In the context of people just having gotten out of a pandemic where they were locked down in their houses and were forced to live their entire lives online, many people claim that Live Shopping won’t become very popular, because people prefer physical experiences and nobody wants to stay online and watch an online event.
For me this sounds like a deja-vu. Let me tell you why. It was 2015 and OVE, the Romanian company that later became Oveit, was just born. Together with my friend Mike Dragan, I was knocking on the doors of the event organizers in Romania and was telling them about the innovation that we created back then: electronic tickets to events – basically you could use a QR code to attend to the event, you scanned it with a phone and you were allowed to participate. I laugh when I think of the endless conversations I had with event organizers who talked to me with a superior attitude: “Cmon, man, get out of here! This stupid thing with QR codes will never work. People want to hold their tickets in the hand, they want to hold on to the piece of paper and cherish it as a memory”. Fast forward to 2023: Does access to events using a QR code seem stupid now? Well, that’s what happens when you trailblaze and try to inovate. So is Live Shopping.
Is it worth implementing Live Shopping in your sales strategy? The simple answer is: yes, if you care about your customers. And I will explain why:
First of all, Live Shopping is entertainment combined with shopping. Why would I sit in front of a screen to see someone showing me some products and answer questions? Well, if we put it that way… Why would I sit in front of a screen and watch some guys kicking a ball around as they are trying to put it in a net? The answer for both questions is: because of the experience that this screen watching offers me.
More than this, have you ever analyzed your process of buying stuff? Most likely, you identify a need, then you go on Google and search for that product that can cover your need. You will find a dozen online stores selling that product and other similar products, so you will go where there are product reviews. You will log onto some websites or on some blogs, and you will find out a lot of things about the product that is interesting to you. You might watch some unboxing sessions on Youtube and most likely you will listen to the advice of some experts – or influencers – who will try to explain to you what are the qualities and defects of the product you want (and if they get paid to do this, some might even distort the truth and do anything they can to make you buy the product… they get an affiliate revenue after all, right?
All of the above can be found in Live Shopping. The only thing is that Live Shopping is more efficient, faster and most likely… cheaper – because every time you have a Live Shopping session, you are bound to see some significant discount. You will interact with people who know the products and you will be able to receive answers for all your questions. Basically, your shopping will become an experience that in many cases will result in a sale.
We are people who seek experiences. We want to see more than texts and nice pictures on the internet. We need direct interaction, and Live Shopping can offer this thing. But why some claim this is the path to the future? Because it changes the way we do our online shopping. Generally speaking, in the Western world, we do our shopping using “Search”. This “Search based shopping” is not an experience, but a simple operation, boring and dull. We type the name of the product in a search engine, we read some information, we see some pictures, watch some reviews and decide whether we buy it or not. Whilst shopping is more than this. I don’t know if you still do it, but a few years ago, when you had to use dial-up in order to connect to the internet, shopping was a very interesting experience. You used to go to a store or mall with your family and friends, you used to debate what product to buy, you looked at other interesting stuff and you definitely had to wrap up the shopping session with a coffee or ice-cream. It took a few hours to complete this experience, but you had fun while going shopping. Why? It was an experience.
You might wonder why Live Shopping became so popular in China? Well, I’ll get back on this topic some other time, but the main reason for the enormous popularity is that the Chinese perceive it as a social experience. It is a place where they interact with sellers or influencers, a place where they debate on products with friends or with community members… it is a social place. And the results are mindblowing: in 2023, the estimated numbers for the Chinese Live Shopping industry are going beyond 700 billion dollars!
To sum things up, if you wonder why should you start Live Shopping, it’s enough to look towards Asia and you will have more than 700 billion reasons to do it. In the past, China copied everything from us, but I think that the time has come for us to start copying the Chinese because they are doing some amazing things when it comes to eCommerce.
What do you think? What are the reasons you would like to… or not like to host some Live Shopping Sessions? Please leave a comment below, and if you want to talk more about Live Shopping, book a demo call with me here: Streams.live demo