Shopping has come a long way since the old and true way of going to the mall and buying products straight from the store. With online shopping, the threshold of making a buying decision has come down quite a way, since you can do the purchase from the comfort of your home, or anywhere really with smart devices.
The covid-19 pandemic had quite a negative impact on regular in-person shopping. Due to the restrictions and guidelines, people veered away from going to the stores themselves and instead preferred to do their shopping online. This movement has helped kickstart new and fresh new ways of doing e-commerce, such as live shopping and alternative reality shopping.
Let’s return to the past for a while, to talk about the first showings of live shopping like marketing and selling.
In the time before the internet, marketing teams figured out that showing their products to people when they are at home could be a gold mine. Thus channels like the home shopping channel and others were born. The idea of these channels was quite similar to live shopping, as they would show off their products in action and would constantly give CTA’s (Call to action) to get people who were tuned in, to call their number and purchase their products.
Live shopping works in quite a similar way to the shopping channels with the additional possibility of direct communication between the seller and the customer. The “modern” live shopping trend has its roots in the Chinese e-commerce market.
The first live shopping streams started popping up around 2015, which started the rise of live shopping in china. Live shopping-based commerce has been one of the fastest-growing markets in recent years. It’s been reported that the revenue in the Chinese market has reached upwards of 400 Billion.
While live shopping is thriving in the eastern market, it’s still quite new to the western market, and even though it is still in its early stages, live shopping-based e-commerce still managed to rake in 11 billion dollars in the US alone.
Live shopping has been gaining a lot of traction lately, which is fueled by the biggest social media such as Facebook and youtube adding live shopping possibilities to their platforms.
This traction is also affected by the covid-19 pandemic which drove customers out of in-person stores to online shops. In time people started missing the in-person shopping experience, and live shopping raised its head. With live shopping streams being the closest thing to a real shopping experience available on the market, it’s no surprise that it has started trending lately.
It’s been said that live shopping is most popular among teenagers, and young adults at the moment, which can be attributed to them being handier with technology and understanding the concept of live shopping better. Generations coming after will probably be surrounded by even more digitalization, so live shopping commerce will most likely not lose its steam, even after the covid-19 situation subsides.
Live shopping-based e-commerce seems to have a bright future ahead. With steady growth, that has been estimated to reach 25 billion dollars in 2023 and hasn’t been estimated to slow down in the near future either.
When looking at the growth of one trend it’s important to look at others in the vicinity too. E-commerce as a whole has gained a boost in the past years and is also not showing signs of slowing down. More and more services are moving completely online and in-person stores are disappearing left and right.
With more and more shops starting to build their online platform, it’s good to stand out from the crowd. Many companies have started doing their own style of content, and live shopping is one of these new oddities, but it won't stay a rare thing for long. Live shopping will be gaining more and more traction when the word gets out, so it’s best to follow the trend while it’s still in its infancy.
Finally to answer the question if live shopping is a must-have for e-commerce?
No, no it’s not. But if used right, it can lead to great things, or work as a stepping stone to these greater things. There are already cases of companies that have risen to new heights with the help of live shopping, and any one company can be next.
If the product and the customer base are suitable for it, companies should definitely try their hand at live shopping e-commerce.
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