Top live shopping trends to watch for in 2022 and beyond | Swirl

Date: April 2, 2022

From the first instance of ‘teleshopping’ in 1980, when Michael Aldrich used a telephone line to connect a television to a computer in his local supermarket, to today’s video-enabled ecommerce that we access on our cellphones, live shopping has always been around. It’s only in the last few years that the world has sat up and taken notice. 

While live shopping is at a mature stage in China, with Forbes estimating an annual earning of $305 billion of the eCommerce market in 2021, it is growing as a trend in countries like India, Thailand, Brazil, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines. In a market comprising of young, growing populations with significant disposable incomes and internet speeds, live shopping events are already growing in popularity.

What is a live shopping event?

A live shopping event is an online event held in real-time, with a host showcasing products in a livestream video while shoppers watch online, interact with the host, and make a purchase if they choose. 

In a live shopping event, the host chooses from one-to-many or one-to-one live shopping, and can even opt to simulcast the live shopping online and on social media. Customers are invited to the event and can log in to watch and interact in real-time with the brand. 

A host could be a celebrity, a member of the retail team or sales team, or the owner of the brand – it doesn’t matter who does it as long as they are well-versed with the brand offering and are comfortable chatting live with customers. Some brands may choose to have two hosts to ensure that while the main host keeps the video pace engaging, the secondary host ensures that all interactions receive prompt replies.

During a live shopping event, the host can provide live chat or custom services, engage with customers, address frequently asked questions, and demonstrate the products to the audience. This is a great way to bridge the gap between the online and the offline experience, making it easier to retain and engage customers and reducing the purchase journey.

For brands, there are multiple benefits to live shopping: an easy dashboard with multiple roles for controlling and delegating functions, information that can be used to predict trends and take actionable business decisions, and easy building of a list of engaged customers. 

The pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns kept everyone indoors, shuttering stores for months. Yet a survey by eMarketer estimated that eCommerce sales grew by over 33% in the US, and those shoppers are now far more comfortable with live shopping online than ever before. As more and more consumers turn to the internet to meet their shopping needs, live shopping events are becoming a reliable way for companies to boost sales and increase customer engagement and confidence. 

Read our blog: How to use live shopping to inspire customer confidence.

Live shopping trends in 2022 – Global predictions

China is far ahead of the trend, and for those of us wondering about the future of live shopping trends, it works as a great indicator of where the industry is headed. India, Vietnam, Thailand and a few other countries are adopting it with a CAGR of over 45%, and in the United States, live stream shopping is not far behind these countries.

Between 2021-22, internet giants like Amazon, Meta (Facebook), and TikTok have all entered the live shopping arena and are pushing it into the mainstream. In India, a survey by Bain and Company stated that livestreaming commerce start-ups have seen a 9x or even 10x growth between 2020 and ’21.  

Read how livestream shopping is disrupting eCommerce around the world. 

Trends that will change live shopping online 

As the internet penetration in India and around the world increases, we can expect to see some big changes in the way retail and eCommerce function. Here are a few that are worth planning for: 

  • Metaverse to get more impactful: With the rebranding of Facebook to Meta, and the increasing move towards a phygital world that blends the real and the virtual, live shopping online will become a part of everyone’s lives.
  • Metamall, a company founded in 2021, is going live next month, and is already preparing to rent virtual stores to big brands. Shoppers will be able to browse these stores, buy real products, and spend time with friends in the virtual world. 
  • Increased video consumption because of 5G: As 5G becomes the norm in India, video consumption will go up. With our current 4G speeds, Indian internet users already spend 5 hours a day on their smartphones (higher than China), and videos are already one of the most popular formats of content consumption. Currently, India has over 700 million users of 4G, of which 46% are already accessing e-Tail and e-B2B on their devices. As connectivity and data speed improve, we can expect the number of video viewers and live shopping events to increase significantly. 
  • eCommerce in India to grow: The existing upward trend in ecommerce adaptation was pushed upward by the extended lockdowns in India over 2020 and 2021. Data and analytics company GlobalData projects a higher rise in 2022, with a growth rate of 21% and a market share of almost $75 billion. Increased data connectivity, rising adoption of digital payments, and higher rates of video consumption all point to live shopping events becoming the next big thing in eCommerce.

Find out more about trends to expect in our blog, eCommerce Trends to Expect in 2022

How to choose the right live shopping solution for your enterprise

When it comes to live shopping, Swirl offers a range of products that cater to different requirements. By appreciating the difference between them, brands can choose the most suitable product and gain the best ROI and results.

Here’s a short description of Swirl’s product offering:

  • One-to-Many live video shopping: This product is similar to the teleshopping shows of the 90s, but with the latest technological advances. With One-to-Many, enterprises can stream live shows to large audiences going up to one million viewers.
  • During these live shopping events, the host can answer questions, offer discount codes, and guide shoppers to the appropriate product, all in real time. The interactions can be entertaining, social, and influential, and so this format is best used for brands with large, engaged followings, and has great results when used during product launches, concerts, tutorials, and more.
  • Learn more about One-to-Many live video shopping.
  • Short video stories: Some brands may like to start with short, hyper engaging TikTok-style videos that are pre-recorded. These videos can have tagged products, product benefits or features and extra details embedded.
  • For larger brands, these videos are a helpful enhancement to product pages and can be easily embedded or shared. The videos can also be combined into curated catalogues to share with shoppers or on social media.
  • Learn more about short video stories. 
  • One-to-One virtual shopping: Many of our high-end or luxury brands have seen great success with an exclusive virtual shopping experience like this. These videos allow for a one-to-one conversation between the brand associate and the customer, and can replicate the in-store guidance that shoppers miss.
  • These personal interactions allow the customer to feel more connected to the brand and turns one-time buyers into returning customers. During a one-to-one live shopping session, the associate can share curated catalogues, add approved products to the customer cart, and reduce the purchase journey significantly.
  • Learn more about One-to-One virtual shopping. 

To find out more about Swirl’s product offering, you can book a demo here. 

Guiding the customer to the right destination

Once you’ve captured your viewers, you must know what to do with them. Directing them to the appropriate destination will give them what they want in a few easy clicks, preventing them from abandoning their carts or their purchase intentions.

There are some basic tasks you must complete for this:

  • Ensure that your products are accurately priced 
  • Check that the latest inventory is updated 
  • Make sure the product pages have the best images/short videos
  • Check that the payment gateway of your site is working as it should
  • Explain to the host/s where to direct customers: to your homepage, the product page, or a special landing page.

Swirl allows live shopping events to have multiple hosts for the sake of better viewer management. While the primary hosts maintains the engaging, well-paced flow for the event, the secondary host can keep an eye on comments, provide links and discount codes, and ensure that all interactions receive prompt responses.

For more tips on how to plan and execute a successful live shopping event, read our blog: Five things to know before you start video selling

SWIRL is a full funnel live commerce solution that helps marketers attract, engage and convert more customers. Enable your website or app with the power of shoppable content to increase AOV, boost conversions and retain customers. If you’re looking for a live commerce solution and want to discuss options, get in touch.

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