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How to Grow Sales and Cultivate Community with Live Shopping featured

How to Grow Sales and Cultivate Community with Live Shopping

By Author: Team Agora In Business

What did an up-and-coming eCommerce marketplace do to instantly increase sales by 70%? They implemented live shopping.

Why? Traditional eCommerce experiences are often solitary and impersonal. Scrolling through static images and reviews, clicking in and out of items, and lacking trusted real-time feedback from friends, peers, or retail staff all contribute to a suboptimal experience.

Live shopping experiences offer an opportunity to break through these challenges and provide a more exciting social shopping experience. Read on to hear how PlantStory boosted sales and community engagement, how brands and consumers benefit from live shopping, and how to implement a successful live shopping strategy.

PlantStory’s community-focused live shopping experience

PlantStory is the first online community and marketplace for plant lovers. With a base of over 1 million subscribers, PlantStory’s primary focus is providing a thriving community for plant enthusiasts. On the eCommerce side, PlantStory initially had a traditional static site for buying and selling plants, relying on social media for social shopping. After deciding to integrate social features like live shopping and chat to their own app, they saw sales increase by 70%.

PlantStory’s live stream shopping sessions are hosted by a large marketplace of sellers and typically see over 300+ concurrent viewers. Anyone can become a seller, providing a platform for established plant businesses and anyone looking to start selling plants. During live video streams, shoppers and fans can engage in lively chat sessions while watching sellers educate and entertain them on new products and special offers.  

The audience can send and receive messages and react to the live streams with emojis. Users get to know each other through the chat and can give each other recommendations and encouragement in the chat, strengthening community and boosting sales while increasing customer satisfaction. 

Multiple screenshots of PlantStory app

Because PlantStory owns the experience, they have full control over chatrooms, so they don’t have to worry about a too much or too little moderation on a third-party platform. Owning the full experience also streamlines the process for billing in comparison with using live shopping features on social platforms. PlantStory’s live shopping experience integrates a “get it now” button, captures intent signals, and seamlessly integrates with backend functions. PlantStory has also implemented engaging features like notifying the audience via chat in real time when someone buys a product, which helps influence other viewers to buy.

Using Agora’s Live Shopping solutions, PlantStory has cracked the code on creating a vibrant online shopping community that keeps users educated, entertained, and engaged.

Benefits of live shopping for brands and consumers

How can live shopping help other brands achieve the success PlantStory has seen? Live shopping, or shoppable livestreams, give brands a way to better engage with customers while providing a more entertaining and interactive shopping experience for customers. 

Live shopping offers the following benefits for online retailers:

  • Video Engagement: Live shopping leverages the power of video, which is more compelling than static images. This medium captures the attention of shoppers and provides a richer and more immersive experience.
  • Build Trust: Retailers can highlight their products through live streams and engage with their audience in real time, creating a sense of authenticity and trust via in-house hosts instead of relying on influencers.
  • Community Growth: Live shopping encourages like-minded people to interact simultaneously, fostering a sense of community. It allows for real-time, two-way conversations between shoppers and sellers, as well as real-time peer feedback and intent signalling.
  • Upselling and Cross-Selling: Live shopping enables sellers to offer special offers, promotions, and recommendations, thereby increasing opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.
  • Rewarding and Retaining Shoppers: Retailers can enhance programs to reward and retain loyal shoppers. By offering exclusive perks, discounts, or loyalty rewards during live shopping events, retailers can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Improved Sales Conversion Rates: According to Emplifi, brands that adopt live stream selling experience a 30% rise in conversion rates, which is 10x higher than conventional e-commerce.

Challenges of relying on social media for live commerce

Many brands are only familiar with the social and live shopping experiences provided by social media companies. Live commerce on traditional social platforms has faced its share of challenges for both retailers and buyers.

For example, when selling on social platforms, sellers often must collect payments via individual direct messages (DMs) from buyers. Cumbersome user journeys, difficulty tracking orders and shipments, time limits on live streams, and a lack of brand loyalty further compound these challenges. These types of challenges are what led Instagram’s Live Shopping to shut down in March and are why more brands are integrating social and live shopping features into their own applications.

Implementing live shopping in your app

So how can brands implement their own live shopping solutions without the headaches of relying on social media? Agora’s Live Shopping solutions make it easy to integrate live shopping into your existing app so users can seamlessly move from traditional online shopping to a live session in the same place they normally shop.

By owning the live shopping experience, retailers gain additional advantages in controlling their live shopping experiences on their websites or apps. These benefits include:

  • Flexibility to integrate back-end operations into the workflow
  • In-app chat for tracking order delivery via location messages
  • AI-powered moderation to safeguard the online community by intercepting and handling adult, mature, and offensive content
  • Assigning admins with full authority to manage chatrooms effectively

Ready to build your own social shopping experience? Check out Agora’s Live Shopping solutions.