Livestream Shopping and the Future of Retail

Live Streaming Use Cases Apr 21, 2021

QVC and HSN have been selling stuff by way of live demos for many years now. So the concept of going live to offer up an exclusive retail shopping experience is nothing new. Despite that, non-traditional shopping experiences like these seem to be the latest trend in the retail space. Let’s find out why.

What is Livestream Shopping?

Livestream shopping is similar to any of those aforementioned shopping network experiences, except they’re live over the internet as opposed to some big tv network. The benefits include more interactivity and instant gratification for the audience. Those watching or participating can ask questions or beg the host to demonstrate the product from a different angle (i.e. “lemme see the back of that!”). Additionally, there are no product category limitations. In fact, anyone can sell just about anything via a livestream shopping platform.

As you may or may not know, there are strict rules around e-commerce selling experiences which makes this even more desirable as a sales avenue to expand to. For example, until recently, it was extremely difficult to sell CBD products using Shopify. Only certain merchants were allowed to process those kinds of sales. Even today, most professional dropshippers have to jump through hoops to find a payment processor that will work with them. You’d be surprised because a lot of that negotiating happens behind the scenes and you’d never know it, but online retail isn’t always as simple as it seems.

Livestream Shopping Apps:

There are a bunch of readily available apps built for an interactive, shoppable live video experience. Here are a few of them:

Smartzer - Makes videos interactive and shoppable.

Livescale.tv - Shoppable live video.

Talkshop.live - An always live social shopping network.

Performlive.live - Interactive live experiences and the ability to monetize your audience.

Dripshop.live - Live shopping events for collectors and craft lovers.

Who is Using Them and How?

All types of people and businesses have been jumping on board the livestreaming for retail bandwagon. Nordstrom, Macy’s, Avon, and even Bluemercury included, to name a few. According to Forbes, the momentum has just begun, stating that the “U.S. livestreaming market is expected to reach $11 billion by the end of 2021 and hit $25 billion by 2023.”

Livestreaming for retail offers individuals and brands the opportunity to hold events as a way to garner engagement and to show authentically in a less-than-scripted manner while providing both entertainment and education. It allows for tutorials, demos, interviews, auctions, and more. The list goes on and on which would suggest that there are an endless array of avenues for people and companies to take this where they want to. And, they can be creative and show some personality along the way.

Reach Your Customers Where They Are

Considering the world we live in today, it's hard to know what the future holds for shopping as a whole. Storefronts have no doubt been hit hard by the pandemic and finding opportunities through livestreaming seems to make sense. Reach your customer where they are, right? Or, at the very least, provide them with an opportunity to find you, even if that means online instead of in-person.

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Rachel Grossinger

Rachel Grossinger is the Digital Marketing Manager at Switchboard Live.

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