Revolutionizing live advertising with live shopping

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Did you know that teleshopping was first imagined in 1877 in a press article that anticipated how “the Electroscope”, an imaginary device (at the time) that could help people “see at a distance”, would be used? This article imagines how a merchant could show his products to the entire world through what now looks to us like a TV.

Nowadays, teleshopping is still very much appreciated by many consumers. And in recent years, it has been reinvented by brands in its 2.0 version on social networks: live shopping.

What is this trend? Should you jump into it? And if so, how?

Let's take a look at this new, engaging and innovative way of selling.

What is live shopping?

Live shopping is a sales technique in which a brand sells its products on social media during a live streaming video. In short, it's a form of teleshopping 2.0, taking place on live social platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Twitch.

This sales technique has been popular in China for several years already, where it has hosted a growth rate of 280% between 2017 and 2020. This trend became even more widespread in the country during the pandemic, with Louis Vuitton in particular being the first luxury house to test this sales channel in March 2020 on the Chinese platform Xiaohongshu.

Worldwide, it is estimated that live shopping will account for 20% of e-commerce by 2026. This growing popularity can be explained in part by the rise of another trend: social commerce, which consists of selling products directly on social networks, via dedicated features that facilitate the buying experience on these platforms. 

With the number of Facebook and Instagram stores booming all over the world, and the very recent deployment of TikTok Shop in the U.S., there's no doubt that live shopping is set to continue growing.

What are the benefits of live shopping?

Does selling your products during a live stream seem like a far-fetched idea? Yet this marketing technique promises great performance, and a significant impact on brand awareness!

With live shopping, you can :

  • Efficiently convert your audiences. McKinsey indicates that it is possible to achieve up to a 30% conversion rate via this sales channel -  a percentage 10 times higher than traditional commerce.
  • Reaching audiences in the midst of their buying journey. Many consumers come to social media to find out information before making an online purchase. Selling live on these channels allows you to reach them directly on their buying journey, to get them to take action immediately.
  • Capitalize on the conversational marketing trend. Thanks to live shopping, users can chat live with a brand representative, humanizing the company and enabling them to answer any questions they may have about its products. A real pro for consumers who want more human, more personalized relationships with their favorite brands!
  • Differentiate your brand. Live shopping is still an emerging trend, particularly in Europe. Most of the brands that have embraced this trend are in the beauty, fashion, food, electronics or interior design industries. It's a marketing strategy that allows you to stand out from the crowd, especially among the younger generations, who are keen on this type of new consumption channel.

How to get started with live shopping

Intrigued by this innovative new online marketing practice? Here are eight best practices to get you started, and offer your targets a new way to buy your products.

Live shopping represents a great opportunity for brands to stand out from the crowd, at a time when consumers are increasingly looking for engaging, human experiences on their shopping journey. However, the key to a successful live shopping experience lies not only in offering a high-quality, well-run and well-structured program. You also need to introduce this new sales channel to your target audience. To do this, take the time to design a truly omnichannel campaign around this concept, clearly explaining the benefits consumers will gain from it. Fadi Fadel, Junior Marketing Manager at Gamned!

Choose the right channels for your live shopping event

As you saw, many brands are launching live shopping on social media.

However, it's essential to first broadcast your live sales streams on your website itself, on a page dedicated to this selling medium. 

After that, you can make your live shoppings available on social media - particularly on the profiles of influencers with whom you create a partnership, as you'll discover later in the article.

If you choose to broadcast your live shopping on social media, make sure you have an Instagram or Facebook store, so that your audiences can browse your product catalog on these platforms.

Choose the right host

A successful live shopping event is above all one that engages your audience and makes them want to buy your products. This is where choosing the right host is crucial.

Make sure you select an engaging presenter who's an expert on your products, with real public speaking skills. He or she should also be tech-savvy, so as to make full use of the live streaming platform you're using, and in particular interact with the audience.

Build partnerships with influencers

Relying on influencers can significantly extend the reach of your live shopping. Thanks to these influencers, you reach an audience that belongs to your core target, and leverage the authenticity and credibility attributed to these public personalities.

Focus on micro- and nano-influencers, who attract a higher rate of engagement than the big influencers.

For instance, the brand Bloomingdale’s has chosen Jordan Andino, a cook and influencer that has over 136k followers on Instagram, to host its live shopping streams about cooking.

Create a real "rendez-vous" for your target audience

To make live shopping a key component of your marketing strategy, it needs to become a regular event for your audiences.

So make sure you organize your live shoppings at regular scheduled intervals, but also make replays available to audiences who weren't able to attend.

Set up an entertainment dynamic

Live shopping isn't just about shopping for your audience. It's a real 2.0 show, during which you need to keep the audience's attention so that they don't scroll off to the next live event.

So be sure to set up an engaging entertainment dynamic during your live streams. Competitions, blind tests, quizzes and polls are particularly useful for this purpose.

Set the scene with the right branding

If you want your live shopping to be convincing, you need to create a setup that showcases your professionalism.

Make sure you choose the right equipment to stage your live stream. In particular, provide your speakers with high-performance microphones and headsets, for optimum interactivity with the audience.

You should also emphasize your branding in the setting, with furniture that shows off your logo, and colors that reflect your corporate identity.

For instance, in Petco’s live shoppings, you can see the host and the guest wearing vet clothes, and the brand’s logo is fully visible in the background.

Integrate live shopping into an omnichannel campaign

Launching a high-quality live shopping campaign is not enough to ensure its success. It's essential to spread the word about this new sales technique among your target audiences - and what better way to do this than by launching a dedicated omnichannel campaign?

So promote your live shopping on all your marketing channels, including :  

  • Digital advertising: Social Ads, SEA, segmented TV…
  • Organic digital channels: dedicated page optimized for SEO, social media, newsletters, SMS…
  • Print advertising and point-of-sale advertising, if you have physical stores.

To find out more, check out our article on multi-channel campaigns.

Monitor key performance metrics

Finally, to get the best return on investment from your live shoppings and continuously optimize your strategy, take care to monitor the related KPIs.

You can look at: 

  • The rate of exposure to your brand and product
  • The opt-in rate of your livestreams, i.e. the rate of transformation of a viewer into a qualified lead
  • The conversion rate of your streams
  • The average cart value achieved during the live event

Interactivity, professionalism, engagement and technology: these are the key words for a live shopping experience that generates greater brand awareness and real ROI. So, are you ready to stream to sell?


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