Live shopping is one of the fastest growing revenue channels for e-commerce businesses across the globe. The convenience of online shopping combined with real-time engagement is redefining the way consumers interact with brands and make their buying decisions.
In China alone, live shopping is expected to reach $1.2 trillion by 2025 per a report by McKinsey. While still in its nascent stage in the Western, a report by Juniper Research says the live shopping sales are expected to reach $55 billion by 2026.
This huge potential for live commerce suggests that online retailers and marketplaces should investigate integrating the shoppable live streams into their strategy. To help brands, marketplaces, and e-commerce platforms boost conversion rates, Agora recently hosted RTE Live Shopping 2023, a 4-part webinar series exploring the latest live commerce trends and best practices. Based on those learnings from industry experts, this blog will cover how live shopping can increase conversion rates and sales.
Connect, converse, and convert—in real-time
The combination of e-commerce and real-time engagement has allowed sellers to connect with buyers at a personal level.
Here are the ways e-commerce brands and platforms can enable sellers to forge trust while creating meaningful connections with their consumers:
- Host Live Shopping Events: Businesses can interact with thousands of users in real-time with zero latency during live shopping events, making it a seamless interactive experience that is closer to real-life shopping.
- Provide a Personalized Experience: By analyzing buyer behavior, engagement level, and intent, sellers can create a personalized shopping experience that resonates with the consumer and allows them to better relate to the product or service.
- Build a Community: Targeted ads are great for bringing in potential customers, but real e-commerce success comes from turning those customers into a loyal community of repeat buyers. Allowing your customers to interact directly with brands they like and with other likeminded customers via real-time engagement can help you build a thriving community and drive more sales.
- Make it a Social Event: Social e-commerce makes live shopping a socializing experience by helping users interact with their fellow shoppers or invite and tag their peers to shop together.
Your Checklist for a Better Live Shopping Experience
Social commerce is all about creating personalized interactive experiences for your audience, building that trust factor, and creating an engaging and authentic environment.
Follow this checklist to ensure that your live shopping event drives conversions and revenue:
- Audience Engagement: True engagement happens when your viewers become active participants. Early bird discounts, giveaways, discussions, and question and answer sessions—do whatever you can to get the audience involved. Gamification is one tactic that always works in your favor. In-event games, spin the wheel, or mystery boxes demand the active participation of viewers.
- Authenticity: Authenticity is the key that connects people. Do your research and find that common ground between you and your audience to connect authentically. Build trust by showcasing your expertise, responding to their feedback, and addressing their questions or doubts. Focus on the conversation, and conversion will follow.
- Immersive Experience: Leverage emerging immersive technologies like spatial audio, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR). These super-imposed realities can help you showcase your product in a virtual environment and help your audience experience the value it has to offer.
- Event Optimization: Plan the course of your event based on the insights derived from data metrics such as buyer persona, intent, and buyer behavior. Optimize your content and strategize your approach based on these analytics to boost the relatability factor that, in turn, drives engagement.
- Safety and Security: Leverage AI-powered tools to automatically detect and prevent the sale of any illegal or prohibited goods or articles. Use AI to filter unwarranted comments or to remove any spam, bots, or disruptive audience behavior.
Common Live Shopping Challenges
Checking those boxes paves the way for an immersive and interactive live shopping experience, but there are some common challenges that you might face during the event. Here is how you can tackle them:
- Latency: It’s one of the biggest challenges that hampers engagement in large virtual events. Ensure your live streams are powered by the best tech-stack to reduce latency and enable real-time audience interaction.
- Delayed responses: The live aspect loses its value without the audience interaction. Try to reply to all relevant questions and comments in real-time to make sure your customers feel they are heard and able to engage. Keep it positive and aim to highlight the comments that work as social proof for your product.
- Multitasking: If you are new to hosting live shopping events, it’s essential to have a plan for the required multitasking. Whether it’s recruiting more people to help with production or mastering solo multitasking, practicing beforehand is the key. Make sure you know who is reading and responding to the chat, who is on camera, who can retrieve off camera items, etc.
Following this checklist while addressing the challenges can help you turn social commerce into a new revenue lever for your business.
Explore the RTE Live Shopping webinar series to get the full playbook on how live shopping powered by real-time engagement is transforming the way sellers and buyers connect, engage and shop via e-commerce.