June 23, 2023

A Comprehensive Guide To Livestream eCommerce For D2C Brands

Experience the game-changing benefits of livestream eCommerce. Connect with customers, build brand loyalty, & achieve higher sales through shoppable videos.
A Marketer's Guide To Livestream Shopping
A Comprehensive Livestream Shopping Guide

With changes in purchasing behavior and an increase in online shopping, it is only a matter of time till brands come up with innovative marketing and sales strategy. Gaining impetus is live stream shopping. Live commerce is changing the future of shopping, and here’s a guide on how your business can incorporate it to reap benefits.

Why Should You Future-proof Your Business?
Why Should You Future-proof Your Business?

All signs point to a single truth: live commerce and shoppable videos are the future of retail. While it is visibly growing as a trend in countries like India, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines, it is already at a mature stage in China. According to this HSBC article, China's livestream streaming e-commerce is estimated to reach RMB 4.9 trillion (US$720 billion) in 2023.

If you’re considering moving to livestream eCommerce as a business model, you’re not alone. The brick-and-mortar store is around for now, but the decline of offline shopping has been steady and indicative of a tectonic shift in the industry.

The Importance of Future-Proofing Your Business

When COVID-19 hit, it sent massive shockwaves through the retail community. Without customers to visit physical stores, brands of all sizes began to dip into the red. The brands that were first to recover were those with the ability to sell online. According to research firm eMarketer, ecommerce grew by 33.6% in 2020, preventing unprecedented losses that may have occurred. 

In the face of black swan events like this, livestream eCommerce may be the life raft that saves businesses. But in times of business-as-usual, it can be the best way to cut costs, build deeper and more permanent connections with customers, and create a brand that is as mobile and relevant as your consumers want it to be.

The Long Tail of Covid In A Post-covid World

We all know what COVID has done to the retail industry, but trend analysts believe that many of the changes wrought by the pandemic will remain long after it is behind us. 

The Rise of Live Shopping after covid

How will consumers and shoppers behave a year or five years after the pandemic is over? How will their behavior affect your business? A Shopify survey released the following findings:

  • Lockdowns and social distancing have pushed consumers more towards online shopping, particularly for home essentials, health and self-care products, and groceries. Though traditionally preferred to be purchased in person, 63% of shoppers now enjoy the convenience of home delivery, and 54% find online shopping more convenient. Now with the approaching of livestream ecommerce, shopping is becoming even more immersive and convenient.
  • Lockdowns have led to new shopping habits. 75% of surveyed shoppers tried new online brands, with 60% planning to continue. People now use mobile payments, buy products with relevant and short information, and compare online while purchasing. Many are now comfortable with video calls and accessing info online. Shoppable videos can improve this experience.
  • In a post-COVID retail world, brands must innovate to stand out. Consumers will seek out brands that can adapt to their new needs and priorities. Offline retail may experience a resurgence, but all industries will likely see growth. After the initial acceleration, the brands that have resonated with a new generation of post-pandemic shoppers are the ones that will weather the storm.

How Will Live Commerce Help YOU?

Making the shift to livestream eCommerce is not a small proposition. It will require effort and expense on your part, but when does it begin to pay off? 

Live Commerce Helps You Engage With Your Customers Better

Online shoppers today are bombarded with ads, new brands, and calls to action, and are more likely to be drawn to personal, immersive experiences. With short attention spans and multiple distractions, how does a brand create recall and generate sales? 

If the trend in social commerce or live commerce proves anything, it is that evolved customers are hungry for novel shopping options. As video content consumption rises steadily and shows higher and longer engagement rates than any other form of content, it makes sense for your brand to be present where your customers are spending more time and create shoppable videos for higher engagement. 

Live Commerce Creates Trackable, Actionable Customer Databases

As a DTC brand, you are likely to be present on multiple retail platforms as well as social media and marketplaces. With all these options, the platform is the gatekeeper for your customers and limits the information that you can access. 

With livestream eCommerce, you can analyze trends, predict product popularity, understand customer behavior better, and build a database of shoppers that will pay off for years to come.

Is The Cost Worth It? 

For many businesses, the cost of moving to a live commerce model may be too high – if it is not done with planning and strategic choices. It may be a hard sell to owners and management, especially if they’re new to e-commerce and have not yet seen ‘proof of the pudding’.

Live Streaming: Is It Worth the Hassle?

When your business decides to move to livestream ecommerce, you must consider the following: 

  • Gathering and analyzing customer data
  • Creating adaptive low-latency experiences
  • Recording high-quality videos
  • Linking products
  • Scheduling live streams
  • Inviting customers

With a tool like Swirl, it is easier, faster, and more cost-effective to plan and execute the above tasks, making it a smart investment for brands.

Whether your brand is considering livestream ecommerce or has started taking the first steps, there is potential enough to make it worth the shift. China and Korea are far ahead of the trend, but countries like India, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam are adopting it with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 46.4%. 

With tools like Swirl, live commerce is made a breeze for brands and is extremely cost-effective with a lot of headaches and hassles removed of accessing customer data, giving adaptive low latency experiences, recording videos, attaching products, scheduling live streams, inviting customers, etc, etc.

Mobile in girl's hand

In the years between 2015 and 2020, revenue from online shoppable videos went from $3.5 billion to $17.6 billion which sets the standard for other markets. In the US, it is expected that live shopping will generate $25 billion by 2023. 

And it’s not just retailers who want to join the party. In 2020, Instagram introduced Live Shopping, Facebook started Facebook Shops, and Google launched Shoploop. If the big players are trying to get a piece of the pie, it’s an indication of trends to come.  

Is Livestream eCommerce Right for YOUR Business?

To run a successful live commerce business, it's not enough to just have a website. You need to have processes in place to support customers and sales. Here are some of the logistics your brand needs to manage:

  • Efficient inventory management to handle online orders and offline purchases.
  • Omnichannel conveniences such as in-store pick-up and home delivery.
  • Personalized sales services and solutions for customers.
Live Video Shopping for business

Even if your brand has experience selling on marketplaces or social media, there is more to consider. Livestream eCommerce requires content that's created and produced specifically for the medium. Additionally, you need a support system of social media, digital advertising, search optimization, and email marketing to attract leads and customers. This requires investing in equipment, software, skills, and people to manage it efficiently.

How To Plan Your Move To Live Commerce 

To successfully transition to livestream ecommerce, it's important to understand that it requires a holistic approach. It's not just a matter of adding a few live-stream videos to your existing content. Instead, you should evaluate every aspect of your funnel and identify areas where you can incorporate live commerce. When creating shoppable videos, it is important to keep in mid the following: 

Aim For Info-Heavy or Infotainment Content:

To maximize the impact of your shoppable videos, it's important to include detailed information about your product such as sizing, benefits, ingredients, and available variants. Since you only have a limited amount of time to grab the viewer's attention, make sure you effectively communicate all the necessary details in your content.

Create Relevant Content:

To keep your brand relevant, it's essential to stay current with the latest trends and happenings that are relevant to your brand identity or important to your customers. While not all trends may be suitable for your brand, it's crucial to keep your content fresh and contemporary. Stay up to date with the latest tech and digital options, such as payment platforms, apps, games, or memes, as well as industry trends and changes in consumer behavior.

Provide Custom Service:

A major advantage of livestream ecommerce is the ability for customers to directly engage with the brand. By offering personalized attention through FAQs or live chats, you can increase your conversion rates. Providing assistance to customers in finding products they like can help establish trust, leading to repeat business and larger purchases.

Create Transparent And Efficient Fulfilment:

It's essential to ensure your customers have a positive experience during and after their purchase to encourage repeat business. This means offering multiple payment options, reliable delivery, tracking, and a hassle-free return and refund process. Failing to provide these basic necessities can damage the trust between you and your customer and prevent them from coming back. Remember that a satisfying post-sale experience is as crucial as the quality of your shoppable video content.

Using Livestream Ecommerce To Be More Effective, Engaging, And Worthwhile

Using Live video Commerce

Livestream ecommerce can help your brand create its own space in the lives of customers. It is effective on three significant levels: 

  • It has been proven time and again that consumers are spending longer on video content than on static content. According to this article in Oberlo, users spent 6 hrs and 48 mins every week watching video content in 2019. In 2023, it has risen to 17 hours per day. With the higher engagement (such as questions, chat, and custom solutions) that live commerce allows, you will have a longer duration to capture eyeballs and market to them more effectively. This can add up to a considerable reduction in acquisition costs and advertising.
  • With shoppable videos, you can demonstrate to customers how your products can fit into their lives. Video content can be edited and customized far more creatively than static product shots, creating a need and allowing customers to visualize your product in their cupboards or homes. For example, Tanishq built an online service for customers that included video calling, 360-degree virtual store tours, live chat, and virtual trials to help customers shop from the comfort of their homes.
  • Apart from product demos, shoppable videos can also be made for themes like behind-the-scenes, virtual tours, or live trials. This is a great way to let shoppers know what your brand stands for and assure them of quality. With content like this for your livestream eCommerce stratgey, you’re more likely to establish brand affinity for your customers and improve brand recall.
  • For example: Dollar Shave Club created its launch video in one day, with a budget of just $4500. The founder walked through their warehouse, explaining why the product was different from Gillette or other popular brands. The video went viral, crashing their site and bringing in 12,000 orders on the same day.

As with all businesses, we must adapt to changing times and a new generation of consumers with different needs. The signs are clear: livestream ecommerce is the new wave and it’s time for those of us in the retail industry to decide where we want to be paddling when the wave rises under us. 

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