Let’s be frank that social media is invasive, but very few of us can resist its takeover of our lives - or perhaps we are enjoying its invasion.

Social media has been changing the way we communicate, get and share information, as well as the way we shop that blurs the lines between social media and eCommerce.

With the dominance of social media comes the idea of social commerce. It’s the constructiveness and connectedness of these social networking platforms that changed the game of retail.

The trend of social commerce has been rising at breakneck speed, contributing to the variety in channels and formats. Among which Livestream eCommerce - as a branch of the ‘social commerce’ family tree - has taken the industry by storm.



What is Livestreaming eCommerce?


Livestreaming generally refers to the streaming of videos that are not pre-recorded and stored.

Utilizing livestreaming for eCommerce: Livestreaming eCommerce is the promotion and selling of goods through video streaming on social media channels - most often self-run by influencers in collaboration with brands and housed on online marketplaces.



What makes Livestreaming eCommerce a star in retail?


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Statistics don’t lie - here is proof of how live videos guide consumers through their customer journey from awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty to advocacy.

⁃ 80% and 82% of the audience prefers watching a brand’s live videos to blogs and social posts respectively. (Vimeo) ⁃ Viewers watch live videos 10-20 times longer than on-demand content. (Forrester) ⁃ Companies that use video enjoy 41% more traffic from searches. (TechJury) ⁃ Over 50% of consumers want to see more video content from businesses and brands they support and follow. (HubSpot) ⁃ 74% of millennials find video helpful when comparing and evaluating products and services. (TechJury)

YES - livestreaming addresses marketers’ pain points, as in catching browsers’ short attention span and compellingly promoting products and services.


Long story short -

Engagement is key.


A live video engages viewers like never before - here we are talking about interactions in real-time like chatting with your friend over a video call.

Some fans of social posts may claim that brands and their customers can interact in many ways such as like, comment and share, etc. That is true, but unfortunately not as responsive as a live video.

Nothing beats the personalized and interactive experience that livestreaming has to offer. During a live stream, viewers can have their questions answered immediately, share experiences with their fellows and seek opinions to validate their decisions.

Thus, the nature of live streams has carved a niche for livestreaming to becoming an eCommerce catalyst.



Livestreaming eCommerce: An Overview


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From a technical perspective, video is expected to dominate IP traffic and overall Internet traffic growth - account for 80% by 2021 globally (Cisco). This is a clear sign that leveraging video content should be a strategic direction for every eCommerce business to drive growth.

From a sales and marketing perspective, livestreaming for eCommerce is a customer-oriented marketing strategy that connects brands and consumers in real-time, with driving direct sales as an ultimate goal.

On top of engagement and interaction, livestreaming can be a powerful O2O marketing tool for events and shopping festivals.

Cost-wise, going ‘live’ is free on a majority of social media platforms and it cuts massive costs on video promotion.

Performance-wise, the time-exclusiveness of livestreaming may shorten a customer’s decision-making process - considering the limited time for consideration and exclusive in-video offers given to viewers that are likely to create an urge to buy.



Livestreaming eCommerce: A Futuristic Picture


Last year, Facebook launched Instagram Live Shopping in the US - viewers can shop straight from a live stream with product tags, thus transforming social commerce with livestreaming.

What’s next? Probably more platforms will make live videos seller and shopper-friendly.

Furthermore, technological advancement has transformed many sectors - social commerce and livestreaming eCommerce are no exception. Powered by the increasingly mature 5G and AI technologies, we can expect more ‘live’ shopping features to be available during high-quality streaming that take customer experience to a new level.


Is livestreaming eCommerce a thing for your business?

Let us know your thoughts!



References:

Forrester: https://www.forrester.com/report/Prepare+To+Support+Video+Livestreaming+For+Customer+Experiences/-/E-RES135382

HubSpot: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/content-trends-preferences

TechJury: https://techjury.net/blog/live-streaming-statistics/

Vimeo - Livestream: https://livestream.com/blog/62-must-know-stats-live-video-streaming