with store associates, letting them provide recommendations and product information as the customer browses. 

It’s not hard to see why so many brands, influencers and social platforms are recognizing the power of live shopping. It drives engagement, and shoppers love it.

Live shops create opportunities across industries

It’s not just beauty and apparel brands who are taking note, live shopping is now being used to create new opportunities across a huge range of different industries. For instance, Herman Miller the homeware brand turned to live one-to-one video shopping to enhance its own eCommerce offering and they have already seen the returns. Herman Miller recently recorded an online order worth over $20,000 after the customer in question took part in a live video consultation with an associate.

Here’s how the world’s leading brands are already using live shopping:

  • Product demonstrations: Brands can now entice customers through interactive product demonstrations, all via their live shopping feed. Customers are more likely to watch the demonstrations from the comfort of their own home, and just might be persuaded to make a purchase as they do so. 
  • Content creation: Live shopping offers fantastic new opportunities for content creation, and brands are really letting their creativity run wild as they explore them. Leading brands are using live shopping to share their store assistants’ expertise, effectively turning them into highly influential content creators. 
  • Human interaction: Live shopping gives brands the chance to add a human element to their customer experience, making it possible for companies to up the ante with a layer of human interaction in their eCommerce offering. And with shoppers 21x more likely to convert after interacting with an associate, this can make a significant impact.

Live shopping: The future of eCommerce is now

Live shopping is growing in importance, not just for customers who want the immediacy of online shopping blended with the authenticity of human-driven commerce, but for brands who want to keep pace with the evolving needs of customers. So, is live shopping the future of eCommerce? It certainly looks that way.

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About Hero®

Add the “IRL” experience to your online store, with the #1 virtual shopping platform. Headquarted in London and New York. Hero is trusted by brands including Levi’s, Nike, Herman Miller and LVMH.