It’s official – live commerce is not only booming, it's expected to continue growing worldwide. Analysts are suggesting that live commerce sales could account for 20% of all Ecommerce by 2026. At the same time, the Livestream Ecommerce market is expected to reach $35 billion by 2024, a threefold increase from 2021.
Why is live commerce trending up? Here’s some food for thought:
78% of businesses use live commerce to build stronger connections with their audience.
Brands that are adopting livestream selling are seeing a 30% rise in conversion rates, which is 10x times higher than conventional Ecommerce.
66% of global shoppers wish that brands and retailers are more digitally innovative.
One study reports livestream selling of luxury goods has resulted in 70% conversion rates.
Fast-forward to today, and plenty of live shopping statistics show just how rapidly it’s growing, and will only continue to grow.
In this post, we’ll dive into current trends in live commerce and take a look at what’s ahead.
The live commerce trends to know in 2022
1. Powering one-to-one shopping experiences with live commerce
Rather than taking place via a stream with unlimited audiences, one-to-one live commerce connects a consumer directly with a product-matched specialist. Consumers receive a personalized consultation, and get dedicated attention from the in-store specialist.
One-to-one interactions often work well for high-ticket items or purchases that require extra consideration, and also present an easier opportunity to upsell. Other benefits include how easy it is to do these, as well as the ability to track customer satisfaction easily.
Arguably, it’s also cheaper to run; particularly in cases where other streams are utilizing influencers. One-to-one live commerce surged in popularity during the pandemic as consumers looked for new ways to shop. Now, it’s become desirable for its flexibility as consumers no longer have to drive to store locations or scour the internet to find their products. Instead, they can connect instantly to experts who know the products well and are trained specifically to sell them.
2. Maximizing live streams with influencer marketing
Influencers taking part in live streams was a trend initially popularized in Asia. On the famous "Singles Day" in China, streams were hosted by huge names such as Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift, with record-breaking results; Kardashian sold 150,000 perfumes in the first nine minutes.
In the last few years, influencer-hosted live streams have gained popularity elsewhere. For example, Shopify’s recent integration with TikTok has allowed users to purchase items featured in livestreams, engage with others in a live chat, and interact with their hosts in real-time.
Influencer marketing is successful in live commerce because it establishes an authentic connection between the consumer and the host. In an article for Vogue, Estee Lauder explained that their live streams had succeeded because "[livestream influencers] allow us to reach audiences and new users through authentic dialogue."
3. Live commerce as a promotional tool for product launches
If you’re looking for a memorable and engaging way to launch a product or campaign, look no further than live commerce.
Launching a product through a livestream is a great way to create a buzz and track your engagement, and also presents an opportunity to utilize influencer marketing. Many sites and social channels have already adopted live commerce to launch their products. In February of 2021, Mitsubishi Motors unveiled their newest car on Amazon live, with the reveal marking one of the highest-profile events for the live-stream shopping platform yet.
4. Omnichannel retailing is gaining momentum
Omnichannel retailing is a multichannel approach to sales that focuses on providing a seamless customer experience, whether the customer is shopping through a mobile device, computer, or at a physical store. Leveraging these channels in tandem helps create a unified experience that connects the physical and the digital.
Live commerce is a product of what McKinsey & Company calls the "phygital": the merging of physical and digital simultaneously. Consumers receive the same amount of engagement and attentiveness as they would visiting a physical store, but receive it digitally.
During the pandemic, the forced closures of stores drove the need to embrace an omnichannel strategy. Statistics have shown that as we emerge from the pandemic, footfall is unlikely to ever return to pre-pandemic levels. As a result, retailers must aim to maximize the value of each store visit when consumers do choose to shop in-store.
5. The surge in AR and VR shopping
The augmented reality (AR) / virtual reality (VR) market is already making a splash, reaching $28 billion in 2021, and is expected to cross $450 billion by 2030. Retailers such as Macy’s, Sephora, and Ray-Ban have adopted AR/VR into their retail strategy, with Sephora recently introducing a “Virtual Artist” feature that utilizes AR to give consumers “virtual makeovers.”
The intersection of live commerce with AR/VR also allows for huge spending potential. In fact, Shopify highlights that adding video can help lift conversion rates over 60% compared to buyers interacting with images alone. At the same time, brands that add 3D content to their stores also see a 94% conversion rate increase, on average.
Brands can utilize both AR and VR to take live commerce to the next level. There are key differences between the two, however.
AR augments the user's surroundings by adding digital elements to a live view, often using the camera on a smartphone.
VR is a more immersive experience, replacing a real-life environment with a simulated one.
AR in live commerce is arguably one step ahead of VR because it provides users with a physical, real-world environment where they can see both the real world and virtual objects. For example, a consumer shopping on a furniture website may want to see what a sofa would look like in their home. Retailers working with Emplifi’s live commerce solutions can connect their consumers to an in-store advisor via video so that they can see the sofa displayed in real-time.
Both technologies bring many benefits to the table for retailers. They help to reduce friction in the customer journey. They also increase consumer confidence because the consumer can visualize the product before making the purchase, reducing worry about gambling on a product only to have to return it later. Both AR and VR bridge the gap between brick-and-mortar stores and online shopping.
6. The intersection of social commerce and live commerce
Globally, social commerce is expected to grow three times faster than traditional commerce, reaching a massive $1.2 trillion by 2025, with 62% of this growth driven by millennials. As the younger generation of consumers gravitates towards shopping on social apps, many platforms have integrated live commerce into their strategy.
Chinese apps such as Taobao have led the way over the last few years. In 2021, Taobao generated over $400 billion in sales from live video shopping. However, apps like TikTok and Instagram are catching up quickly.
TikTok weighs heavily on influencer marketing for its TikTok live feature, but has also partnered with well-known retailers for streams. In 2020, during the pandemic, TikTok partnered with Walmart for an hour-long holiday shop-along. This event helped Walmart increase its follower base by 25%.
Shopping on social channels adds value to the live commerce experience because it helps to unify it — consumers don’t have to leave their favorite apps for their purchases, and can add to the basket as they watch.
7. The continued shift towards convenience shopping
Another notable trend in live commerce is its connection to convenience shopping. With live shopping, the world is witnessing the future of commerce that combines the excitement of physical shopping with the convenience of online commerce. Many retailers noted that despite the preference for online shopping persisting beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, this wasn’t necessarily a threat. In fact, many brick-and-mortar stores got creative and turned their retail spaces into concept stores, or distribution hubs.
It has made the discovery of new products/brands very convenient. Customers can watch live streams to conduct research in real-time, engage with the larger community over the live stream, and complete the purchase from the live stream itself.
Live commerce is upgrading the quality of customer education, experience, and satisfaction for brands, leading to audience trust for brands and helping them build an ever-lasting relationship with their audience.
8. Integrating, collecting, and actioning on Voice of the Customer insights
Another live commerce trend is the integration of a voice of customer (VoC) solution, allowing brands to collect customer feedback in a timely way, providing insight into their needs, expectations, experiences, and pain points in this ever-evolving marketplace.
By including VoC as part of live commerce experiences – whether by deploying surveys on your website or post-purchase via email, SMS, or even bot – Ecommerce professionals can gather targeted insights to help them adapt their strategies to improve shopping experiences. Not to mention, boost their conversion rates.
Take advantage of these live commerce trends now
If you’re a brand thinking about implementing live commerce into your strategy, here are a few tips to help get you started:
Research your vendors. Ensure they can provide you with all the functionalities you need to get the most from your live commerce efforts.
Optimize your content for your audiences. If you’re streaming through a social site, remember it’s likely your audience will be younger. Be sure you have the right insights to adapt and optimize your content to cater to those attending your live streams.
Make sure your content is authentic to your brand. If you’re partnering with an influencer, ensure you’ve done your research and are confident that they are the best advocate for your brand.
Emplifi’s proven live commerce solutions have helped brands achieve up to 25% more conversions, and 36% higher spending. To learn more about how Emplifi’s live commerce solutions can help your brand today, be sure to book some time to speak with an Emplifi expert!