What is Live Commerce and Why it Matters in 2023 Planning

live commerce

Live commerce is a new trend in e-commerce that is rapidly gaining popularity. It is a type of e-commerce where customers can interact with products and services in real-time. This allows for a more personal and engaging shopping experience. 

It is a new form of online purchasing, where customers purchase products whilst in the middle of live-streamed video events. It improves e-commerce through video events that are broadcast in real-time, merging in-store personal assistance and online convenience

In this article, we will look at the following:

  • The importance of live commerce
  • How live commerce creates value for retailers
  • How you can get started with live commerce
  • Trends we expect to see with live video commerce

The importance of live commerce

As a reminder, live commerce is the act of selling products online via live video, with shoppers engaging with brands in real-time. It is the blending of live broadcasting with e-commerce (or traditional commerce). Viewers are able to view a product being demoed in live action and buy that product directly from the live video. The approach is designed to give consumers an interactive experience, allowing them to ask questions and purchase products while the live broadcast is taking place.   

There are many benefits to implementing live commerce on your site:

  1. Businesses can create more value for their products and services. Customers are able to see the products and services in action, which helps to build trust and confidence
  2. Trends can be used to generate leads and sales. Businesses can use live chat and one-to-one video to attract new customers and convert them into paying customers
  3. It can help businesses to build better relationships with their customers. By interacting with them in real-time in a one-to-one environment, businesses get to know their customers better and address their needs more effectively. Find out how you can transform your customer’s online shopping experience with live one-to-one video shopping.
  4. It can help businesses stay ahead of the competition. With the right strategy, businesses can gain a competitive edge by offering a more personal and engaging shopping experience

How it creates value for retailers

As identified by McKinsey, live commerce can assist brands, retailers, and marketplaces in two primary areas

Accelerating conversion

It brings a factor of convenience into the buying process for consumers; they can buy anywhere in live commerce. This saves travel costs to physical retail, as well as the time they would have spent waiting in line or waiting to be served by a member of staff. While online shopping provides the convenience of time and location, livestreaming commerce takes that one step further, making it possible for consumers to interact with each other in real-time.

“Companies report conversion rates approaching 30 percent—up to ten times higher than in conventional e-commerce.” – McKinsey

Improving brand appeal and differentiation 

Live streams enable customers to get additional product information and find new items that may have previously been overlooked. Live commerce provides customers with an interactive buying experience where they can view real-time demos of products, interact with sellers, and purchase products immediately. It has the potential to reinforce positions among existing customers, as well as bring in new ones, particularly younger ones who are interested in innovative formats and shopping experiences.

Livestreaming commerce, where brands market their products live to an online audience, is one of the most exciting trends in retail. Livestream shopping represents the bridge between entertainment and online shopping, which has huge potential to be a new norm in e-commerce. Livestream shopping (also known as live video shopping) is used by brands to promote and sell products via digital platforms, usually partnering with influencers.    

live commerce
Beauty industry live commerce

How you can get started with live commerce

To succeed with live commerce, in most cases, you will need specific tools, such as live video shopping tools and integration with a shopping cart for a seamless experience. Companies that have more expertise with live commerce could move towards a ready-made solution, like Confer With, which allows them to customise their live-shopping experience according to their brand, syndicate across different social channels, and provide their customers seamless purchasing experience on a single page.    

Confer With’s live video shopping platform offers an immersive, live 1-2-1 video shopping experience that seamlessly integrates with e-commerce sites. This enables customers to reach out to a retail expert on your website through a face-to-face video call, engaging directly with one of your colleagues in real-time. Live 1-2-1 video shopping is extremely useful when customers are in the consideration stage of their purchasing journey and need help selecting the right product to buy. It results in high conversion rates without the need to discount the items.

Here, a consumer is matched directly to a specialist to receive a personalised and dedicated shopping experience. 

live commerce
Confer With’s live 1-2-1 video shopping platform

1-2-many is another form of livestream shopping. This mainly involves retail teams showcasing products to a large audience during a fixed livestream event, with no direct interaction between the sales representative and the customer. Although useful for awareness of products and be marketed to thousands of people at a single time, it is important to note that there won’t be incredible sales unless the items are discounted. 

Find out more about the difference between 1-2-1 and 1-2-many live video shopping solutions, and which strategy works best for your brand.

Social media is a large contributor to the success of live video commerce. Social commerce allows users to purchase products directly from brands via social media platforms such as Instagram or TikTok, without having to leave the experience of a live broadcast in order to finalise the purchase. Shopping takes place during a live broadcast on a digital platform or social media where the influencer is promoting the product or the brand.

Source: McKinsey Gen Z Survey, 2019

Live commerce solutions enable consumers to engage with brands experts in real-time, which humanises the online purchasing world and brings customer experiences up to an in-store experience. Live commerce will help brands grow their customer base globally through immersive Virtual Reality (VR) experiences, which allows them to get a first-hand experience when buying products from far away, yet have that same level of trust and certainty. Eventually, over the next decade, it is said that live commerce marketplace will become a standard to make brands interact with customers to share their products and services.

These are the current trends that are taking over live commerce right now:

  • Tutorials – effective in showing the audience how to use, apply, and combine with other products (the latter opening up the opportunity for cross-selling)
  • Interviews – whether that be with a celebrity or influencer, these allow product launches to feel more personal and authentic 
  • Behind-the-scenes – showcases the journey of the brand and their products, increasing loyalty in the target segment

Viewers receive the entertainment value of live streaming, including everything from watching the live video, reacting with comments and actions, and experiencing the convenience of buying products from the online store, all in one go. Live commerce is a service that integrates a live video feed with immediate purchase.

Key Takeaways

The fusion of video and commerce helps to enhance engagement, bridge the customer-product divide, boost sales, and – where there is a price-matching element – raise average sales prices. While online shopping provides the convenience of time and location, live video commerce makes it possible for consumers to interact with each other in real-time

To find out more about live video shopping and explore the opportunities it can bring to your customers, download the Confer With whitepaper

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