An increasingly common phenomenon, numerous brands start to adopt this marketing method.
Staying true to its disruptive nature, the e-commerce industry has proven itself to be constantly changing and evolving every year. With the declining preferences of brick-and-mortar stores coupled with the technological breakthrough in the form of chatbots, mobile apps, and machine learning, various digitally native online stores, which put emphasis on customer experience, continue to pop all over the globe, dominating the retail industry.
Still, as social creatures, humans long for human interaction when they go shopping, offline or online. This poignant nature eventually leads to the introduction of live-commerce.
Live-Commerce: Combining Live-Streaming and E-Commerce
Live commerce is the combination of streaming video and e-commerce, which is expected to revolutionize the retail industry and consumer shopping habits. The integration of live streaming and e-commerce would enable a seamless shopping experience while watching a live stream, therefore closing the gap between consumer and products while driving sales.
So, why live-commerce?
We understand that today’s consumer is savvy and resistant to traditional marketing techniques. What they want from e-commerce brands is authenticity, engagement, and interaction, and this is where live-streaming works best! Live streaming adds a human element to marketing, which helps these brands to build trust and stronger relationships with their customers. The informal approach also feels more personal because it allows brands to interact with their audiences in real-time. As such, for e-commerce brands, which heavily rely on their online existence, live-streaming helps to create a human connection to their target audience.
Moreover, shopping is highly personal, which is also a critical element in the retail industry. Today’s customers don’t simply buy products; they are also looking for personalized experience. Live-streams, hence, can easily become conversations where the viewers’ opinions are heard and valued.
Finally, we know that video content is continuously thriving. As e-commerce marketers racing to get their messages heard, live-streaming video content comes as an effective solution. At the very least, it can help them to provide access for their consumers to reach knowledgeable e-commerce marketers or sales people.
Live-Commerce in China
The wave of live-commerce is rapidly developing in China. Did you know that more than a third of sales in China happen online? Moreover, China also has the world’s biggest live streaming market. Put the two together, you understand why live-commerce is a lucrative business there.
From Alibaba’s Taobao Live to Tencent’s WeChat, there are several reasons why live-commerce dominates China’s e-commerce industry. First, live-streaming is highly appealing for Chinese people, especially those living in low-tier areas. They often use live-streaming to learn about products and services. Seeing the trend as an opportunity, e-commerce brands that are eager to connect with these audiences eventually leverage live-streaming as part of their marketing techniques.
Second, China has a large influencer industry, better known as KOLs, and they are experts in creating valuable content. Equipped with apps that have easy live-streaming features, these farmers, business owners, even self-employed entrepreneurs are empowered to use live-streaming content to engage with their potential prospects.
Third, as the world’s most populated country, China’s retail industry has a large audience. This eventually opens the door for marketers, influencers and content creators to be more creative with their marketing content. The diverse content ultimately leads to the introduction and popularity of live-commerce in the country.
Brands and retailers should consider applying live-commerce in their marketing strategy to achieve their business goals.
- Segment your audience.
Regardless of what technique you use, knowing what your audience wants is essential. Don’t waste time trying to convince customers and make your products appeal to everyone. Instead, focus on your niche. Sell specific products to specific audience segments.
2. Go behind-the-scenes.
People love exclusive content. Behind-the-scenes live video is great for humanizing your business, brand, and it also has an air of exclusivity, making it very engaging content.
3. Tutorial videos.
Live-commerce is a great medium to demonstrate how to use your products or services and teach your audiences. For example, for clothing brands, you could teach your audience how to style one of your clothing pieces and turn it into various outfits.
4. Bring interaction to your content.
You don’t want your live-commerce content to be one-dimensional. Live interviews or live Q&A sessions, for example, are great to engage, inform, and promote communication with your audiences.
5. Exclusive announcement.
Live-commerce is also perfect to make special announcements. For instance, you could announce product launches, charity events, even flash sales in a special live-commerce session.
What’s next for Live-Commerce?
To some extent, you could say live-streaming is the 21st-century iteration of television shopping. While live-streaming is definitely fueling the growth of e-commerce today, the evolution of technology could also introduce a new kind of disruption to the industry. AR/VR technologies, for example, open up endless possibilities to push live-commerce forward. As such, innovation in live-commerce leaves plenty to be looked forward to.
Ultimately though, live-streaming works well with e-commerce because it serves not only as a tool to showcase and deliver information about products and services, but also as a customer engagement channel in which shoppers can interact with the hosts, therefore giving customers feelings of a personal relationship.
Viral Access is an AI and data-driven social communication company — we help you tell your story through social media. We pair your brand with relevant micro and nano influencers that help you increase awareness, engagement and conversion. We have the systems and team in place to support large scale communications throughout Asia.
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