Step into the future of e-commerce with a revolutionary trend that has been sweeping the online shopping world: live commerce, commonly known as live shopping. Live shopping events provide a dynamic and interactive shopping experience creating a sense of urgency with authentic connections between an online audience, your independent sales force and affiliate marketers.
The greatest live event hosts aren’t necessarily big-name influencers and celebrities with millions of followers as they’re often not as genuine. This is where a direct sales force and affiliates can thrive who have smaller yet devoted followers as their relatability resonates with online audiences, creating a sense of trust. Live shopping combined with this sense of confidence creates a successful formula for empowering your sales force. Your sales force are “subject matter experts” and live shopping taps into the power of storytelling and personal connections making the overall shopping experience “immersive and engaging”.
Furthermore, live shopping opens new opportunities for direct selling businesses to engage with customers on a much deeper level, offering customers behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive look into operations, product manufacturing or even streaming from a warehouse. This transparency helps the company build authenticity and trust, as customers feel more connected to the brand and its values.
Live Stream Shopping’s Evolution
Live shopping initially became popular in Asian markets, with China leading the way and achieving remarkable success. Now, this trend is expanding to the Western world as an increasing number of consumers look for interactive shopping experiences from the convenience of their homes. Rapid advancement in technology and widespread adoption of mobile devices is creating a powerful platform for businesses to engage with their audience in real-time.
Concurrently, social media platforms played a key role in the growth of live shopping. Affiliates, influencers, and independent sales reps have been sharing products with their followers and friends leveraging platforms like YouTube, Meta, TikTok , and Twitch. The combination of live shopping and social media has created a dynamic environment fusing entertainment, social interaction, and shopping ultimately becoming a powerful force in the e-commerce world.
Live shopping presents a great opportunity in direct selling as it is in its infancy in the U.S. accounting for less than 5% of overall e-commerce sales. The market research firm Coresight Research predicts live shopping will reach $31.7 billion this year, tripling its 2021 value.
So, what’s happening here?
The U.S. is slowly adopting live shopping, with corporate marketers acknowledging its success elsewhere. As brands integrate live formats into their e-commerce platforms, more consumers will make initial live shopping purchases. To facilitate this, brands must enhance their e-commerce tech and resources, streamlining the experience and eliminating barriers like cumbersome checkout processes.
In addition, the newest and fastest growing sector of marketing influencers is the rise of nano influencers which in turn comprises your existing direct sales force and affiliates. They are defined as anyone having 100 to 10,000 connections and followers. Often being perceived as “one of us” your direct sales force commands a higher engagement rate at the nano level than any other.
1. Creating Live Shopping Events
To better understand what a livestream shopping event involves, direct selling companies must outline the fundamentals and educate their sales force and affiliates on event preparation. While there’s a learning curve, not every salesperson may be suited for this, but those with experience in virtual events are better equipped.
Here are some Live Shopping basics that should happen for a typical livestream event:
- Simplified event setup: Integrate event tools seamlessly into your sales force’s existing personal marketing sites that they already use for easy promotion. Sharing a straightforward link for the online live shopping event on social media, email, or text, eliminating the need for app downloads or complex navigation for the audience to access and make purchases.
- Take time to show successful event video examples so the new hosts can get to see and experience them in action.
- Setup corporate events helping support a host for their first-time event.
- Providing the right content and material is key to focusing the event on educating the audience, not selling.
- During the livestream, the host showcases products, educates, and addresses online audience questions. That’s why it’s important to carefully consider the host’s lighting, camera setup, and background, occupying most of the screen space.
- Images of products being promoted will automatically be presented and appear on the video screen with descriptions and pricing typically on the bottom or side of the video screen space.
- The chat allows viewers to ask questions and engage with the host and others. “Active live chats” enhance engagement, fostering a connection with brands. Instant answers to questions aid consumers in solidifying their purchasing decisions.
- A reaction button to send instant reactions is often displayed as animated emojis.
- Let the online audience know how simple it is to purchase, pay and checkout right from the live shopping event.
- Inform the host that real-time sales results will appear instantly from the live shopping event as the online audience purchases and notifications along with sales volumes are immediately updated.
2. A Clear Advantage Between “Generic” Streaming Platforms and Immersive Event Technologies
Selecting the right live streaming shopping platform is crucial in direct selling. It should seamlessly integrate into the digital direct sales ecosystem, providing a complete omni-channel e-commerce experience. This played a key role in Asia’s success, with advanced technologies enabling direct purchases in live shopping events, reducing friction, and ensuring a unified experience from joining to checkout.
Additionally, first party “shopper” data and capturing it is a key differentiator. With recent announcements from google and the elimination of third-party cookies combined with disparate live shopping platforms not fully integrated into the direct selling e-commerce ecosystem, often a company cannot collect valuable data about their customers, which in turn could have been used to offer a better personalized shopping experience.
The ability to offer products at the right time boosts conversion and cart size. Analyzing video completion rates offers a gold mine of customer information and consumer intent. This is missing when companies depend on streaming marketplaces or for that matter most social media apps.
Live shopping is a way to connect with end consumers and drive repeat engagement. For every live stream event, the content can be re-used as a “replay event” on the sales forces personal marketing sites or shared on social media platforms to continue to drive engagement.
Go Live and Grow!
“With an existing army of selling advocates, direct selling companies are in an envious position compared to traditional retail brands as many cannot afford influencers or celebrities to promote their products”, states Greg Fink, Vice President, Global Sales for Jenkon. Your sales force now has the convenience of e-commerce and the interactivity of live video streaming events to capture better customer engagement showcasing products like never before.
For direct selling companies, it is essential to invest in the right technologies and platforms to thrive in this new era of online shopping and that is where Jenkon stands ready to empower direct selling businesses, their sales forces, and affiliates. Jenkon offers the latest in cutting-edge technologies including live stream shopping and one-on-one shopping experiences. “Embrace the future of online shopping with Jenkon’s live streaming video commerce suite fully integrated into your direct selling ecosystem where innovation and interactivity blend seamlessly to redefine the way your sellers and affiliates meet their customers. Get ready to embark on an extraordinary journey of live commerce like never before!”, states Fink.
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