When you think about e-commerce trends that have completely transformed the industry, you’d be remiss to not talk about the phenomenon that is live shopping. It’s taken a few years for the trend to truly hit its peak around the globe, but here we are.
Live shopping is a billion-dollar industry now—yes, that’s billion with a B. In 2020, live shopping events generated $5.6 billion in US sales and that number is projected to grow to nearly $25 billion by 2023.
These numbers don’t lie—live e-commerce is here to stay and it’s about time you start capitalizing on this powerful trend.
If you’ve never gone live to sell your products or services before, you may be a bit intimidated. But with these 6 best practices, you can confidently start selling live. Remember it’s all about connecting with your audience and creating a can’t-miss experience they want to be a part of.
Find a great host
Depending on the size of your business, finding a great host is going to look different for everyone. If you are a small business, you or someone on your team can host the event—this keeps costs down and also helps to build trust with your audience. If you are the face of your business, then you should 100% be the host of your live shopping events. It doesn’t make sense to hire talent when you are the best representative for your brand.
If you are a larger business or have a bigger budget to work with, you can consider hiring an influencer to host your event. Be sure to look for someone who aligns with your brand voice and tone, and messaging—you don’t want to hire a beauty influencer to promote your cookware line. Find someone who is within your niche and who has a large enough following to bring in a new audience that you may have not tapped into yet.
It’s also important to find a host who has live video experience. The reality is that live video and prerecorded VOD are two very different beasts. A host who has live experience will be able to roll with the punches and handle the ups and downs of a live show. In our Webby nominated Fall Style Haul live stream, our hosts Jazzmyne Jay, Essence Gant, and Maria Marinaro have extensive live experience. They used their past lives to help create a safe, inclusive space on the internet.
Engage with your audience
Live shopping events provide your brand with an amazing opportunity to connect and engage with your audience live. This kind of engagement is something that most e-commerce brands miss out on—without a brick-and-mortar store, sales people, and foot traffic, you just don’t have the same opportunities to connect.
But live e-commerce gives you that chance.
So how can you capitalize on it? By bringing your audience into the stream so that they truly feel like they are a part of the show, not just an audience member. Here are 4 tips to keep engagement rolling during your live shopping event.
- Include audience comments as if they are a part of the conversation throughout the stream.
- Acknowledge and respond to comments and the person who made the comment by username and ask follow-up questions when appropriate.
- Ask the audience their opinion on something i.e. do they like this or that and acknowledge majority or minority opinion.
- Keep the conversation going — the more you engage with your audience, the more they’ll engage with you! If you notice comments are waning, ask another question to keep the conversation moving.
Go in-depth on the products
It is so important to engage with your audience and make your live stream fun. But don’t forget the reason you are there—to show the world your products and explain to your audience why they need your products in their lives.
Within your audience engagement, you are going to need to describe your product and exactly what it is. Showing off your latest makeup line? Explain and show how it feels, smells, and looks. Launching a clothing line? Try on pieces for your audience to see and describe how the material feels and what it is made of. Let your audience see what the product can do in context by actually using the product during your live stream.
Share examples of different ways your product can be used and get creative! You might think that a t-shirt can only be “used” in one way, but think about the different ways it can be styled to show your audience its versatility.
Now, this one is really important—share your genuine excitement around the product with your audience. If you’re pumped, they will get pumped too. Share your anecdotes about the story… how you came to create it, the first time someone complimented it in the wild, your first loyal customer. These are all great ways to pump up your product and engage organically with your audience.
It’s also important to keep your audience interested—in your product but also in your stream. In our recent live stream with Ice Shaker, we incorporated the product into a fun and engaging game. It kept the audience interested and the show was such a huge hit it has become a series!
Finally, don’t forget to remind your audience that they can shop the products live—and if you’re offering an incentive, don’t forget to plug it throughout the live stream.
Offer (and reiterate) an incentive
We just mentioned offering an incentive and you might have been scratching your head thinking, “a what?”
An incentive can be anything from a discount (buy now and save 20%), a giveaway (buy now and be entered for a chance to win), to a gift with purchase (buy now and you’ll receive a free _____!).
The purpose of this is to encourage people to buy during the live stream—these are exclusive offers that are only available during the live show and this is a great motivator to get people to buy.
Be sure to promote your incentive throughout the show so that people are aware regardless of when they join your stream.
Embrace the live experience
When you go live, things are bound to happen. You must adopt a go-with-flow attitude and take things in stride. The reality is that when you go live, unexpected things may happen—maybe you mispronounce a word, maybe your lighting leaves something to be desired, or maybe a fire truck drives by with sirens blaring.
Audiences embrace imperfect, unscripted moments so long as they are authentic. So try not to sweat the “what ifs” and once you go live, channel the most zen, Matthew McConaughey attitude you can muster.
Think about how you’ll go live
How will you go live to your audience and sell? This is an important question because you want to create a seamless user experience that leaves your audience excited to shop with you again.
Most social networks have live video streaming capabilities and they are slowly rolling out e-commerce integration. But with a dedicated live e-commerce platform, you get so much more bang for your buck.
With Stage TEN, you can easily add e-commerce to live streams and connect with customers directly on your site. You can also expand your reach by multistreaming across your social media channels.
We make purchasing a seamless part of your interactive storytelling. You can engage with your audience on a whole new level by pulling audience comments directly on screen and using real-time voting to bring them into the conversation.
Stage TEN is the leading live video commerce company and you can get started today for free!