Why Live Video Shopping is the Future of Ecommerce

3 Minute Read

Live video shopping is set to explode. And it’s little wonder: live streaming is everywhere. Whether it’s watching fellow gamers in action on Twitch or watching a live news update on Twitter, live broadcasts are something we’re increasingly looking to for our entertainment fix.

And savvy marketers know that the next area set to go wild for live streaming is online shopping.

It’s already huge in Asia, and others are following

China live stream shopping
Photo credit: innovationiseverywhere.com

To see the potential, you only have to look to Asia. Shopping-as-entertainment now forms a huge industry there, with apps in China and Japan leading the way for a millennial audience. Shoppers look to these apps to see products showcased, demonstrated and brought to life by influencers. Deloitte estimates the Chinese live-streaming market to be worth an enormous $4.4 billion USD already.

It’s even made its way onto the catwalk, with Chinese giant Alibaba’s ‘See Now, Buy Now’ live fashion show for Singles Day. The event is live streamed and viewers can purchase the outfits on show from the luxury brands. It’s just one of the ways live streaming is transforming ecommerce as we know it.

Watching people talk about and demonstrate products is a form of entertainment that’s been enjoyed for years thanks to the likes of those old-favourite shopping channels like QVC and the Home Shopping Network. These guys still enjoy some success today as they increasingly tailor their digital offering to live stream on their sites.

It comes as little surprise, then, that Facebook are the latest to announce their plans to extend their Live feature to merchants, allowing them to broadcast shopping shows on the social network.

So why is live video shopping taking off?

For a start, consumers are demanding more interactive experiences. The slow demise of the high street is leaving a void in the traditionally physical and sensory experience of shopping: you just can’t feel, touch, smell, try out or closely look at products online. But video shopping does allow shoppers to get closer to products, and hear someone describe what a product feels, looks or smells like. Shoppers can therefore experience products through the person on the screen.

This is largely why unboxing videos are so popular. Just search on YouTube for ‘unboxing’ and you’ll find videos in excess of 200 million page views. You can recreate the thrill of unpackaging new products in all their physical glory by watching others do so on a screen.

Unboxing video

Current marketing trends have had a huge impact, too – most notably, influencer marketing. Influencers have the ability to bring products to life: to wear, use or demonstrate them and tell you everything you want to know. Live video shopping is a medium made for the influencer.

So what’s next?

We believe live shopping will change how we shop. Influencer marketing will continue to grow, and influencers will no doubt play a huge part in bringing live shopping to consumers.

Some exciting news is that you can now turn your site into a live video shopping hub. Bunting’s new tool, Shopcast, allows every ecommerce site to become a shopping entertainment platform – hosting live broadcasts of influencers browsing products on your site. And the presenter doesn’t need to be a social media star – in fact, it can be an in-house expert or someone lesser known but with an infectious passion and knowledge for the products.

Over to you

Live video shopping will undoubtedly brings lots of opportunities to enhance your marketing strategy this year. Turning your site into a live shopping experience is now a possibility (you can get a place on the beta list for Shopcast here!). So how will you be using live shopping in your store?

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