As we emerge from the volatility of the pandemic, one thing remains in the world of retail: customers are searching for a memorable shopping experience. Forward-thinking retailers have utilized live commerce to facilitate this, with countless live shopping statistics showing its impact on their bottom line.
Throughout this blog, we’ll cover the unmistakable benefits of incorporating live commerce into your strategy, including a dive into the following:
What is live commerce?
Live commerce is taking the world of shopping by storm.
Also known as livestream shopping or live video shopping, live commerce is the act of brands and retailers selling their products through a livestream. Consumers can shop along with influencers, add to their baskets without leaving the stream, and leave feedback and comments in dedicated sections.
With the rise of technology accompanied by the recent pandemic, it’s an industry that’s seen massive growth in the last few years. Live commerce is often combined with social commerce (the selling of products through social channels), with great success. Apps such as Facebook and TikTok have leveraged this combo, and introduced features such as Facebook Live and TikTok Live - with the latter securing a partnership with Shopify, attracting millions of viewers to watch its streams.
4 benefits of live commerce to brands
Why must brands adapt to live commerce? The answer is simple: The future is online!
In a world populated by NFTs and technological dependency, almost everything is moving online – and the world of retail is no exception to this. In fact, it’s estimated that the live commerce industry will be worth $600 billion in China and $25 billion in the US by 2023.
The pandemic drove the need for an omnichannel strategy, and as the world emerges from the pandemic, this need remains steadfast. According to a 2020 report published by Facebook IQ, 49% of shoppers agreed with the statement: "I would buy products directly from live videos where brands, celebrities, or influencers I follow are launching new products."
Let’s take a closer look at the specific benefits that adopting live commerce will offer your brand and your customers.
1. Brand differentiation and awareness
To relay an earlier point, live commerce is a fresh offering in many markets. While live commerce has already achieved huge success in Asia, many brands in North America and Europe are just now increasingly including live commerce as part of their strategies.
Brands that adopt it into their Ecommerce strategy are likely to align themselves as a stand-out brand from other retailers on the market. Live commerce increases a brand’s appeal and distinctiveness because it puts the focus on an innovative shopping experience over a traditional one.
For example, consider two well-known kitchenware brands. One brand has adopted live commerce, and the other has not. Immediately, a differentiation between the two is clear: while one has chosen to prioritize an omnichannel strategy that incorporates a newer offering (live commerce), the other has restricted itself to traditional methods.
Consumers are more likely to be drawn to the retailer with the most flexibility; and in cases where they can’t reach a physical store, are more likely to make a purchase using live commerce.
2. Drive conversion rates
Live commerce isn’t only beneficial for engagement and innovation – it’s also a huge revenue driver for brands. Companies that have adopted live commerce have reported conversion rates of around 30%, which is almost 10x higher than standard Ecommerce conversion rates.
Emplifi operates on the higher end of this spectrum. Retailers using Emplifi’s live commerce solutions see conversion rates of between 20-50%. That’s almost a 400% increase from the industry standard of 2.87%!
3. Live commerce drives the FOMO effect
Live commerce in one-to-many settings - where brands host a live video shopping session to a large audience of shoppers - is often constrained by time limits. For example, an influencer may only be going live for ten minutes, and selling one specific product.
Consumers will want to buy a product while the livestream is active because:
It may be discounted
They are seeing other shoppers buy the product in real-time.
In this way, livestreams drive what’s called the FOMO effect, also known as "the fear of missing out." This is highly relevant to social platforms like TikTok, where it’s possible to see other people purchasing and adding items to their baskets during the stream.
4. Improve engagement and brand loyalty
Live commerce helps businesses to strengthen their relationships with consumers. After hosting a livestream in 2021, Canadian retailer ALDO noted a 308% increase in engagement, and registered a massive 17,000 views on their website in the five days following the stream.
The insights gathered from live commerce can help businesses adjust their strategy and assess their shortcomings. Emplifi’s live commerce solutions offer daily insight reports to retailers so they can work on key metrics like customer satisfaction, average call time, and more. Assessing these details helps businesses optimize their strategy and ensure their staff are well prepared and well-trained.
4 benefits of live commerce to your customers
People love to shop online. In fact, Ecommerce is now an indispensable part of the global retail framework, and the number of digital buyers continues to grow year on year. In 2021, retail Ecommerce sales amounted to approximately $4.9 trillion US dollars worldwide. This figure is forecasted to grow by 50% over the next four years, reaching $7.4 trillion by 2025.
Live commerce represents an exciting addition to this sphere. It improves the shopping experience for consumers in a number of ways. Let’s look at a few of these:
1. Blends the physical and online shopping experience
Traditionally, Ecommerce stores have high traffic but low conversion rates, while in-store retailers see low footfall with high conversions. Live commerce offers the best of both worlds by providing humanized assistance in a virtual setting.
Not to mention, it brings an "ease" factor into shopping for consumers — they can shop from anywhere with live commerce, saving money on traveling into shopping centers and time they would spend queuing, or waiting to be served by an advisor. In fact, all the consumer needs is a desire to shop and an internet signal.
2. Live commerce brings the fun factor back
Live commerce is fairly new to the retail market, and as a result, is a fresh and exciting offering. Combining shopping with entertainment provides a fun experience for consumers; one that heightens their engagement and allows them to interact with other shoppers and their favorite influencers.
But live commerce is not just entertaining, it’s also informative. Consumers can tune into streams to learn specifically about a product, and hear it from the people who know the product best. This has clear advantages over traditional shopping, where often consumers fill in the blanks themselves and interpret limited information from Ecommerce sites.
3. The sensory experience improves product understanding
One pitfall of online shopping is its lack of tangible interaction with products. While this has seen some shift with the introduction of AI, tactility remains limited.
Live commerce, however, introduces a “digitally sensory” experience that allows consumers to visualize products from different angles, watch them scale, and view the texture. As a result, consumers receive a near-real-life sensory shopping experience and gain a better understanding of the products they are interested in.
4. People buy from people
Successful communication has, and always will be, paramount to the world of sales. Retail is no exception to this; the human touch enables relationship building, and allows the seller to communicate the value of the product more effectively. Live commerce accounts for this need, and part of the reason why conversion rates are so high is simply that live commerce introduces a human face to the previously non-humanized activity of online shopping.
When consumers are interacting with a human, they’re also more likely to receive a "harder sell." So retailers introducing live commerce to their strategy will see increases in Average Order Value. For example, retailers using Emplifi’s live commerce solutions have seen their Average Order Value (AOV) increase by 36%.
Getting started with live commerce: The time is now!
The benefits of live commerce for both your brand and your consumers are unlimited. The world’s top retailers have already incorporated live commerce into their strategy; now it’s time for you to join them.