If you’re going to jump into this space and offer live shopping services or maybe start live selling as an influencer or expert, you’re going to need to know the live selling trends and what you can expect. Who are the players? What are the platforms? Where is everything headed this year and beyond?
These are the questions that we’re going to answer in today’s post all about 2022 live selling trends.
In this post, we’re going to discuss
- The Chinese live shopping market
- Austin Li, the Lipstick King
- Live shopping platforms and influencers
- The metaverse and NFTs
Watch the full episode
On this season of Showrunner, we’re jumping into the world of live selling. Blending entertainment with instant checkouts, live commerce offers retailers, brands, and content creators a new channel to reach and engage audiences. Live shopping has opened doors for on-camera talent, influencers, and even remote live video producers. If you’re not already offering remote live video production to e-commerce clients, NOW is the time to get started.
Keep an Eye on China
We’re seeing a lot of the trends in live shopping coming directly from China. We’ve seen how it’s blown up over the years and has now become the new normal there.
We’re finding that conversion rates for live shopping are approaching 30%. That’s up to 10 times higher than traditional e-commerce. This is the reason why most e-commerce brands are embracing live shopping. Not only is this medium more engaging and adds a human layer, but it’s also more profitable.
One of the best parts of live shopping is that it gives us the ability to actually properly and fully show the products we’re selling. We can talk through the scent of it, the weight of it, and even how a product compares to another similar product. That’s a different feeling compared to what you’d see in a product description on a website.
The interesting thing that I’ve learned, even in just watching the Chinese market, is that Chinese users don’t just buy things. They ask for information on the sellers’ live streaming. So one of the most famous platforms is Taobao. Viewers can comment and buy the product within just a few clicks. And reviews are super duper important. Viewers rely on the reviews when shopping.
So one thing we could learn from this trend is to have an overlay that asks for a product review. This could help you grow your authority in the space.
Austin Li, the Lipstick King
Have you heard about Austin Li, the lipstick king?
He rose up in the trenches because he was a part of the beauty industry. He got his training by working at an actual makeup counter. And so he had one-on-one interactions, face-to-face with customers. As they walked up to the counter, he would demo the product and do all the different things.
And eventually he took that knowledge and he brought it online. And the interesting thing about it is that he sold $1.7 billion worth of goods in a 12 hour livestream for Alibaba’s Singles Day. This is what I mean by influencers are really helping brands sell their products. It’s not necessarily going to be the brand team, the chief scientist, or any of that other stuff, but really leveraging all these influencers.
But when I say these influencers, you have to be very particular about the type of influencer. Being an effective influencer in the live shopping space means being comfortable on camera and able to make a sale.
For example: I can literally say that I absolutely love this mic because it was easy for my daughter when she was going through Kindergarten Zoom school. She could just tap, untap, and unmute. It was easy to do. I can easily promote this microphone and give you the price. I’m comfortable with that. The reason why I bring that up is because oftentimes as a producer, I’ve seen influencers on camera and when they drop the price, they’re so unsure about it.
And it’s like, why are you doing that? Why are you second guessing yourself? So who you choose as your influencer is going to make a big difference in your effectiveness to sell products.
So back to Austin Li. Austin knows his stuff and stands by his word. He’s also got a strong following.
There’s this legend that’s going around. I’ve heard it probably two or three times. This may be your first time hearing it. Austin cares so much about his audience that he isn’t willing to sell them short. At all. So he had a brand partnership deal. And from what I heard was that he worked with this brand and he said, “okay, if you want me to promote this product, if you want me to be the spokesperson, you have to give me the best deal to offer my audience.”
And then when he had the live shopping event, he moved a bunch of the product because he’s fricking Austin Li.
Then here’s what happened. Some time had passed. And then the brand was like no, actually this is the best deal that you could ever possibly find that’s out there, which undercut what Austin was offering his audience. And, from what I heard, Austin was not okay with that change.
So he went back on air. Because, as we all know, when you’re live streaming, you own your own platform. You could go live on whatever platform that you want to. You don’t have to go through a PR team. You don’t need to have a campaign for it, you just boom, hop on camera and you speak your truth. So that’s what he did.
Austin went on camera and he was like “you know what? This brand did me dirty. I actually want you to take all that product that you just purchased and ship it back, return it.” So all of that product that he helped to sell, he convinced his audience to ship it back.
What we’re seeing is influencers who stand up for their audiences and stand by their values.
Amazon Live is quickly becoming one of the biggest players in live shopping, especially here in the United States. I pretty much use it as a case study for my clients because they could go over to my profile and see all the different things.
What I really like about Amazon Live is that it shows all of the past live streams I’ve done and it shows all of the different products. When I’m on Amazon, I can showcase any type of product that I like. It doesn’t have to be only about live streaming gear. I could talk about like how I do my makeup for one day or how I did unboxing and all the different things. And so I think as a content creator, it makes it a lot of fun for you to not have to worry about, let’s say the YouTube algorithm, and making sure that all of your content is around one central theme.
You can also easily search for and checkout featured creators to see their setups. It’ll help give you lots of ideas on how a live shopping event can look on Amazon Live. It’ll also give you great ideas for live shopping graphics.
buywith Live Shopping Platform
Another live shopping trend to pay attention to is buywith. This is a platform that offers buyers the chance to shop with their favorite influencers and brands.
And you can see above, the videos on buywith are all in vertical. One of the cool parts about using Ecamm for your video creation is that you can create vertical videos in Ecamm easily.
What’s really neat about the buywith platform is that you can “buy with” influencers, experts, celebrities, store reps… anyone. It also has a unique way that it shows comments on screen (and something for us live producers to keep in mind when it comes to creating overlays). They have a moderated chat.
How this actually applies to you when you’re working with brands is the fact of maybe you don’t want them mentioning a discount wholesale prices, right? Don’t mention Groupon or don’t mention competitors and all of that other stuff you could have that automatically blocked. That’s something that most people don’t think about, but that’s going to be an opportunity for you to think about as well.
buywith has an entire shop with me experience and you can see in the cart sessions that they’re seeing 70% higher than average order values and eight times the conversions.
Be the Expert
The important thing to remember in this is that there is a gap between the live shopping platform and the brands. Both want proven influencers that actually know how to move the product. This is a great opportunity for us all to be experts and provide value. If we can be the ones who know the platforms inside and out and understand how to set up, produce, and even host a live shopping event that sells, we’ll win over the brands and fill that gap.
And that’s what being a true Showrunner really is.
One of the live shopping platforms that I’ve worked with and love is Livescale.tv. And one of the reasons why I like them is because they actually have a full-blown onboarding team that will help the client get situated in integrating their Shopify store in all the different things.
Livescale works with a lot of high-end brands. They also have really great reporting, which is very important when you’re working as a live selling producer for big brands. They’re going to want to see all of those analytics and reports. Make sure you ask your clients up front what kinds of analytics they want to see, so that you choose the right platform to accomplish the goals.
Influencers are Going for the Gear
So the trend that I’m seeing is that these influencers are going to start investing in their gear. So for those of you that haven’t built relationships with live shopping hosts just yet, that’s going to be another arena that you could step into and start coaching these influencers on what they need to buy and have to be successful in this space.
Live Shopping and the Metaverse
Shopping is also going virtual. Did you see the Adidas partnered with some high school studnets to create NFTs? And Nike recently acquired RTFKT. This is a space that is going to continue to grow and evolve as more players move into it.
I’ve been seeing more and more live shopping pop up in and around games like Roblox, Minecraft, and even Fortnite. Balenciaga became the first luxury brand to do a drop in Fortnite. Live shopping is being integrated into these virtual spaces and places and people are purchasing within their platforms.
You have influencers who are big in these virtual metaverse platforms that are also doing “live shopping.” Now, that isn’t necessarily live streaming in the sense of what we traditionally know, but it goes to show how social commerce is definitely evolving quickly.
The Rise of the Super Apps
Let me talk about WeChat real quick. WeChat is a super app.
And what I mean by super app is that you never have to leave the app. For other live shopping experiences, you’d need to go to buywith or Livescale.tv or Facebook, etc. You’d go to those destinations to buy something. But with WeChat, it’s a super app in that it houses all of these different ways to interact with their audience.
So you could order food, you could watch entertainment, you could shop for things for the home, you could shop for things by specific categories, and you could even buy things secondhand. It’s one app to rule them all. This is something to be mindful of from a marketer’s perspective.
Super apps like WeChat are going to force other players like Walmart and Target to get more into these spaces. It’s also going to force platforms and apps to expand into different languages. Which is great for people like us because it expands our services. We have over 20,000 people in the Ecamm Live Community. Get to know them. Ask who speaks other languages or who has expertise in something you need help with. Partnering up is going to be huge in this new world.
This also leads me to believe. Okay. So we’ve seen like Walmart, we’re hearing rumbles. Target, getting into live shopping as well. What if they expanded their apps to be this one super app that does all of this? And if you were to do that, then you would need to different influencers, different languages, because you don’t only want it to be in English.
Imagine if Amazon jumped into this space and created an Amazon super app where you could purchase and watch live streams and get food delivered and chat with each other?
Buy Now, Pay Later
Another big other trend that’s happening with live shopping right now is “buy now, pay later.”
What’s happening is that the live shopping platforms are integrating with these buy now, pay later services. This makes it easier than ever for anyone shopping to get what they really way. Instead of being $200 total, it’s eight payments of $25 each. Kind of like the old days of television shopping.
There are a lot of companies out there in this space including Klarna, Affirm, and Afterpay.
I know whenever I make like a purchase, even just with my own credit cards, they’ll say “hey, do you want to break this down into monthly payments?” If you know that your platform is going to have buy now, pay later, you can include that into your run of show.
There are also pop-ups that provide discounts if you put in your email address or phone number. This is something to consider if you or your client is looking to build a list. You could have a 360 marketing approach to live shopping and give your customers the opportunity to get text messages, get special deals, and be part of a community.
QR codes work really well for this, too. Rather than sharing text on screen, why not share a QR code that offers viewers the chance to unlock something special if they share their info?
The Future is Now
Live shopping isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Whether you’re just getting started or looking to level up and become a live shopping producer, you’ll need to keep tabs on what’s happening with the platforms, influencers, and brands who are bringing this medium forward.