Empowering Sales Associates: Transforming Them into Livestream Shopping Content Creators

Transform Staff into Valuable Assets: Host Inspiring Virtual Shopping Sessions. Learn Pro Tips for Seamless, interactive livestream shopping with Swirl.

Prashant Ramani
July 5, 2023
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Can your sales associates host virtual shopping sessions? We say YES! They already have expert knowledge about your brand and product range, and they’re comfortable interacting with your customers. With a little training, you can empower your customer service team to increase revenues, generate better leads, and produce content that pays rich returns.

Before diving into influencer and celebrity partnerships for your livestream shopping, have you explored the untapped potential of your brand's existing experts? Transforming your sales associates into content creators can unlock new opportunities and harness the knowledge of your in-house product experts.

Here are a few compelling reasons to transform your sales associates into virtual shopping hosts:

  • They possess unparalleled brand expertise: With their comprehensive knowledge of the range, familiarity with product uses, and embodiment of the brand's values, sales associates are the ultimate authorities who can authentically represent your brand.
  • They have an intimate understanding of your customers: Through their daily interactions with customers, sales associates gain valuable insights into their preferences, frequently asked questions, and pain points. If you're seeking a window into your customers' minds, your retail associates are a valuable resource to tap into.

But as a business owner, it is easy to second-guess this decision. It’s natural to wonder if it is the right move to put your team in front of the camera. In this article, we’re going to discuss the possible concerns and best practices when it comes to turning your employees into brand ambassadors. 

Busting The Myths About Sales Associates Becoming Content Creators

When it comes to creating livestreams for virtual shopping, many brand owners are reluctant to try out their own teams as hosts. This may be simply because it’s a new and unique idea, but there are also some misconceptions about it. Let’s address some of these: 

MYTH-1: Retail associates lack the qualifications to host livestream shopping.

FACT: Retail associates are the true experts when it comes to your brand. They possess in-depth knowledge of the product range, enabling them to discuss features and benefits with greater detail. Moreover, they are well-versed in the industry landscape and can effectively highlight what sets your brand apart from competitors.

MYTH-2: Retail associates may struggle with camera presence and appear awkward on livestreams.

FACT: Retail associates are accustomed to interacting with customers daily. They understand the importance of product knowledge, anticipate customer inquiries, and provide on-the-spot solutions and exceptional customer service. These qualities make them ideal hosts for virtual shopping sessions.

MYTH-3: My retail staff is not tech-savvy enough to create high-quality content.

FACT: Most retail staff members are proficient in using smartphones and familiar with payment gateways. They actively consume popular content on social media platforms, allowing them to provide valuable insights and suggestions for creating engaging content for your brand.

MYTH-4: Retail associates are less influential compared to celebrities or influencers.

FACT: While influencers have their place in virtual shopping, there is a growing demand for genuine and relatable voices. Positioning your sales associates as the face of your brand adds authenticity and authority. Customers appreciate the expertise and firsthand experience that retail associates bring, making them influential advocates for your brand in the livestream shopping experience.

Read our blog: How Brands Are Using Live Commerce Across Industries

How To Train Retail Associates To Host A Virtual Shopping Session

Having said all of the above, it is important for a brand to train its retail executives to create effective, quality content. While all the natural inclinations and talent may be present, there are some skills that will help align all members to the common objective. 

Here’s How To Go About It:

Create a profitable rewards program to motivate your associates: When you plan a virtual shopping structure with your associates at the center, create a program for commissions. If your employees earn for every sale, it will encourage them to stay current, use their video shopping streams creatively, and direct viewers towards purchase. 

Explain clearly how sales and rewards work: In keeping with the point above, make sure every employee is able to monitor and track their own commissions. This way, there are no disappointments or surprises at the end of the month. With Swirl, each employee gets a log-in and a dashboard that allows them to view their monthly sales. 

Train sales associates on creating sleek livestream content: It's crucial to remember that while your employees may have watched videos and shopped online, creating engaging livestream content is a different ballgame. Provide training and helpful tips to your sales associates before they dive into virtual shopping. If you're new to video shopping too, consider bringing in an expert to conduct a fun and informative session. 

Read our guide on Try Growth-Hacking Your Brand With Swirl’s Live Video Commerce Solution

Establish some ground rules for livestream content: When you have different participants with varying levels of experience and maturity, it's a good idea to set some guidelines. Remind your retail associates that their online presence reflects the brand, just like in-store. Encourage them to be professional, authentic, and true to the brand's values during livestream shopping.

Explain brand messaging and tone so that employees always remain on-brand: Even though your retail associates know how to conduct themselves in-store, going online is different. An important part of the training is to teach employees how to communicate professionally in a virtual shopping video.

Do trial runs/role play for confidence-building: It helps to engage all team members in a practice session. In this, ask one employee to host a virtual shopping session while others interact as customers and ask questions. Allow everyone to get a chance to host and also to watch the others. 

Create spaces for livestreaming in-store: When your retail associates are ready to host video shopping sessions, it is critical to create a space in the store for them to conduct the session. Ensure that there is space to set up a camera, put up a branded background, and place products in convenient and easy-to-reach spots. If it is too difficult to set up a livestreaming spot, your employees may be less motivated to do so. 

BONUS Tips For Smooth, Successful Livestreaming

When it comes to creating your livestream shopping content, it is best to plan ahead. A virtual shopping session should run smoothly and be easy for all your viewers to access. It should also be engaging, informative, and well-paced so that the message is conveyed in the shortest time.

Here are some tips to make sure your livestream content is the best it can be.

  • Ensure proper lighting and audio: Prior to starting your virtual shopping session, conduct a trial run to verify the clarity of audio and adequacy of lighting. Check that the livestream is being recorded and that all devices have sufficient battery power and memory.
  • Ensure clear visibility of branding and products: Assess the livestream or camera view to ensure that viewers have a clear sight of the background, branding, and products. Arrange the products within the host's reach to facilitate a seamless livestream shopping experience.
  • Update product information on your website: Prior to commencing the virtual shopping session, ensure that all the products being discussed by the host have up-to-date details regarding price, variants, packaging, and available stock. A smooth, error-free experience is crucial when viewers click on items to make a purchase.
  • Clearly communicate offers, discounts, and limited stock: Inform the host about any special prices, limited-time offers, or stock availability. During livestream shopping, customers may inquire about discounts and expect prompt responses. Clear and immediate communication enhances the virtual shopping experience.

See How Brands Are Empowering Retail Associates To Become Livestream Shopping Hosts

Italian fashion label, Motivi has 200 stores across Italy. In 2020, they launched a new initiative in which retail associates from these stores host livestream sessions for loyal, by-invite customers. The brand uses this time to introduce new products, conduct styling sessions and fashion shows, and offer one-on-one consultations.

While retail giants like Walmart and Amazon are still exploring and trying to establish their presence in the virtual shopping space, brands like Nordstrom, a chain of US department stores, regularly conduct livestreams featuring their own executives.

In an exciting virtual shopping event, Japanese beauty brand Tatcha introduced their highly anticipated Silk Powder exclusively through a livestream. The livestream was hosted by Global Director Daniel Martin, who not only presented the product but also invited a panel of makeup artists to provide valuable insights on how to use it.

Read A Comprehensive Guide To Livestream eCommerce For D2C Brands.

Chinese luxury department store Intime has been training its staff for livestreaming since 2019, when the video commerce boom was already in full swing. During the lockdown, over 5000 retail associates hosted livestreams, conducting over 200 livestream shopping sessions a day. The company stated that a single livestream session enabled the host to sell more than they would have in one week of offline sales.

Swirl has been instrumental in assisting multiple brands in their transition from offline to online retail, enabling them to thrive in the virtual shopping space. Giva Jewellery partnered with Swirl to showcase their popular products in a livestream event timed perfectly for Raksha Bandhan in 2021. Click here to view the livestream.

Zariin Jewellery witnessed remarkable improvements across various metrics after collaborating with Swirl. Through a creative livestream campaign and an exclusive product launch facilitated by Swirl's platform, the brand achieved significant results:

1. Customer interactions increased by 117%.

2. Average order value tripled.

3. Conversions experienced an impressive growth of 32%.

Conclusion

Ready to make your livestream debut with Swirl?

With Swirl Live Shopping, you get easy access to a modern SaaS platform that lets you offer livestream and video ecommerce to your customers. You can create short videos, host livestream sessions, conduct virtual clienteling services like one-on-one appointments, and build a database of engaged customers. 

Read more about how Swirl can optimize your virtual clienteling here.

When you subscribe to Swirl, you get a unique dashboard that lets you create and host livestreams, monitor sales, and see trackable, actionable data that lets you predict what customers will love. Whether you’re looking to provide exclusive services to new-age customers or engage with casual shoppers, Swirl is the tech partner you need to do so. 

Visit us, To know more about how Swirl can help you.

Prashant Ramani
Head of Global Customer Success

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What training do sales associates need to become effective live shopping hosts?
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