If you do a quick search of “live streaming e-commerce” on Google News, you will find phrases such as “the new wave”, “the future of e-commerce”, “The new rage in e-commerce”. But what is an E-Commerce livestream and why is it so popular?
E-commerce is the buying and selling of goods online. It can be shopping for clothes, shoes, and bags, or it could entail booking travel tickets. E-Commerce also includes buying or selling houses, online services, etc. Anything that requires online money transfers can be defined as being part of the ‘E-Commerce’ world. E-commerce has grown significantly over the years and researched predictions show that it won’t stop any time soon. According to Statista, by 2024, Retail E-Commerce sales worldwide will reach about 6400 billion dollars. That’s a 50% increase from 2020!
The Role of Influencers
If products are being bought and sold online, you can automatically (and correctly) assume that such products and services are also marketed online. This is where influencers come in. Influencers are trusted, have loyal followers, and are highly entertaining. It is often why brands will have Brand Ambassadors representing them. A celebrity or an online influencer will have the power to take the brand and the products to the next level with their extensive reach.
If you have been off YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok for the past few, years you may have missed the memo that influencer marketing is huge.
“Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that involves endorsements and product placements from influencers. These influencers have established a reputation for having an expert level of knowledge or social influence in their field.”
Influencer Marketing Hub
The logistics of using influencers to carry out E-Commerce live streams? It is the collaborative process between a brand and an online personality. Their main goal is to reach as many people as possible in a particular niche. Influencers have usually built a fan base of people that trust their recommendations due to expertise in the field. There are a few ways that brands can collaborate with influencers. They can either send them products and ask to be reviewed or mentioned in a post, story, or in a video.
Alternatively, they can go through a more official route, sign a contract, and provide monetary compensation for tagging the brand and showing the products. However, this comes with more technicalities and contract clauses. Some brands prefer influencers to be their most natural selves and advertise the product the way they know their audience will show high engagement. Other brands prefer to be more hands-on and provide detailed instructions, texts, images, and even timings.
How Selling on Livestreams Works
An influencer talks about certain products when livestreaming, with the products being under or in the livestream. Customers can live tweet, start hashtag trends, or simply comment under the live stream if they have any questions about the products. Research states that consumers are more likely to purchase a product if they have watched a live stream (or online video reviews) about it.
Ultimately, selling products and services via a livestream can promote building a community among customers and brands. Brands can show a relatability aspect by allowing their designers, for instance, to go live and talk about their latest collection while also having the products available to buy. As the designer talks about each piece, it gives it life and a story. At the end of the day, marketing is all about story-telling which is why live streaming works ideally in E-Commerce.
Unlike in the West, live streaming e-commerce is not a new phenomena in Eastern countries. Going live and talking about brands and products has been happening for years and is a very lucrative system of sales. According to Forbes, livestreaming E-Commerce in China consists of promoting and selling goods through influencer streams on their own socials, most often streaming on online shopping malls (websites). “It’s like a Home Shopping Network, but with charismatic, trendy anchors.”
E-Commerce live streams in the East have gotten so big that if physical shops and brands don’t run live streams, they are dismissed or encouraged to take the livestreaming route. For brands that live stream, clips of the streams are saved and later added to product introductions on websites. The West is starting to take from this with Jimmy Choo, Walmart, and Lawless Beauty all going live to promote their products. Brands will either send designers, marketers, influencers, or just regular fans of the brand to live stream.
Advantages of Livestreaming
- Easy to set up
- Minimum planning required- tech set up (amateur) and a script for the show
- A livestream is expected to be more like a “chit chat” as opposed to YouTube videos that require intense editing
- Less pressure to deliver a high quality, high resolution stream. Customers adore the authenticity of a casual live conversation with their favorite brand or influencer
- Cheaper than creating marketing videos
- Can always be recorded and uploaded for customers who missed it
- Shows authenticity and reliability
Disadvantages of Livestreaming
- Since it is live, things could go left
- A live stream is not as visually aesthetic as an edited video (however, you can always edit and post later)
- More work for a brand
Where do we see Livestreaming for E-Commerce going?
As we rejoice that we have a new sales and marketing tool to take part in the E-Commerce world, we must note that whom brands pick to go live is important. Influencer marketing is still a big part of marketing and the influencer representing the brand has a huge responsibility. However, too much preparation can take away from the authenticity of a live stream. It’s alright to make mistakes and fumble- customers will actually appreciate the human aspect of it all. Overall, a good balance between preparing for a livestream and still keeping it natural is the most difficult but rewarding aspect. So what are you still waiting for? Your brand better hop on the live streaming bandwagon before everyone else does
WpStream provides anyone with a platform to start live streaming e-commerce. You can also create On-Demand videos and Pay-Per-View streams. With an affordable and user-friendly experience, you are able to display your brand and products in less than 5 minutes.
WpStream can be used on any WordPress website and it is possible to stream using specialized RTMP broadcast software such as OBS, WireCast, vMix, Zoom, etc. To guide you, we have numerous video tutorials on our YouTube channel. You can choose to monetize your e-commerce livestreams with WooCommerce or offer them for free. If you have a big brand with many collections and products, you can also allow influencers (regular users) to broadcast on your WordPress website via the front-end.