The retail scene is more complicated and online than ever before. As businesses compete for customers’ precious free time, content categories are merging like never before. Media, gaming, shopping, exercise, cooking, and education compete for a fraction of consumer bandwidth in the attention economy.

By 2020, the signs had shifted once again: Netflix applauded TikTok on its phenomenal growth, citing it as “demonstrating the flexibility of digital entertainment.” TikTok has surpassed YouTube in terms of viewing time in the United States, with its audience spending more than 45 minutes each day on the app. The connecting thread in the shifting competitive landscape was an attention: Netflix needed to defeat its conventional competitors while simultaneously competing for the attention of its viewers.

What streaming corporate giants succeed at is great content or, to put it another way, entertainment. Users are captivated by streaming platforms because they are constantly entertained. However, streamers have also learned that having amazing content isn’t enough; they also need to encourage consumers to find and watch it. That is why streaming services make discovery so enjoyable for customers while simultaneously pushing them to commit to viewing a show. Opening titles have been replaced by autoplaying the next fantastic piece of content, and closing credits have been replaced by autoplaying the following significant part of material as soon as the cursor lingers over the preview image.

All e-commerce businesses are now entertainment businesses. The most excellent way for companies to survive is to attract customers and keep them coming back for more with unique content. Livestreams are the inevitable progression from that.

In recent years, livestream e-commerce has erupted in China, where it is crawling from to the Western economy and is estimated to generate more than $60 billion this year. In 2019, 37 percent of online consumers in China (a whopping 265 million individuals) completed purchases via livestreams — and this was before quarantine. It is expected to reach over 560 million people by 2020.

Livestreams contributed $6 billion in sales at Taobao’s annual Single’s Day Global Shopping Festival in 2020 (China’s Black Friday), nearly doubling from the previous year.

Is there a pattern emerging? The major American corporations have noticed, and they’re coming on board quicker than you can say, “Swipe up to purchase now!”

Walmart livestreamed shopping events on TikTok in December. Amazon has launched a live platform where influencers promote products and interact with customers. Instagram has introduced a Shop function, enabling users to explore and purchase products within the app. Facebook has also launched Live Shopping Fridays in the beauty and fashion categories.

Startups are expanding quickly to compete with the significant hitters – PopShop.Live received $20 million to let customers buy everything from books and toys to the jewelry from vendors who broadcast their products. Whatnot secured $50 million in a Series B round to develop its livestream commerce infrastructure. There is also a growing category of SaaS solutions, such as Bambuser, collaborating with businesses like Klarna to test native livestream shopping straight within branded applications.

What was once old has become new again. Your grandparents watched QVC for years because it combined the pleasure of conversing with an employee with the comfort of their retirement community’s TV lounge. Livestream is today’s version of “shoptainment,” Hosts dynamically demonstrate products, engage with their viewers, and create urgency with limited-time discounts, giveaways, and limited-edition products.

Hosts can now develop stronger consumer ties and answer real-time queries thanks to livestream commerce. It’s a new communication standard reflecting a long-held reality, from Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar to smartphones: people shop to waste time and are more likely to buy when they feel connected with a salesperson.

Livestream shopping (also known as livestream e-commerce) combines live video content, real-time conversation, and the option for viewers to buy or save highlighted goods straight from the site. Consider it QVC meets social networking, with an integrated e-commerce feature in place of the 1-800 number.

The advantages of livestream shopping for retailers include a shorter decision period, better consumer interaction, and higher sales. According to Coresight Research, the livestream shopping industry in the United States is predicted to reach $11 billion by 2021 and $25 billion by 2023. According to iResearch, a Shanghai-based market research group, livestream shopping in China will increase from $66 billion in 2019 to $150 billion in 2020. According to Coresight, China’s livestream retail revenues would exceed $300 billion by 2021.

The four factors listed below might help you analyze how livestreaming fits your entire e-commerce strategy.
Customer information:
Who came to the live event?
What did they purchase or save?
What questions did viewers have throughout the livestream?
How will these findings influence future strategy?

Overall engagement: Especially when compared to other streams.
Reduced consideration time and rate of returns due to the possibility for viewers to ask questions and inspect the items during the event.

The potential for livestream shopping to engage audiences and drive sales is tremendous, and merchants of all sizes should investigate how livestream shopping fits into their overall e-commerce strategy.

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March 12, 2022 — ShopParty