The Importance of Livestream Shopping in 2023

April 18th, 2022 by

Livestream shopping is a marketing strategy where a host of an online livestream, usually an influencer or celebrity, promotes products through a livestream, where the audience can purchase the products being promoted. Livestream shopping is an online version of teleshopping, where products are demonstrated through engagement between the cost and audience in live time.

Livestream shopping is a fun and interactive ecommerce experience, which has benefits for both retailers as it allows the brand to tell a story and demonstrate their products in action, as well as stimulates the social aspect of shopping which consumers love. Livestream shopping is gaining traction with retailers and consumers and is becoming a standout marketing strategy.

There are four main elements of live streaming selling and live stream shopping. The first element is the live stream shopping platform. Platforms have started to adapt for livestream shopping , catering to a new market of Gen Z and Millennials. Livestreams usually occur via social media or apps, such as Facebook Live, Instagram Live and TikTok Live. E-commerce retailers have also jumped on the growth with brands such as Amazon launching their own livestream shopping platform called Amazon Live. Social media platforms have started to integrate e-commerce within their apps to eliminate the need for two apps and increase user accessibility. 

Twitter recently hosted a livestream shopping episode with Walmart, the first retailer to host an ecommerce livestream on the social media platform, where users were able to interact with a variety of products. Pinterest also has a live shoppable series called Pinterest TV. YouTube is working towards an

“organic live shopping experience” based on creators’ views, offering a trusted experience for its consumers. 

The second key element of livestream shopping is the host. The most successful hosts are usually KOLs, influencers or celebrities, as they are the most effective at generating sales due to their audience’s trust and perceived reliability. As seen in China, Huang Wei has been one of the most successful live stream shopping hosts, with her streams reaching over 37 millions views. Her success is driven by her close relationship with her audience and high trust levels, ensuring all the products promoted are tested by her and her team. 

The products being showcased in the livestream are another important element of livestream shopping. Currently, the fashion market has been dominating livestream shopping, however, other markets such as homeware and FMCG have started to gain popularity. 

Finally, the fourth element of livestream shopping is the content of the stream. The main goal of the stream is to showcase the products in an interactive and engaging way. Potential customers can comment and ask questions regarding the product, which the host can address and answer. The most successful livestreams use promotions such as raffles, giveaways and price drops. During the shopping live stream promotional giveaways are often offered to the audience for periods of time to create a sense of urgency and scarcity. The stream usually lasts 20-25 minutes, but longer streams perform better on average. 

Livestream shopping gained popularity in China, where KOLs go live through apps to describe, model and test products for their audiences. Although experts say there is still a long way to go in terms of consumer adoption before livestream shopping takes off the way it has in China, it is gaining traction within Western markets. U.S brands are still adapting when it comes to live stream shopping, however brands are becoming more experimental and diving into the market more. Although audiences may not fully be on board with livestream shopping, it is a growing trend and is here to stay. 

According to BuyWith, a live streaming platform, retailers who want to implement livestream shopping into their marketing strategy should “give it time” and host multiple streams a week to allow their audience to adapt. Brands should also carefully pick their host, choosing someone who feels authentic and will add value to their products. 

Research from Coresight Research forecasts that the U.S live streaming market will reach 11 billion dollars this year and will grow to 25 billion dollars by 2023. To compre, China’s live streaming market is predicted to reach 300 billion dollars this year. 26% of retailers are focusing on live streaming selling as a priority, however, this number is expected to double within the next 12 to 18 months. While livestream shopping is due to grow, it will take a few years before it reaches maximum growth to a point where it will be a common way for consumers to purchase products, as it is in China. 

Livestream shopping is rapidly changing the way brands and consumers are engaging. More retailers are exploring the e-commerce potential of livestream shopping and while it is still relatively undeveloped in the U.S markets, companies are looking towards the market and we can expect to see growth in the market in the future. 

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