Live shopping: fad or new shopping experience?
Entertainment and shopping are increasingly merging and can hardly be separated from one another. Live shopping – i.e. shopping via live stream – has long been standard in China and is also gaining importance in Europe. Products are presented visually to an audience in real time via social media, for example, with the allure of being able to see and interact before they buy.
The goods are usually shown by influencers who take consumers on a shopping tour via live video. A moderator accompanies the show and interacts with the viewers via the chat function. The conventional shopping process becomes an event that binds the younger generation in particular to a brand.
70% of European customers of fashion and beauty products are already interested in this concept - 53% would actively participate in such an event. These results come from a study by Arvato, which examined the potential of live shopping in Europe. This shows that retailers in Germany can also benefit from the trend by opening up a completely new sales channel through sales via live stream, increasing sales, retaining customers and winning new buyers.
Components of a live shopping event
Shopping via live stream can either take place via social media, special apps or the company's own website. Brands have the option of building a new infrastructure geared towards live shopping internally or using the service of an external service provider. Arvato shows that self-initiation on social media is currently one of the most popular options.
Via Facebook, users can buy products that the company has added to a catalog in advance, directly in the live stream. Instagram offers a live shopping feature for all business accounts. However, customers in Germany still have to leave the show to complete the purchase in the actual web shop. More advanced is the live streaming dashboard on YouTube. However, there is already high competitive pressure here. TikTok already has shopping events in the live stream, which attract the younger target group in particular.
Once a company has decided on a channel, the choice of host follows. This always plays an important role when addressing customers and prospects - regardless of whether it is about presenting new products, boosting sales or increasing brand awareness. Arvato assumes that celebrities or social media specialists such as influencers attract a higher number of viewers. Product knowledge, entertainment and authenticity are further decision criteria. Cosmetics brands often involve both an influencer and an expert in the event.
Best Practices in Europe
Some companies have already integrated live shopping events into their website concept. Samsung, Orsay and Esprit work together with influencers and moderators. To encourage sales, viewers will receive discount codes during the event that they can redeem directly. Dior used TikTok to introduce a whole new collection to the community.
The trading company Otto has also launched its own live shopping show. For 20 minutes, influencers and moderators, such as Jenny Augusta from the Pro-Sieben shows “Taff” and “Red!”, present products that are integrated under the video using tiles. With a click, viewers can add them directly to the shopping cart and buy them if necessary. Viewers have the opportunity to ask questions via chat, which will then be answered live. Furnishing tips for interior products, for example, follow as a supplement to the product presentation. The Tchibo group designs its live shopping concept a little differently: With “Tchibo live”, customers meet company employees who appear in front of the camera themselves and know the products inside out.
This completely new shopping experience offers numerous advantages for both customers and retailers. Viewers can connect and interact with the community, collaborators, experts, or influencers.
Live shopping saves consumers from having to search for and compare products and the time it takes to read ratings or recommendations. The advice, which is sometimes missing in classic online shopping, can also be replicated. Live shopping encompasses the entire shopping process and additionally entertains the audience.
In addition to the effects of customer loyalty and the acquisition of new customers, companies are also registering sales growth and can use the event as an active sales promotion. However, the potential of the new format has not yet been exhausted. It is worth taking a closer look at trends and innovations in China and orienting yourself towards them. Anyone starting now is still one of the pioneers in Germany and can hold their own among the multitude of e-commerce providers in Germany.