To understand the basic principles of Live Stream Shopping we must go back in time and explore its ancestor: Teleshopping.
Teleshopping began in Italy around 1970 and then moved on to become quite a popular movement in the United States. Then, it was only a matter of time until Teleshopping became popular in many other countries as well. In fact, I think that if you check out your cable TV program, you might still find some Teleshopping channels over there. Not everything moved online. Yet.
The home shopping retailing industry was created in 1977, when Bob Circosta, a talk show radio host, was asked to sell green colored can openers live on TV. This happened because an advertiser traded 112 units of this product to the station owner Bud Paxson instead of paying his advertising bill. Although he was reluctant, Bob Circosta agreed to do this not knowing that he would create the first Live Shopping Session ever done in the history of mankind. Fun fact? He sold all 112 can openers within one hour.
Bud Paxson saw the opportunity of this new way of selling goods using live TV shows and established the world’s first shopping channel on cable television, which later launched nationwide. It was the Home Shopping Network, rebranded in HSN.
Bob Circosta was the world’s first teleshopping host and became a TV icon in the US. He sold over 75.000 different products on HSN and spent over 20.000 hours in live teleshopping sessions. Legends have it that he sold products of more than one billion dollars.
After the success of HSN, the teleshopping market grew exponentially in the US, as the audience was witnessing the growth of HSN’s competitor – QVC. (2 min 34 sec)
QVC stands for Quality, Value, Convenience and was founded in 1986 by Joseph Segel (se citește Seagull) and other investors including Ralph Roberts who is known to have founded Comcast, one of the largest telecommunications conglomerates in the world. QVC initially broadcasted live from 7:30 PM until midnight every weekday and 24 hours a day each weekend. In its 36 years of existence, QVC became a media giant as it now broadcasts in seven countries to more than 350 million households, including channels in the UK, Germany, Japan, Italy, and China along with a joint venture with China National Radio which is called CNR Mall.
Quite big, right? Well, in China, although we have the world’s largest television market with over 378 million TV households, this is nothing compared to its 70% digital penetration rate among its population of 1.4 billion people. That is approximately 1 billion people constantly using internet. This number was the key to why China moved on from teleshopping and created its own and better version of it: Live Stream Shopping.