What is live stream eCommerce or Live Shopping

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Live stream ecommerce is the next big opportunity for ecommerce companies to drive more revenue. Live stream ecommerce is a way to transform online shopping into an entertaining event. Typically, a live stream ecommerce event has a specific (e.g., “new fashion”) and takes place live. It is appealing to customers because it lets them see the products in detail. In some cases, ecommerce brands are working with influencers to make their events more entertaining.

What Companies Are Using Live Stream Ecommerce?

Live stream ecommerce is an emerging way to engage customers that several companies are already using effectively.

  • Facebook. In May 2021, Facebook announced “Live Shopping Fridays,” a series of events featuring Clinique, Abercrombie & Fitch, ZOX, and Sephora products. Each event focused on a different theme: Glow Up, New Fashion Finds, and Self Care Spotlight. The live ecommerce event was each scheduled for 90 minutes.
  • Walmart. In December 2020, the retail giant partnered with TikTok creators to promote shopping. While Walmart did not disclose how many sales it earned, it grew its TikTok audience by 25%, according to TechCrunch.

So far, fashion and beauty brands have been the leaders in live stream ecommerce. It is only a matter of time before other ecommerce companies find a way to leverage this opportunity to grow.

Why Live Stream Ecommerce Matters

Offering a live stream ecommerce experience to customers is crucial because it creates an experience. Historically, ecommerce companies have struggled to create memorable events. Sure, ecommerce companies create annual sales events like Amazon Prime Day. However, discount-driven promotions have their limitations. You might not want to train your customers to expect a discount if you offer premium quality products.

By offering a live stream ecommerce event to customers, you can compete against in-person shopping more effectively. When a shopper goes to a store in person, they can touch and feel products. They can see the quality of the materials, colors, and more. In the ecommerce world, it is more challenging to encourage customers to look at products so deeply.

Offering a live stream ecommerce event is a way to make shopping at your ecommerce more exciting.

Tips for planning your first live stream ecommerce event

1. Choose a focus for the event

To make a live stream ecommerce event appealing to customers, it has to be specific. Here are a few ideas you can use to start your brainstorming process.

  • Emphasize new products. Novelty is a tried and tested way to appeal to customers. Ask yourself: what new products or styles can we highlight?
  • Seasonal trends. Look for seasonal opportunities to inform your event. A lingerie ecommerce company might schedule an event in early February to align with Valentine’s Day. An ecommerce brand aimed at school-age children might offer a “back to school” event in late August.
  • Limited edition theme. Your company might have “limited editions” or premium versions of products. Consider promoting these events in your live stream event.

2. Look for influencers to invite

A live stream ecommerce event typically features an influencer. There are a few options to choose an influencer for the event. If your company founder has a large personal following on social media, you might be able to feature them in the event. In other cases, inviting an outside influencer to your campaign is a smart idea.

There are several platforms you can use to find influencers relevant to your campaign. Use the following tools to search for influencers.

  •  Followerwonk. Looking for Twitter influencers? Followerwonk can speed up the process of searching for Twitter users with a significant following.
  •  Klear. This tool makes it easy to search for influencers by audience size, skills, location, audience gender, and other factors.
  • TikTok Creator Marketplace. Operated by TikTok, the marketplace makes it easier to search for content creators with a significant audience on TikTok.

Once you find a relevant influencer, negotiate the details of the event. For example, you might offer a fee to the influencer and a percentage of sales linked to the event.

3. Promote the event

Promoting the live stream ecommerce event is essential. Start by promoting the event to your audience of past customers and followers on social media. If you are working with an influencer, ask them to drive attendance to the event. As a rule of thumb, give yourself at least two weeks to promote the event.

4. Offer something unique to live stream event attendees

Your customers are busy and might not immediately see the appeal of a live stream ecommerce event. Make your event exciting by offering something unique that they cannot get anywhere else. You might decide to offer a discount code valid for 24 hours to those who attend the event. Alternately, you might offer customized products (e.g., get your name printed on the product) to people who attend the event.

Ask your influencer for ideas to make the event appealing as well. They already know what types of content works with their audience. For instance, they might commit to releasing a unique new video to people who attend the live stream event.

5. Use live chat in the event

There are two ways live chat makes a live stream ecommerce event more exciting.

  • Encourage Community. Offering live chat makes it easy for customers to interact with each other and ask questions. Your guest influencer can answer questions during the event and change their approach. For example, guests might ask to see the product from different angles or see a product in a close-up. Responding to these requests during the event makes it more engaging.
  • Boost Sales By Answering Questions. As customers watch the event, they are probably going to have plenty of questions. For example, customers might ask about clothing sizes and shipping times. Make it easy for customers to ask these questions in a live chat. Every customer question you answer increases the chances of a sale.

6. Choose your live stream ecommerce platform

There are two ways to run a live stream ecommerce platform: run it on your website or use a third-party platform. Each approach has its pros and cons.

  • Using Your Website. You can use your website as a live stream ecommerce platform. For example, stream video from your website using YouTube or other tools and enhance the experience with Arena Live Chat. This approach is an excellent choice because potential customers are less likely to get distracted during the event. The disadvantage is that it takes some time to set up. In addition, you should also double-check that your website can handle a significant increase in web traffic during the event.
  • Using A Third Party Website. The other option is to use a third-party website like Shoply, Facebook or TikTok. This option is a good choice if your website is not ready to handle a large amount of traffic. Shoply leverages Arena’s API to offer a great ecommerce customer experience. The downsides in choosing social network platforms are significant – live stream event attendees might get distracted by other updates on the platform and drift away from your event.

Get Ready For Your First Live Stream Ecommerce Event

Planning a successful live stream ecommerce event takes some time and effort to organize. Fortunately, adding live chat to your website is fast and straightforward. Sign up for a free trial of Arena Live Chat. Once you have a live chat in place, you will be on your way to planning your first live ecommerce event.

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