The Rise of Video Commerce – A $5 Billion+ Gambit!
Do you own/manage a brand or a retail chain? Here’s some news! Business as usual is no longer an option. Thanks to technology, consumption is witnessing a churn. Gone are the times when engagement could solely rely on offering a storefront experience, making it more important than ever before for Brands/Retailers to reach customers online and ensure a seamless experience.
It’s no secret that buying online yields convenience. However, offering an in-store experience is still relevant, simply because we’re yet to replicate it fully in the digital world. We’ll get there some day, but we’re not there, yet. The physical proximity, the ability to see, touch, smell, and taste a product, has always played a major role when evaluating items for purchase and playing a major role in building a bridge which moves that experience to the virtual world is Live Commerce.
By fusing online retail with live commerce, brands today are bringing consumers one step closer to that in-person experience, and real-time interactivity, which keeps customers actively engaged. Live commerce goes by many names, including live selling, live shopping, live stream e-commerce, and more. A broad term which encompasses it all – Shoppable videos. More specifically, live-stream commerce describes the fusion of interactive video with online buying and selling. Done right, it enables customers to purchase goods via a live broadcast, without having to navigate away from the stream. Think of it as live shoppertainment which turns viewers into buyers!
Just as online shopping transformed retail years ago, live-streaming e-commerce promises to revolutionize how goods are purchased and sold today. However, live e-commerce is still at a nascent stage in India, especially when you compare any efforts in the space to a powerhouse industry that’s been created in China!
The Indian live eCommerce market is expected to generate a GMV of around $5 billion by 2025 – not bad until that number is stacked against China, which is on track to hit $423 billion, this year alone. China has been way ahead of us when it comes to live video shopping. With a tech-savvy market of around 1 billion internet users, China has led the world in digital consumer markets for years. Consequently, live streaming e-commerce is a popular way to promote and sell goods through influencer streams.
We are witnessing a rewriting of retail as we know it in India. The see-now-want-now mentality displayed by modern consumers is driving the trend of live video shopping which we see sweeping across e-commerce and online shopping platforms. If you’re probably still imagining the early days of Live Commerce which involved a telephone and a big fat TV, things are far different now! Let’s break it down.
Why does it work?
There’s still something powerful about human connection and the value of discovery—wandering into your favourite store, having interesting conversations, learning stories behind the products and getting inspired. Live video shopping enables all of this and more.
Brick-and-mortar stores can deliver a personalized shopping experience to their customers by tending to their needs and wants in person when they walk through the door. When e-commerce transformed the retail landscape, people exchanged traditional, personalized shopping for convenience and comfort. Order from anywhere in the world, and it gets delivered straight to your doorstep.
But consumers want more. Live stream shopping brings the age-old practice of in-store personalization into online times. Except, instead of a shop assistant, the person advising you is a social influencer who loves and uses the products that you are sure to love and use. Same concept, different channel. In this digital age, live streaming has become a popular and effective way to stay connected with audiences. Streaming live videos enables brands to receive instant feedback from their followers while streaming.
What are the benefits?
- Real-time results: Live shopping gives e-commerce companies the ability to showcase their goods and allows consumers to buy products in real-time.
- High engagement: Online video shopping is a highly engaging experience, more than simply clicking and filling up a shopping cart. Users can also leave comments.
- Consumer First: It helps marketers create interactive advertising experiences which place consumers in the driver’s seat when it comes to engaging with content
- Social trust: Trust queues can work wonders in overcoming objections and guiding users through their purchasing journey when sellers flash reviews and recommendations on the screen.
- Early-adopter advantage: This is still a relatively new trend and allows early adopters to stand out from competitors.
How can Brands get started with live video shopping?
- Define your target audience. Much like all business models, you need to identify who you hope to reach through live streaming shopping.
- Identify the key influencer. This is important as live video shopping is primarily social media oriented. The influencer will bring their audience and add legitimacy to your products.
- Content Production (Inhouse/Outsourced). There’s also the element of ensuring those eyeballs have something presentable to look at during a live shopping event, which is where production capability /content studio comes into play.
- Top Notch quality index: Video content, postproduction, Product Photos, Lifestyle imagery, Videos, Title, Feature benefits, pricing points, discounts & offer with a strong call out
- Sort out your back end. You will need an in-house moderator to handle comments, questions and more when you go live. This is important for a smooth, streamlined event.
- Focus on marketing.Advertise on your online and offline channels—whatever channels your ideal audience frequents. If you don’t do any marketing, nobody will come!
- Don’t forget your website. Remember to make your live show available on your website. Don’t hide it, as on-demand is highly sought after.
- Prepare for day zero!
Now, while all this might seem exciting and broadens your horizon about new possibilities, you’re probably still wondering where to begin. How do you make your brand make the most of this transformative phase, and then lead, as consuming habits keep marching up these digital stairs?
Bigger brands have already invested in in-house setups, where a dedicated team handles this stream of digital commerce. However, digital agencies have realised the potential of Live Commerce and offer an entire suite of services for you to begin your video commerce journey. Recently, Experience Commerce (a Cheil company), launched its content production arm – EC Studios. Besides managing live commerce content for one of the world’s largest consumer durable brands on a day-to-day basis, it provides high-quality production and post-production services to some of the world’s most influential brands by creating new-age content for them. EC Studios also provides a full suite of live commerce services to D2C brands.