Is e-commerce live streaming the future of shopping?

December 15th, 2020 by

Thanks to the current social climate, E-commerce is on the brink of some major changes. Not to mention, Jeff Bezos Amazon has completely shapeshifted our consumption habits with his simple yet marvel marketing technique of making E-commerce accessible and affordable, consistently.

After all, we are living in an era of instant gratification. We want things without having to wait for them, and we will pay extra fees to have it instantly. We associate consumption with gratification and seek those tiny hits of digital dopamine every time we open a social feed. The evolution of conspicuous consumption has migrated digitally since 2010. None of this is a new concept, but that doesn’t mean that things aren’t changing. 

What’s next for e-commerce is more than social media. It’s a social media experience that fuses the popularity of streaming video production services with influencer marketing. Combining video streaming services with e-commerce essentially allows all social media influencers to create their own shopping TV channel. It’s essentially bringing your Instagram feed to life, allowing you to not just like and comment on things your favourite influencers are posting, but having them sell it to you. 

Amazon now a live streaming shopping company, it started its own platform called Amazon Live, which hosts shopping shows about everything from fitness to makeup to cooking. Facebook is also now a live streaming shopping company, and uses live streaming shopping services on its platforms which include Instagram. Facebook is also planning to launch a streaming shopping service that will allow customers to buy and review purchases without leaving the live stream. 

The global pandemic obviously took a toll on the way we shop. Many people are still avoiding in-store shopping, forcing many stores to close. Most companies, during the pandemic, realised the importance of investing in e-commerce and social media marketing services. Brands are quickly realising that customers are engaging with live-streaming services used for selling products, more than they are traditional online ads. If the selling is coming from someone the customer already follows and trusts, chances are, they will be more inclined to buy it.

Live-streamed shopping services also opened the door for brands to provide more information than they are used to providing through traditional ads. The connection formed between a consumer and a live stream is more intimate than any kind of social media advertisement. This has the potential to build stronger relationships with customers.

This new, shiny future of e-commerce through live streaming shopping services has already been happening in China. Alibaba operates as a video stream channel that also offers payment and delivery. With just one click, viral streamed shopping hosts, Viya, has sold cars and homes to millions of people across China. 

In China, the Gen-Z spenders make up 12 percent of all spending, which is more than four times that of the US. Most of them are more inclined to spend their money via social media. 

Live streaming services are also becoming increasingly popular with social media entertainment. ‘See-now-buy-now’ seemed to be first adopted by the fashion industry, in response to the rise of fast fashion. Now, the terminology can be associated with live streaming, as most of the fashion calendar moved online in response to the pandemic. This is just one way that live streaming services are shapeshifting the world of e-commerce, as Burberry just showed their SS21 season through Twitch, a popular online live streaming gaming platform.

The internet’s obsession with unboxing videos and other interactive video production content services forecasted this current trend of live-streamed shopping. Influencer marketing also has had a huge impact which combined with live-streamed shopping has the power to bring any product to life. It’s important for brands to showcase how to apply, wear or use their products when it comes to content curation. Live streaming shopping services are a new, exciting medium for influencers to create content to help them stand out.

Live streaming shopping is the future of e-commerce because it gives online shopping a new sense of entertainment. This on social media becomes outdated and over-saturated very quickly, leaving many advertisers, influencers and other agencies tied to it constantly searching for what is next. 

Now that we are living in the ‘new normal’, brands may have to accept that live streaming shopping is the way to go. As live streaming companies like TikTok continue to become wildly popular across social media marketing services, it’s become clear that people are now spending more of their time on social media. Another indicator that live streamed shopping is here to stay is that it’s relatively low-cost when conducted through social media apps. So whether or not it was a form of escapism during the pandemic or a strategy for marketers, live streaming shopping isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. 

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