DTC brands don’t always have the luxury of creating an in-store interactive experience, even post-pandemic. The cost of creating pop-up stores and hosting offline events adds to the hurdle.
Enter livestream shopping.
Livestream shopping allows you to create an interactive experience for your audience, demonstrate your products, and get zero-party data. Here’s everything you need to know about livestream shopping.
What is livestream shopping?
Livestream shopping is when a seller hosts an event to sell products in real time, broadcasted via live stream on digital platforms. Think of live shopping as a replica of the home shopping experience by networks like QVC—but better and updated for the digital age. Livestream shopping is more interactive than the home shopping TV, more accessible, and free of intruding ads.
That’s exactly why it’s working too: In 2022, $17 billion in sales was attributed to livestream shopping in the US alone. What’s more, this figure is estimated to reach $55 billion by 2026 as its popularity continues to grow.
Live shopping increased in popularity during the pandemic as customers craved the interactive shopping experience. But livestream shopping isn’t just a phase. Despite the world opening up, consumer behavior has shifted in favor of online shopping—and customers aren’t planning on going back.
A huge part of livestream shopping’s explosion in popularity is its accessibility. Think Twitch meets Ebay. You have this awesome live selling experience, some run in auction style, others just showcasing products that can be purchased on the spot. There’s a live chat with customers sharing their thoughts on products, asking questions, and creating a live energy that you really can’t replicate in any other form of ecommerce selling. Generally speaking, livestream shopping platforms are free to download/sign up for and attending a live shopping event costs nothing. People who join, whether they make a purchase during that event or not, are being exposed to the company’s product in a manner that’s more personal and exciting than any email or ad.
And it’s not just for celebrities and influencers, which is a common misconception of livestream shopping. Ecommerce brands can host successful livestream shopping events by promoting them through their usual marketing channels to existing customers and even promote them as acquisition events to attract new customers.
Benefits of Livestream Shopping
- Decreased abandoned cart rate: Being able to solve customers’ queries then and there helps them make quick purchasing decisions, which ultimately reduces the cart abandonment rate.
- Low cost: You don’t need to invite an influencer or celebrity to your first live event. You just need your team members on standby to answer questions, demo the product, and make the experience interactive. This makes it almost zero cost, apart from the platform fee.
- High conversion rates: In China, the conversion rates of live shopping are as high as 40%. The high engagement rate of the live events translates directly to conversions.
- Chance to educate the audience: You have the opportunity to demonstrate your products in depth, answer the FAQs about a product, and also answer the customers’ questions. When you explain exactly how the product can be used and why you built the product, you create a personal connection with the audience. Plus, as the customers know what they’re buying, the chances of returns get lowered too.
Examples of Brands Using Livestream Shopping Successfully
1. Three Ships Beauty: Achieving 544% of sales target
Three Ships Beauty, a natural skincare brand, experimented with live shopping for a product launch. While their initial sales target was $4,000 with the live stream event, their actual sales were close to $22,000. They were also expecting 200 participants, but more than 1200 showed up to the event.
The success can be attributed to a few things: their pre-event marketing, inviting influencers as guests, and revealing a new product live on stream. They offered free samples and exclusive giveaways for participants too:
2. MakseLife: Creating an engaged community
MakseLife, a DTC stationary brand, uses live events pre and post their annual launches. They offer an annual planner with a unique planning system. Live events allow them to explain their planners in-depth, give demos, and create an engaged community of customers.
The founder is able to address any questions about the products on the livestream, increasing sales and conversion rates. By doing this, the brand has been able to create an exclusive and active Facebook community of over 7000 members.
3. Andrea Iyamah: Increasing the traditional AOV by 100%
Andrea Iyamah, a luxury womenswear brand, used a livestream event to create a virtual runaway experience. The brand showcased its products with actual models and communicated important product details on stream.
It saw a 100% increase in its AOV and conversion rates from livestream customers.
3 tips for successful livestream shopping
Merely launching a livestream event doesn’t guarantee participants' attendance. To make it a success, try to:
1. Choose a platform that supports livestream shopping
While social media apps have launched shoppable live events, it’s restricted to certain regions for now. For example, Instagram Live Shopping is available to only US-based brands. According to Coresight research, YouTube is the most popular to conduct these events with over 30% of respondents using the platform, followed by Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon Live.
You can also use third-party apps like Livescale that allow the purchase of products in the platform itself.
However, Coresight research suggests that 70% of purchases influenced by livestream events happen after the event. So, you can also host events on social media apps that allow a replay to take full advantage of the livestream shopping event.
2. Use it for product launches
A key way to increase participation is to launch an exclusively new product during the live event. The primary success of Three Ships Beauty (discussed above) was the launch of its latest product via the live event. The brand created hype around the product before the event to increase the number of participants.
3. Make it entertaining and engaging
If you’re asking your audience to spend their evening with your brand, you need to make it entertaining enough for them to stick around ‘til the end. The live event shouldn’t seem like an hour-long ad for your products.
Treat the event like a Broadway production: invite guests who will be entertaining, rehearse, and script the transitions. In reality, this is one of the best ways to directly engage your audience and show them that you are human beings who care about their needs and interests. A direct line of verbal and visual live communication can go a whole lot farther than a static ad, pre-recorded video, SMS or email message.
How to Measure Livestream Shopping Customers
After your first live event is over, it’s time to measure the results. How did your livestream do? How many people purchased and how many showed up? You can probably answer those initial questions fairly easily. But when it comes to determining the long-term value and remarketing opportunities within those customers, you might need a little help.
Start by tagging these customers as “Livestream Customers” or create smaller buckets based on specific live events.
This gives you a gold mine of engaged customers who have shown that they’re more interested in your products than your average customer. They attended your live event, interacted, and finally purchased a product; they’re already invested in your brand and, with the right communication, you can retain them long-term. You can convert them to regular customers (or subscribers) via more livestream events and specific follow-up messaging that hits with the right content, at the right times.
Using those customer tags is the first step to defining your livestream shoppers as a segment of your customer base, which you can use to zoom in on key growth metrics. In Peel, this unlocks a whole range of opportunities to look at your livestream customers’ purchasing habits through the lens of Cohort Analysis, revenue and retention metrics, product analytics and more.
If you want to measure the value that they bring to your store over time, you can look at Lifetime Value (LTV) per Customer or Repurchase Rate by Cohort. And then use the “Segment Analysis” option to select your liveshopping customer tags and get detailed analysis of just those customers.
Build Livestream Audiences
To turn your livestream shopping events into long-run wins for your business, you need to treat these customers as their own, unique Audience. You can easily do this in Peel’s Audiences tool where you can apply super detailed filters – from their first purchase, to the number of days since the last purchase, to those customer tags you created for the livestream shopping event, to spending thresholds and so many more layers.
On the Audiences dashboard, you can see the growth and retention metrics in one place. You don’t have to sort through multiple excel sheets and run formulas to calculate each metric. Once you create the Audience in Peel, all the data is available at one glance.
Take Action on Livestream Audiences
There’s no doubt that your livestream customers had an entirely different experience with your brand than regular customers. Their post-purchase experience with your brand should reflect that. This is why creating an Audience of livestream customers pays off—you get to personalize your communications with them. Personalization always wins over time and is proven to drive better retention and accelerate growth.
If it seems like too much work, it’s not—you can automate it with Peel:
Once you have your livestream shopping Audiences created, you can push them as a list to your marketing platforms like Klaviyo, Attentive, and Facebook to re-engage them with personalized messages that reflect their experience with your brand and deliver upon their needs. You can experiment with different marketing emails, SMS, and more to understand what keeps them coming back.
For example, if your livestream event was based on the launch of a new product, you know that customers are interested in that particular product. In your follow-up communications, you can suggest cross-sells and upsells of related, complementary products and give the option to subscribe if you offer it.
Back on the Audiences dashboard, you can analyze the results based on your goal for the live shopping event. For example, if the goal was to acquire new customers who purchase a product that needs replenishment after X amount of weeks, you can re-engage and measure their lifetime value along with the recency and frequency of their orders in Audiences. Over several months, you can see their total number of purchases and create a detailed report of their value. Based on this, you can tweak your future communications with them.
The point is: you want to double down on what’s working. If the results support the livestream events, you can keep arranging the events to capture more livestream customers in your ecosystem. Eventually, you want these events to become a part of your entire marketing efforts, helping you both acquire and retain higher value customers over time, instead of being tangential to your business goals.
Level up your Livestream Shopping Strategy with Peel
Livestream shopping goes beyond the live event itself. Treat livestream shopping like any other marketing campaign where you measure and analyze the results.
Live shopping is an excellent place to learn more about your customer behavior and use the data to scale your growth. With Peel, you can analyze your Audience behavior to the smallest details and get more out of your marketing efforts.
Take a free 7-day trial today to see the results first-hand.