Commerce has expanded from retail and e-tail and to social platforms.
As social commerce continues to evolve, an exciting and growing area of social commerce growth is live-streaming. In Asia Pacific markets, live-streaming has become an essential growth driver of commerce, collapsing top and bottom funnel objectives of awareness and conversion and utilizing influencers to drive brand relevance, product salience, and impulse purchase. Live-streaming continues to grow across global markets and product categories. In this document, we’ll provide an overview as to what it is, how it applies to deliver objectives, and how to test pilot live-streaming for your brand.
Social Commerce is Evolving
Before getting into live-streaming, it important to clarify that Social Commerce is a broader area that contains two broad approaches: Social Media-centric and Retailer-centric.
Social media-centric (social platforms with eCommerce features), like YouTube, Facebook Live and Instagram Live, utilize media to drive viewership and engagement. Retailer-centric (eCommerce sites with live-streaming features) that focus on driving real-time conversion. While Brands will continue to utilize Social media-centric approach to drive Brand awareness and engagement goals, with greater pressure to drive conversion, a Retailer-centric approach may be more effective to deliver top and bottom funnel goals. In APAC, live-streaming was originally designed by online eCommerce marketplaces to create a more engaging and immersive social shopping experience. In the US, the Retailer-centric approach is gaining traction to drive Brand and Retailer objectives and delivering shopper needs.
What is live-streaming?
Dynamic product promotion experience supported by real-time sales consultancy.
Brands and Retailers are utilizing live-streaming to create a dynamic social experience that brings together product-focused promotion, concierge sales service, and authentic brand storytelling. Leveraging engaging hosts, Brands and Retailers are not only able to naturally position their products with shopper passions and interests, but are also able to provide real-time community engagement with their questions and comments, helping reduce sales friction and accelerate sales. Though live-streaming had been popularized during pandemic lockdowns out of necessity, it is here to stay.
Enabling Growth During and Post-Pandemic
The flight to digital properties (websites/online marketplaces) naturally provided transactional opportunities, but like product substitution, however, shoppers desired new experiences to satisfy their shopping needs. For the apparel and fashion category, live-streaming enabled an elevated digital experience as a substitute for being unable to shop in-store during the lockdown. However for fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and consumer durables, live-streaming is still in its nascency, but Brands and Retailers are seeing its promise capturing interest, influencing decisioning, and driving repeat engagement.
– 43% of Americans surveyed use livestream video or social shopping to inform their decisions
– 52% of people engaging with live-streaming note that the online experience and community engagement are what keeps them coming back
How can live-stream deliver your objectives?
Live-streaming Delivers Multiple Objectives
From capturing younger audiences, driving trial and impulse sales, to elevating experiences, live-streaming offers a multitude of opportunities for Brands and Retailers to achieve greater success. In this section, we’ll share some quick stats and take a look at some examples.
A Magnet for Younger Audiences
Live-streaming is a fantastic channel to connect with newer, young audiences in an immersive format. In some cases, brands are seeing an increase of up to 20% in purchases by younger audiences.
– Adults in Gen Z derive 75% of their influences from social media, online content, and celebrities
– 48% of 13-39 year olds are interested in purchasing from shoppable livestreams
– At Least 30% of people under 34 purchase products on a social networks weekly – compared to around 12% of their older cohorts
Amid pandemic lockdowns, luxury took a back seat to essential shopping, so retailers like Bloomingdales became less relevant.
In partnership with Jimmy Choo’s creative director, Bloomingdales hosted a 45 minute livestream session during which the host highlighted some of the biggest trends she’s seeing in footwear, as well as inspiration for post-pandemic fashion and gave viewers a first look into Jimmy Choo’s upcoming collection. Participants who signed up in advance received complimentary cocktails and macarons sent via mail, and the first 50 people to buy a pair if Jimmy Choo shoes received a personalized fashion sketch.
New Opportunities for Product Discovery and Trial
Live-streaming is a great forum to share new, exclusive, and limited quantity products. In China, live-streaming is used to drive impulse purchase, especially among products that are new, available in a limited quantities or for a limited time period.
– Over 38% of people who tune into live-streaming sessions do so to discover new products.
– 35% of people looked at or purchased a product via social media because it was unique.
LIVE FROM THE CHOCOLATERY
Amid Covid lockdowns, Kit Kat was struggling to stay top of mind with Australian consumers. In order to combat stagnation and show just how much the brand has to offer, Kit Kat needed to think differently about how they sold their chocolates.
Kit Kat Australia recently launched “live from the chocolatory” live-streaming sessions in partnership with Facebook Live. Tapping into their head chocolatier, they created a highly immersive live shopping experience that got Australians up close and personal with everything the Kit Kat Chocolatery had to offer, right in the palm of their hand.
The campaign generated over one-third of the brand’s annual sales, as well as achieving a 23-point upturn in brand awareness among Australians aged 35–44 and 3X increase in online sales via Kit Kat’s Australian website.
Immersive Digital Product Experiences
Livestreaming does what brands hav been attempting to tackle for years after the dawn of eCommerce – recreating the fun and immersion of in-person shopping in a digital forum. Viewers can build a sense of community among others watching the livestream, interact with the host, and ask specific questions/send requests for demonstration to truly “experience” the product.
As the pandemic caused most grocery retailers to shut down their high-touch departments and self-service areas, H-E-B was forced to close its Cooking Connections section, where chefs regularly put on cooking demonstrations of products offered in-store.
Beginning in November 2020, H-E-B held weekly Zoom-based cooking classes around what shoppers were searching for on its website. This gave way to H-E-B kicking off its live-streaming feature on July 1st, launching with a 12-hour Grilling Open event that featured grilling tips by a cast of culinary guests. Thanks to that success, shoppers can tune into a weekly Cooking Connections class on Facebook live platform, and on a side scrolling panel discover and buy all the products the chef uses.
The Grilling Open event brought over 400k watchers to the livestream, and H-E-B now boasts more than 1.6MM Facebook followers.
Added Benefits of Live-streaming
Live-streaming has uniquely created dynamic, authentic product-centric promotion that drives shopper engagement and conversion. While driving brand relevance and sales is paramount, we see four additional benefits to live-streaming efforts:
How to test live-streaming?
Four Principles to Successful Live-streaming
We’ve set the context and shown how Brands and Retailers are reaping the benefits of live-streaming. Piloting live-streaming requires little investment, but does require following four key principles:
Contact us to test live-streaming for your brand.