Streaming is making waves in the world of retail with the phenomenon of livestream shopping. The mix of entertainment and marketing opportunities that the format offers encourages big and small brands to make use of a channel that allows them to answer questions and speak their customers’ language.
The experience as a product
In 2016, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba launched Taobao Live, a platform that, thanks to its rapid growth, has also caught the attention of the Western world. In fact, livestream shopping is behind 10% of all online purchases in China. Streamer Austin Li Jiagi has shown how successful the method can be, managing to sell 1.5 million euros worth of product in just 12 hours of livestreaming.
What’s so special about this new distribution channel? Well, it’s all about creating a new experience in which each customer feels like they are participating in live content creation. Alibabi’s Western competitor Amazon took note and launched Amazon Live. Other platforms, including Google and TikTok, are following suit.
There is a lot of data to support this new approach, with trend consultancy firm WGSN estimating that so-called “social selling” (i.e. selling via social media or other digital platforms) is growing at a rate that is three times faster than traditional e-commerce.
Livestream shopping and interior design
How will livestream shopping affect interior design? IKEA recently launched IKEA Live, a new marketing strategy that consists of twice monthly sessions during which customers can interact with the program’s presenters and get their questions about the company’s products answered.
IKEA Live offers themed sessions focusing on topics such as food, organisation, and exteriors, that give viewers a virtual experience similar to those they’d get in a bricks-and-mortar space.
How will the retail sector change as a result of livestream shopping? Will there soon be huge recording studios in retail spaces or will we continue to see dark stores go from strength to strength? Tell us what you think on social media using #ConnectionsByFinsa.