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Shopping online for clothes, groceries, and other items are becoming increasingly popular every day. While online shopping can be convenient and sometimes cheaper than buying items in-store, it can also be frustrating when you need help with an item, or the website is difficult to navigate.

Luckily, there are new ways to shop, making the online shopping experience immersive and interactive. Live commerce is a type of e-commerce that allows shoppers to purchase items from live hosts on a live stream. Live commerce provides an easy way to find what you’re looking for and a more personal shopping experience.

What is Live Stream Shopping?

Livestream shopping is used by brands to promote and sell products through live streams via digital platforms, often in collaboration with influencers. It is a way for live-commerce hosts to interact with their live audience. Communication is unscripted and happens in real-time. Customers can tune in and ask questions directly, while hosts can address any concerns as they arise.

Experts believe that live stream shopping is among the leading future trends within eCommerce. In China alone, the gross merchandise value of live streaming doubled during the first year of the pandemic. In 2020, it surpassed one trillion yuan and now accounts for 20% of the value of all online shopping in the country.

But live stream shopping is not only about asking questions. It is also about having fun. This kind of online shopping is perfect for gamified content such as promotions and giveaways. They can prove to be a strong draw for viewers. Offering promotions for a limited time is an excellent way to create urgency and a sense of scarcity or limited availability. The larger the audience is, the higher the so-called fear of missing out on a good deal becomes.

Types of Live Commerce

Live commerce is a relatively new field that continues to grow and develop. Some of the most popular types of live commerce include:

  • Online marketplaces
  • Live auctions
  • Influencer streaming
  • Tutorials
  • Live events
What is the appeal?

Live streaming has a high entertainment value. It is a great way to alleviate boredom, which is why it is not surprising that live stream shopping exploded when in-person shopping was impossible during the pandemic.

Benefits for Brands and Shoppers

One of the drivers behind the growth of eCommerce in general and live commerce specifically is that it benefits both brands and consumers. Live stream shopping enhances customer engagement. Brands benefit from increased sales in the short term. In the long term, live commerce can be the driver of a company’s digital transformation whilst maintaining close, personal ties with customers.

With stores re-opening and opening hours returning to normal, it is fair to ask whether live shopping will stay. With some of the biggest brands, such as Amazon, Google, and Pinterest, investing in the field, there is evidence to suggest it is here to stay.

The Future of Live Commerce

Experts believe three main trends will drive the development of live stream shopping:

  • Micro and nano influencers
  • Opening up new sectors
  • Innovative formats

Micro and nano influencers are more affordable for brands and often make better hosts. In addition, using influencers with only a few thousand dedicated followers can generate a more intimate and trusted connection between brands and consumers. A recent survey found that engagement rates for nano influencers on Instagram are ten times higher than those of mega and macro influencers.

As live commerce increases its reach, other industries like healthcare, engineering, finance, and B2B are likely to start using this tactic.  Innovative formats like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can transform the shopping experience even further. Enabling buyers to see a product from every angle is only one aspect. Virtual try-on is another option as proven by Ulta Beauty in its Beauty School live stream. Future consumers may be able to have face-to-face conversations with a show host, simulating an immersive in-store experience from the comfort of their homes. It is an exciting time to be in eCommerce.

That’s why at DNA Digital, we have extensive experience in developing e-commerce solutions for clients. Our solutions are designed and delivered as scalable platforms from the beginning, allowing your infrastructure to grow with your success.