The COVID-19 pandemic has evidently created a shift in the way businesses market themselves and reach their customers. With digital being king, brands are now turning to e-commerce platforms and other online tools to fulfill their business goals. One of these tools is livestreaming.
Is livestream shopping a thing?
More often than not, livestreaming is typically associated with video games. If you look at different social media platforms such as Twitch, Youtube, or Facebook, you would see many people livestreaming their gameplays to their audience. In recent years, livestreaming has become closely associated with business as well, bringing online shopping to the next level.
Livestream shopping is now becoming a reality as more businesses turn to e-commerce channels to sell their products and give their customers a direct way to reach them. Although it seems like a completely new medium, livestreaming has been commonplace since 2016 by e-commerce platforms in China. Livestream shopping reached peak popularity in China back in 2018, with sales rising up to $43 million and businesses gaining as much as 10 million viewers per stream.
Livestream selling in China has become an exponential success, so much so that some brands are taking note of this. For example, Kim Kardashian sold out all the stock of her perfume within minutes after appearing on a livestream on T-Mall with Viya Huang. Coincidentally, a sub-brand of H&M, Monki, also tried their hand at livestream selling where their customers can “buy-from-broadcast” as staff from Monki show off their newest pieces and respond to customer inquiries.
The infomercial reboot
Livestreaming has become an essential form of marketing in other countries as well. Its popularity has since spread throughout Asia and is starting to gain traction in countries like the United States as the platform is comparable to infomercial shopping channels like QVC, which was broadcasted live on TV.
Many large companies are keeping up with this new marketing trend. Amazon, for instance, released Amazon Live while other companies such as Facebook and Instagram have incorporated livestreaming into their platform. In Southeast Asia alone, livestream shopping has already been integrated in two of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the region, Lazada and Shopee. They both released their own versions of livestream shopping. LazLive and Shopee Live respectively, on their platforms.
In a way, livestream shopping is a blend of the old and the new. It is familiar and nostalgic with its similarity to the infomercial shopping channels we used to see on TV blended with elements from today’s digital age, social media, and online shopping. Additionally, with the new normal we are facing, livestream shopping has given both businesses and consumers a chance to still interact with one another through more convenient means.
The future of livestream selling
Livestream selling has allowed businesses to directly interact with their customers, adding a personal touch to the experience of online shopping. This is especially important in a time where digital is king and consumers now turn to online shopping methods to fulfill their needs.
That being said, this is only just the beginning for livestream selling. With the boom of e-commerce, you can definitely expect to see more platforms and brands livestreaming to sell their products and connect with their target markets.
-Written by Sofia Tan