Live commerce, or live-stream shopping, has been around for some time. In China live stream shopping is a $600 billion market. Across the rest of the world the pandemic put live-streaming technology front of mind for brands who were looking for new ways to reach and engage with their customers during mandatory lockdowns.
While many retailers adopted live commerce and saw tremendous growth in customer satisfaction and ROI, others are still on the fence. This is likely due to the myths surrounding live commerce technology that couldn’t be further from the truth.
And with that we seek to uncover some of the most widespread myths about one-to-one live commerce technology:
Myth #1: Customers Prefer to Shop In-Store
Truth: They don’t unless the in-store shopping trip delivers an experience that transcends the transaction.
Live Commerce is just an extension of online shopping — which the majority of brands have already adopted. In fact, there are more than 9 million online retailers operating worldwide to date — 2.5 million of which are in the U.S alone.
Shopping behaviors have been in flux for years, but the restrictions put in place during the pandemic pushed customers to adopt a fully digital approach to shopping. A good majority, 76%, of U.S. adults already use the internet to make online purchases, which is proof enough that preferences for going in-store is a major stretch. According to Nielson Norman Group, the number one reason customers turn to online shopping is due to ease and convenience. Adding live shopping to a retailer’s toolkit is a perfect solution to enhancing the shopping experience so customers can get the same care they would get in-store.
Myth #2: We need expensive studio equipment to make this work
Truth: Definitely not.
If you have a smartphone and headset in your possession you already have everything you need to go live. Many brands feel in order to add live streaming to their online experience, that expensive equipment and even studios are a requirement. It’s easy to see how that myth could be believed, however luckily for brands customers actually prefer to engage with sales associates in an authentic, non-polished environment.
Retailers that implement live commerce into their strategy don’t need to employ an entire crew to get this off the ground. The combination of knowledgeable staff with relatively low-cost equipment and quiet space are the minimum requirements you need to get a jumpstart.
Myth #3: One-to-one live commerce won’t have a revenue impact
Truth: Fully implemented, it probably will.
Understandably ROI is a huge factor for brands looking to add technology to their current setup. But research shows, the odds are in your favor when it comes to implementing live streaming.
It’s also important to evaluate the success of one-to-one shopping with other metrics. Customer satisfaction often skyrockets when brands implement live shopping as they can learn more about a product by interacting with a store representative without having to leave the comfort of their own home. And as a result, brands can expect to see a reduction in returns as live-streaming shoppers feel more secure about their purchases.
Myth #4: This is just a fad, right?
Truth: Actually, no.
Live commerce has already become an integral part of shopping habits in Asia. Take China for example, where the live commerce industry has become a shopping norm, growing from $2.85 billion in 2017 to $144.15 billion in 2020. The popularity of live commerce is expected to increase dramatically and is on track to become a $600 billion industry in China.
According to McKinsey and Co., live commerce could make up for as much as 20% by 2026.
While it may seem like live commerce is a long game, the trend is already taking off the present day. In fact, global estimates for total live commerce revenue are approximately $600 billion in 2023, an around 300% increase over 2021 totals. Becoming an early adopter of live commerce will give brands the opportunity to wow their customers, gaining a competitive edge over their competitors.
Every new trend and technology will naturally undergo a variety of growing pains and even resistance.
It’s a mistake to think of one-to-one live streaming as a fad, especially with the real-life proof of the technology’s success, which we have already seen demonstrated in Asia.
Smart brands who will embrace live streaming technology will see massive rewards in ROI, customer satisfaction, and more importantly brand loyalty. While it’s easy to fall trap into believing in myths, brands need to keep an open mind so they can truly thrive in the new digital age.
Zarnaz is global marketing executive with a demonstrated history of driving growth and profitability in B2B marketing environments. She is responsible for driving all marketing functions from vision and strategy to execution. Zarnaz has a strong track record of building global businesses and bringing new products to market with the ability to link business strategies to customer adoption. Prior to her current role, Zarnaz held senior marketing leadership roles at Sitecore, Adobe, Trifecta and Neustar.