E-Commerce

Livestream e-Commerce: Why It Transforms Online Shopping

29 October 2021 • 9 min read
Livestream e-Commerce: Why It Transforms Online Shopping
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Slava Ivanov
Slava Ivanov
Global IT partnerships and Strategic development
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Slava Vaniukov
Written by Slava Vaniukov
CEO and Co-Founder at Softermii
Video conferencing software development
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The e-commerce industry is under the effect of rapid technology development. Recently, a new word in online shopping appeared: live stream eCommerce. Currently, this is one of the most impactful trends. It seems to become even bigger in the upcoming years.

According to Coresight Research, in the United States, the live stream shopping market will reach $11 billion in 2021. By the end of 2023, this number is expected to exceed $25 billion. In China, where the boom on live streaming and online shopping started, it's expected to reach $300 billion in 2021.

This new business model is suitable for any product, service, or business. The live demonstration has multiple benefits, from the high conversion to better connecting with the audience.

Businesses that can make use out of livestream shopping.

source: Forbes

Livestream commerce became an evolutionary method to attract more clients and increase sales. In this article, we uncover the phenomenon of live commerce technology for selling your products or services online.

Here are the main aspects of the article that will help you understand how live commerce drives retail and helps to work with the audience:

  • the reasons for the popularity of live streams in China
  • the value of live stream e-commerce for the retail industry
  • key characteristics of live streams
  • list of companies that actively use live streaming
  • trends and predictions

Also, we will share our expertise in developing and introducing the feature of real-time video shopping for our clients.

Why is livestreaming commerce so popular in China?

In 2017, the gross merchandise value of e-commerce live streaming in China was only 0.3%. In 2021, this number reached 15.2%. By the end of 2023, it is expected that the GMV of e-commerce live streaming in China will hit 20.3%.

But why has live streaming become so popular in China?

The answer is simple: the change of behavioral patterns caused by Covid-19.

Gross merchandise value of e-commerce livestreaming in China.

Making a purchase online has already become a common practice for all of us. However, when strict lockdowns started in China during the Covid-19 pandemic, every shopper's life changed dramatically. There was no longer an option to visit a store or a shop. The shopping has concentrated online.

For the Chinese retail market, Covid-19 opened a world of new possibilities. Live streaming, which has already been popular with Chinese customers, was successfully introduced to the shopping process. It was more than just selling products online: a seller also has to run a stream on one of the platforms (for example, Instagram) and communicate with the audience.

Live shopping for e-commerce brands became a solution during lockdown that turned into a new marketing strategy that effectively works even when all offline shops are available for visitors.

Alibaba influencers generated almost $159 million with the help of livestreaming shopping.

source: Forbes


Alibaba group was one of the first who has understood the benefits of live stream shopping in full. The Alibaba group continues working with live stream shopping, as the revenue from this activity is surprisingly huge. In 2020, during the first day of the pre-sale period dedicated to the Singles' day, Alibaba's influencers Austin Li and Viya generated over $149.5 mln during the live streams.

The value of live commerce in eCommerce is increasing each day

Today, live stream shopping is experiencing explosive growth. China, the USA, and European countries turn to this media tool for selling goods online.

The benefits of introducing live streaming are multiple. Let's list them in our guide for e-commerce live streaming:

  • Client conversion ratio

One of the biggest benefits of adopting live streaming in eCommerce is the change of client conversion ratio. Customers love to watch videos. Moreover, they expect a brand to shoot videos that will describe their product or service, explain how to use it, or even sell, just live streams do.

  • Personal touch

Any retailer who uses live streams will confess: they help build proper relations with customers and establish a better connection between a brand and a client. The matter is that live stream videos help to add a personal touch to everything you do.

  • Customer engagement

If you are planning to work on customer engagement, livestreaming is the perfect tool for that. To make the stream even more interesting to your audience, you can invite influencers. In this way, you will also attract the audience of the influencer. Also, you can engage visitors with various sales, contests, and lotteries.

Read also: Developing a Streaming Service Like Netflix

Key Characteristics of Livestream Ecommerce

Livestream shopping has a list of characteristics that help us answer what live stream e-commerce is. These features will also help you create a better stream when you decide to try this technology in your marketing and sales campaign.

Basic Live Streaming e-Commerce User Experience

source: Forbes

You must integrate your live stream into different popular platforms

If you want to make the most out of your live stream, remember that the quality of the platform you choose for streaming has a huge effect on the overall results. It's better to choose platforms where live streams are naturally integrated: TikTok or Instagram. On these platforms, you will watch live stream shopping examples to understand what format you prefer.

Remember about scarcity and urgency theory during the live stream

Live stream, as any other marketing tool, should rely on a scarcity and urgency message. It means that your visitors should understand that this event is their ultimate chance to buy the product for a stated price (for example, with a discount). Use the following approaches to succeed with this point: set time limits for discounts, demonstrate the number of clients looking at this product, warn that the product is low in stock.

Make your stream highly interactive, social, and playful with gamification

To attract more clients and encourage viewers to make purchases, it's important to make a stream as interactive as you can. When the viewers enjoy what's going on the screen, they are more likely to buy the products that you sell. A good idea will be to turn on live comments to answer the questions of your visitors.

Companies profiting from livestream shopping today

Integrating live streaming and e-commerce can help your company establish new revenue records and reach business goals faster. These three companies' expertise will help you understand how beneficial livestreaming can be for any business today.

Nordstrom

Nordstrom is one of the biggest companies that have already launched their live stream channel for shopping. Nordstrom has already hosted any virtual shopping event that a live streaming platform could host. During each event, the visitors can communicate to the host and each other on live chat, and of course, buy goods that they like.

Amazon

When the popularity of shopping livestreams became undeniable, Amazon launched their streaming service to cover their and their clients' needs. Currently, Amazon also uses streaming services for lifestyle, fitness, and cooking streams.

Facebook

Facebook is one of the social media giants that have already introduced an option of shopping livestreams. Facebook allows livestreams to every business page. Therefore, it becomes a more available option even for companies that do not have their streaming platforms.

Live stream shopping trends and predictions

By using live streaming integration in e-commerce, your business reveals more options to boost sales, improve performance and keep customers engaged. Yet, it's not enough just to host live streams – it's also important to use current trends and predictions that make e-commerce live streaming even more profitable.

  • Add picture-in-picture view

If you plan to sell goods during the live stream, remember to use a picture-in-picture view featuring your products.

  • Use demonstration of products

It will be nice to record demonstrations of the products you sell, and any time the client asks to show the product in action, demonstrate this video.

  • Add coupon/discount center

If you offer your visitors some coupons or discounts, it will be nice to add a coupon/discount center to keep all the information about their activation or usage.

  • Introduce loyalty levels

Allow your visitors to move through the loyalty status table during the livestreaming. It's a great gamification tool that helps to keep users engaged.

Softermii’s experience building streaming solutions

Not sure what features you need for your next stream? You definitely need the help of professionals. We at Softermii have been working on video conferencing solutions for many clients, and our expertise helps us solve any livestreaming needs of the clients.

We create video communication for any business: from real estate to healthcare and education. We work with the VidRTC engine to ensure the highest quality for live broadcastings apps and live video conferencing.

Scoby

Scoby is an audio and video-conferencing application that has incorporated the best features of Twitch, Clubhouse, and TikTok. Among the best features of the Scoby are the following:

  • private rooms
  • video calls
  • room moderation
  • gifts and donates
  • streaming
  • broadcasting
  • AI-generated news feed

Challenge

Our main challenge was to move Scoby from a web platform to a comprehensive mobile app.

Solution

To create an app that will meet clients' expectations and convey all the necessary features, we used Mediasoup technology. Additionally, we've developed and introduced several features to ensure the perfect work of the application.

Among the technologies used to create additional features, we employed React Native, Redux, Node.JS, AWS, and GraphQL.

Conclusion

E-commerce livestreaming is one of the technologies that you need to try once to understand all its benefits. From small local shops to big retail stores, any business can easily benefit from live streaming.

Livestream shopping helps increase the clients' loyalty, build a strong connection with them, improve conversion ratio, and boost sales.

If you are ready to try video streaming, we at Softermii are ready to help you. From video conferences to chat moderations, we can introduce any feature into your application. We will help you develop live streaming apps that will allow you to record videos, talk to visitors, and sell goods, of course.

Drop us a line so we know that you're ready for cooperation!

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