Social Media is a native part of Gen Z and millennial culture, and it’s where both generations flock to shop. Social e-commerce has taken a new form as of late, one that has become explosively lucrative. Livestream e-commerce is the digital, Gen Z, and millennial-loved equivalent of the Home Shopping Network. It is an interactive shopping model that features a broadcaster hawking products to social media users in real time. Due to its rapid rise in popularity, livestream e-commerce is projected to become a $35 billion industry by 2024. As our new phone-shopping network, livestream e-commerce is bursting onto the digital scene and popping up on innumerable phone screens. Let’s explore this bustling consumer trend and uncover the many ways it’s boosting Brands to no end.
A Limitless Shopping Experience
An elevated version of QVC, shoppable livestreams enable a host to chat with social media users, blurring the line between salesman and friend. That is part of the strong appeal shoppable livestreams hold. They’re more than just fodder for online impulse buys—they’re a 360 Brand experience that completely caters to the customer. What is more, these shoppable livestreams tend to be quite limitless in nature given there’s no real cutoff to how long someone can go live. With everything unfolding before people’s very screens, an instant connection is forged between the streamer and the audience that fosters a sense of credibility and comradery.
Streamlining Purchase With Dynamic Links
There is no shortage of entertainment during these livestreams either. It is part of the appeal, part of the experience, and part of the community it attracts. It is a self-contained shopping experience, one that makes it impossible not to buy. Every product shown within the livestream is available for instant purchase through a dynamic link if the buyer so desires. All dynamic links shared remain accessible to the viewers until the livestream ends, ensuring a seamless shopping experience that does not require users to leave the app. Livestream e-commerce is an EVENT, one that can be hosted by Brands and Creators alike. From farmers in Mongolia to marketers at Louis Vuitton, there is no Brand that is exempt from capitalizing on shoppable livestreams.
Social Shopping Surges Sales
The real-time e-commerce model gained traction in China during the pandemic, birthing a plethora of shoppable livestreams apps. Douyin, China’s version of TikTok, notably generated $500 billion in sales during this time. Not to be outdone, China’s biggest retailer Alibaba launched its livestream platform Taobao Live, which garnered $7.5 billion in presales during the first thirty minutes of its debut.
US gaming platform Twitch capitalizes on livestreams for its viewership and naturally embedded shopping into the gaming experience, with Brands like E.L.F. Cosmetics, Pringles, and Butterfinger live-marketing their products to users. This fusion of entertainment and product pitching harnesses storytelling to entice viewers and stir their emotions. Many hosts have scripted material that builds momentum strategically. Many are building momentum before the livestream even begins by slating it as an event that’s promoted across social media.
Using Livestream as Part of Your Selling Process
Shoppable livestreams thrive on co-hosted events and Creator-Brand partnerships. Given its leading position amongst consumer trends, livestream e-commerce is integral to the selling process and marketing strategy of countless Brands. Walmart, for instance, partnered with TikTok and used Creators to advertise during an hour-long livestream. Other Brands are collaborating with Creators directly or making use of a Creator’s large platform to garner the attention of an already engaged audience.
This is especially true for TikTok, where livestream e-commerce is at every corner of the app and used by every industry imaginable. A quick flip through your TikTok feed will show you a range of Brands selling via livestream, encouraging users to purchase on the spot. From homemade sour candy in a kitchen to wigs being donned in a showroom, every Brand imaginable can participate in this social shopping frenzy.
TikTok LIVE Revives Brands
Jeffree Star recently revived his Brand, Jeffree Star Cosmetics, with TikTok LIVE. After days of dedicated livestreams in which he spent hours conversing with fans, Jeffree Star began to witness sales numbers that he thought were no longer possible. With every lipstick and palette selling out in an instant, Jeffree Star was back to his 2019 sales heyday. In addition to repeatedly selling out on TikTok LIVE, Jeffree is also profiting from TikTok LIVE Gifts. LIVE Gifts are part of the livestream ritual and an important engagement element that excites the crowd and spotlights users. These LIVE Gifts may appear to be mere virtual graphics, but each one is worth a certain dollar amount that the host can redeem for cash at the end of each livestream. Jeffree Star famously made $10,000 from LIVE Gifts alone during a recent TikTok LIVE.
@richlux713 Jeffree star makes $10,000 in tiktok live gifts. #jeffreestar #jeffreestarcosmetics #jeffreestarmakeup #jeffreestarskin #richlux #jeffreestarlouisvuitton ♬ original sound – RICH LUX
Creator Competitions and Charitable Gifting
Because streamers urge viewers to outdo each other in the types of LIVE Gifts sent, the shopping experience becomes infused with competitive play. As a result, many Creators are teaming up and co-hosting livestreams in which they compete for LIVE Gifts from users. Viewers send their favorite co-host LIVE Gifts, and the Creator with the most LIVE Gifts wins. With a direct line of communication to their favorite Creators, users vie for their attention and show their affection through these virtual tokens. These competitive, co-hosted livestreams have become so lucrative that many were launched as charitable fundraisers.
The Change in Consumer Behavior Trends
Because Creators are a native part of the millennial and Gen Z shopping experience, livestreams provide a trusted and intimate environment in which to buy Creator-recommended products. The interactivity is not limited to gift-giving either. Interaction is a vital component of the shopping experience as it allows users to gain a live product demonstration that they can modulate by request. Any questions posed are answered and almost every request is honored.
Many streamers will barter with users, fulfilling requests in exchange for likes and follows.
Furthermore, it is a highly personalized shopping experience: most streamers call out users by name as they join the chat and users respond with flutters of heart emojis to wave hello back.
Because consumer behavior trends are ever evolving, there is no shortage of Brands and Creators following suit. In this case, the trend is livestream e-commerce. Livestreams are an exceptional avenue for Brands and Creators to build their online communities and promote products on social media. Kim Kardashian herself has even taken part in the hype, selling 15,000 perfume bottles within minutes during a Taobao livestream she co-hosted with famed Chinese Creator Viya.
High-Conversion and Low-Return Rates
Livestream e-commerce holds the potential to invert the marketing funnel as its unique model leads to organic Brand discovery and instant purchases that bypass the awareness stage. Its accelerated conversion rates have been so successful that even Shopify optimized its platform for livestream functionality. High conversion rates are coupled with low returns thanks to real-time interactivity. Danial Debow, Shopify’s Vice President of Product echoed this sentiment, stating, “People are excited by what you’re seeing from China, where you see really, really high conversion rates on some of these experiences, much higher than maybe a regular website would have. You’re seeing potentially up to 40% in some cases. You might see much lower return rates because people know what they got.”
How to Market Your Product on TikTok LIVE
Although many platforms have livestream capabilities, TkTok remains the most popular choice amongst Brands as it combines entertainment with shopping in a manner that hooks and engages viewers. Users on TikTok are also twice as likely to buy products from Brands and Creators, and 67% shop on TikTok even if they did not intend to do so. Because the average user spends 858 minutes on TikTok per month, the likelihood of them encountering a shoppable livestream is extremely high. In fact, 40% of Gen Z users have purchased a product or service directly from a TikTok livestream as the model lends itself to high levels of engagement. If you’d like to learn how to market your product on TikTok LIVE, here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started.
Partner With Star Streamers
Are you eager to pump new life into your Brand with livestream e-commerce or skyrocket sales in a twenty-minute streamable window? If so, Glewee is the place to go. As the go-to influencer marketing platform, Glewee hosts an opt-in network of pre-vetted Creators who are ready to partner with your Brand and promote it LIVE any day of the week. Choose from a plethora of social media stars who are on Brand, on call, and on budget. Collaborate with Creators on TikTok, Twitch, YouTube, and countless other popular platforms to drive conversion, growth, and awareness for your Brand. We look forward to hosting you on the platform!