Live shopping was predicted to generate $129 billion by the end of 2020 in China.
Selling products through video is not a new phenomenon in the eCommerce world. However, live selling is an entirely new experience because the viewers or the shoppers interact with the presenter and each other.
Now, because of its projected profitability all over the world, continents like America and Europe are adopting the trend fast. So, this article will closely look at what live selling means, its inception in China, and its current adoption in the United States.
What Is Live Selling?
It is the new commerce technology that is taking advantage of live video streaming to connect merchants and shoppers. What happens in live shopping is, you have an influencer or a store associate on one end of the video and potential customers on the other end.
The influencer or the shop associate invites people to a live presentation of the products they are selling. The presentation includes tools, like Dibsly, that allow viewers to buy products live.
The influencers then generate buzz about a product and create consumer trust through interactive and engaging personality-driven broadcasts. A trusted host demonstrates the product by telling the audience why they love it and how it fits and feels.
Viewers also get a chance to ask questions and give reactions during the live presentation. As a result, many viewers are converted into potential buyers. Live selling as a marketing method has proven to have a 45 percent increase in sales opportunities compared to the traditional marketing methods.
This method of selling also heightens the chances of hitting the sales quota to 51 percent. And when compared to traditional methods of selling, live selling has shown to have a 78 percent more output
Even though only a limited inventory is made present at a significant discount, live selling shortens the sales funnel and enhances the customer journey. Other benefits of Livestream shopping include:
- It enhances buyer experience and sales conversion rate
- Increases time spent by the customers on your social pages – streaming can last for hours
- Increases the average amount of money spent on each purchase
- New customers are attracted easily by the valuable content and available answers to questions asked
- It enhances your company’s click ratio – this is the number of times potential buyers click on your products for purchase
- Your content is more likely to be shared more
The Size Of Live Shopping In China: How It Started
Live shopping on social media has been around in China since 2012: it accounted for 9 percent of eCommerce revenues in China in the same year. It was assumed that the introduction of live media streaming and social media influencer marketing worked together to orchestrate the beginning of live selling.
Nevertheless, the revolution of live shopping started in China with Taobao Live. The company is owned by Alibaba and it has become the livestream shopping destination in China. China was an easy market for the success of the trend because of its high rate of mobile usage and penetration habits.
Currently, Taobao leads live streaming with 60 percent of shoppers in the country have watched at least one of the platform’s live stream. By the end of 2020, Taobao was predicted to sell to at least 500 million livestream shoppers.
This number is predicted to generate more than 500 billion transactions within the next three years. The 500 million livestream shoppers’ number was further predicted to be a 453 percent growth rate as valued from $29 billion in 2018 to $129 billion that was expected by end of 2020.
People that shop daily take up 25 percent of this value while people that shop once every week take up 71 percent of the total live shoppers.
Moreover, during the biggest shopping day of the year in China in 2019, the Singles’ Day, $38.4 billion were generated on Taobao Live with over 1000 brands participating in the events. JD.com, Alibaba’s rival, generated $29.2 billion in sales revenues on its biggest sale day of the year, the 618 Day, from social selling.
COVID has further accelerated the year over year growth of comment selling in China with a rate of 205 percent. Additionally, between January and February 2020, the number of merchants that sold their products on Taobao Live increased by 719 percent.
Now, China has 900 million internet users with increased online spending because of live selling. As a result, 265 million internet users in China now buy goods through live streams. This makes up for 47 percent of the stream viewing audience in the nation.
Live Shopping In The United States
The Western world was quick to pick up the live stream trend with Amazon opening Amazon Live in the second month of 2019. The United States alone has 232 million online video viewers. This means there is a significant potential for social selling growth.
Besides, the quarantine measures set in 2020 saw over 14,000 stores close their doors further enforcing the need to sell products live.
Also, brick-and-mortar retailers consider live shopping an opportunity to reduce costs and keep their successful selling practices. Live selling is a fast way to connect in-store experiences with digital-savvy consumers, after all.
Moreover, the total revenue generation from influencer marketing is expected to jump from $8 billion in 2019 to $15 billion in 2022. Flash sale mentality and live-stream content are bound to offer limited purchase options for many retail businesses in the United States.
Social selling has already proven to be an excellent platform for US shoppers to discover products. Now, content brands are becoming commerce brands and commerce brands are becoming content brands. This channel unification will shrink the gap between selling platforms and content creators.
For instance, Facebook already has Facebook Shops which is expected to bring in $30 billion in transaction fees.
Live selling is the future of sales for any company that wants to get their products in the market. As mentioned, live selling is the process of showcasing products live through the use of an influencer’s reach on social media platforms.
Technology working in tandem with the psychological principle of selling -Products are more attractive to buyers once their perceived availability is limited – will help the US grow its livestream industry to a staggering $25 billion by the year 2023.
China is already there with Alibaba working to steer the race of top live selling companies globally. Therefore, following the success of companies like Alibaba from China, the US eCommerce revenue with the launch of Amazon Live, ShopLoop for Google, and other live selling software, is only bound to gain significant traction in live selling in the coming years.