The revolution of live commerce
Live commerce is a great opportunity to provide an engaging shopping experience
Very popular in China, live commerce, or live streaming commerce, is an innovative method of selling products where the seller interacts with customers in real-time via a video stream. Unlike traditional e-commerce, which relies on static product pages and limited user interaction, live commerce capitalises on the immediacy of video and audio to create a more personalised shopping experience.
But live commerce goes beyond simply showing off products and explaining their features and companies need to create an engaging experience by utilising interactive features such as Q&A, polls, and contests.
How does it work?
A live commerce session typically starts with a host introducing the product and giving viewers an overview of its features. Often, it is a product not yet available in-store or in e-commerce. The host can be a shop assistant, a brand representative, an influencer, or a model, and the live streaming may take place in the store or somewhere else.
After the host has presented the product, viewers can ask questions and interact with them in real-time through live chat. For example, they may ask for a shoe or dress of a specific size to be worn to see how it fits, or they may ask to zoom in on details or to see related products to create complete outfits and receive style advice.
At the end of the session, viewers are invited to buy the item online at a discounted price before it goes on sale elsewhere, or they can access other promotions (free gifts, special offers, and so on).
Live commerce sessions can take place on different platforms, especially on social networks such as WeChat, Instagram, or Facebook. It is also possible to create standalone live-streaming apps or websites.
Advantages of live commerce for fashion brands
Live commerce has a number of advantages for fashion brands. For example:
- Increased user engagement: Live commerce allows sellers to present products in an exciting way that encourages customers to interact, ask questions and leave feedback in real-time.
- Improved customer loyalty: Live streaming sessions create a sense of connection with the brand on a much deeper level than a traditional online store. Some brands have regular appointments so shoppers make a habit of repeatedly returning to watch the shows. Moreover, live commerce can leverage the need for exclusivity, as customers are offered discounts or special offers not available elsewhere. This can help build stronger relationships with customers and increase their loyalty to the brand.
- Improved sales: Live commerce allows brands to present their product in a dynamic way and encourage viewers to buy immediately. The special promotions at the end of the live streaming help to create a sense of urgency and encourage viewers to make a purchase before the item is gone.
- Fewer returns: since consumers have a way to ask questions real-time and learn about the product, they will be much more confident about buying it, thus reducing the risk of being disappointed once they receive it and returning it.
- Reach a wider audience: Live streaming commerce is a way to bring shopping to social media, and turn shopping into an entertainment content. Brands can reach consumers that may not have been inclined to shop in a traditional online store, but who are more willing to engage with the more human experience of a presented show.
Benefits of live commerce for consumers:
Consumers also have everything to gain from live commerce. Indeed:
- Ease and convenience: Live streaming commerce allows consumers to shop easily from their smartphones or PCs, without going to a physical store or following the steps required by e-commerce purchasing. All they have to do is to click on the link that the host shares with them.
- Immediacy and more satisfactory purchases: Consumers can ask questions and get answers right away in real-time, so they can make an informed decision before proceeding with a purchase.
- Exclusivity: Live commerce gives customers an opportunity to discover new products, as it is often used for the launch of new collections. Moreover, they are often offered discounted prices or promotions not available elsewhere, thus creating a sense of exclusivity and making them feel special.
- Better customer experience: The power of live streaming technology creates an interactive and immersive shopping experience during which consumers not only have fun, but interact with someone who takes care of their questions and personal concerns better and faster than any customer support service.
- Sense of community: Live streaming events create a sense of togetherness; viewers feel part of a community, as they can talk to the host and other participants in real-time. This helps build relationships with the brand as well as with other customers.
What company should do to implement live commerce?
1. Build the audience
To bring out the best from live commerce, fashion brands must first focus on creating a fan base, otherwise, the risk is to do live streaming with too few viewers.
Companies should start building a live-streaming customer base by advertising their live sessions on social media as well as on other channels, such as emails and website banners. Staying active on social media leading up to the live session is necessary to remind followers of the date and time of the live event, as well as any exclusive offers or discounts they can take advantage of. An effective system is to use push notifications.
2. Select the right host
Finding the right host for live streaming events is essential, as they need to be knowledgeable about the product and well-versed in customer service. The host should be able to create a warm and inviting atmosphere so that viewers feel comfortable enough to stay longer and interact.
The best hosts are those who can make shopping fun and entertaining. They should be able to quickly capture the attention of viewers and create an exciting experience with activities such as quizzes, contests, giveaways, or other creative ideas.
In the case of influencers, it’s important to make sure that they are a good fit for the brand. It is also necessary to consider their audience, as this will determine how many people can be reached with the live-streaming session.
3. Select the right tools
It’s important to select a live-streaming platform that suits the company’s needs and objectives. Popular choices include YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Twitch and many more.
Companies should prepare for their live streams by getting familiar with the video equipment they will use and ensuring that the internet connection is strong and stable. It’s also recommended to create a script for the host, prepare visuals, and think about engaging activities or games that customers can join in during the session.
4. Use technology
Companies should use the right technology to create an interactive, engaging and seamless purchase experience. This includes:
- video analytics to track customer engagement and purchases made during the stream
- chatbots to answer customers’ questions in real-time,
- shopping cart integration to make sure the viewers can easily buy the products that are being featured during a live stream,
- virtual reality and augmented reality: these are not mandatory tools, but VR and AR can come in handy to create even more immersive experiences.
Don't let your customers go after the purchase
The aim of live commerce is not just to make sales during the live-streaming sessions, but also to create relationships with customers that will last after they’ve made their purchase.
Companies should collect customer feedback and preferences during the live-streaming session, and use them afterwards for personalised marketing activities. They can also consider launching loyalty programs for customers who participated in the live-streaming session.
And then, what fashion brands can do to nurture the relationship? For example, they can turn to connected products which are becoming a new trend in the fashion industry. Connected products enable customers to access more information about the items and production processes, as well as additional content such as styling tips, personalised offers, special events, and much more.
If you want to learn more about connected products, visit Certilogo web site.