Live video shopping

   07 Dec 2020

Svensk Digital Handel invited to a webinar to talk about one of the trends we are looking at right now - live video shopping. Tom Xiong, who is one of the founders of The Digital Dragon, a podcast that addresses digital trends in the East that will affect the West, went through how the trend is growing in China and has made its way to Sweden.

The pace of innovation has never been greater and when we suddenly have to change our behaviour in our everyday lives, this drives us further. When many people want to stay at home, live video shopping offers an opportunity to shop together anyway. The trend in e-commerce has exploded in China during the Corona Pandemic. During Singles Day in China 2019, the sales were SEK 30 billion during live broadcasts, according to Tom Xiong. Last year, live video shopping accounted for 9% of China's e-commerce and is expected to increase extensively this year.


Experience-based e-commerce

In the West, e-commerce is still very much search engine based. China has reached the next step in e-commerce, social commerce, experience-based e-commerce. Live video shopping is part of that. The trend is starting to come to the west with some retailers testing different ways to interact live with their customers.

Live video shopping offers an opportunity for e-retailers and brands to interact with their customers in real time while having the products on display readily available for purchase. Many people talk about consumers going from the perfect photoshopped product in an advertising context to the genuine product that is displayed from all angles. The Tik Tok generation, which has had a digital device throughout their life and is constantly online, drives development and now also the pandemic where we get to find new ways to shop and meet digitally. Shopping live together gives the opportunity to talk, socialize and shop even if we are not in the same place.

Think TV series

You see a person that you hopefully gain confidence in and get the opportunity to see the product up close, in different angles and maybe even when it is used. It should also be easy to buy. Some invest more in discounts, others in product information and others take the help of influencers or experts. There is also the opportunity for various representatives from the company to take a seat in front of the camera. Here, those who have tested give the tip to try different ways and people. Why not alternate between shop, showroom, office and warehouse to test different approaches. Maybe you work with different themes and evaluate as you go. Something that was also suggested at the webinar was to have a continuity so that customers know when it may be time for the next event - think TV series.

The shopping experience is branded based on the brand and you have the opportunity to interact with customers with live chat and likes. There are of course a few different arrangements for live video shopping, but the basic idea is that you can buy the product at the touch of a button without leaving the broadcast and that you have the opportunity to chat. It is not just questions about the product itself that are displayed, in the chat, questions that concern other parts of the company or brand often arise. Everything that creates commitment among customers.

New channel to meet customers

It also provides an opportunity to gain more knowledge about customers and understand what they want and do not want. Having an event for live shopping offers both a new sales channel, communication channel and is brand building.

Swedish Bambuser is a supplier that provides solutions for live video shopping. They have presented figures for engagement and conversions. It varies greatly depending on the type of products you sell, one of the categories where it works best is beauty.

Maryam Ghahremani as CEO Bambuser addresses some questions to have in mind:

  • What information do customers need that they do not get by looking at a picture and reading a small product text?
  • What questions do you get in the store, how do you sell in your physical stores or online that can be adapted to a live event?
  • Do you have the resources internally or do you need help?

Record events to show afterwards

Malin Andrén, founder of By Malina, talked about their experiences where, among other things, they did a fashion show live for Stockholm Fashion Week. She also pointed out the importance of not staring blindly at the live audience, for them 60-70% of the viewers have seen the event afterwards.

At Kicks, they have had several occasions with live shopping. Helena Bengtson, who is Brand & Marketing Manager, said that they try to find simplicity, but that it still takes a lot of time when they learn and test different concepts. They have had a main host and invite guests with a mix of tutorials, beauty hacks and tips. Customer service sits and answers the live questions and pushes up the products at the right time. They have also noticed that many people look after the live event, so they also push for the event afterwards.

Live video shopping for many or one

What you mainly think of when talking about live video shopping is perhaps what is open and accessible to many, but we now also see examples where it can be used private for an individual customer. There are really endless possibilities, think about how you could benefit from making e-commerce more interactive and find your niche.

Sofia Winterlén