Live Shopping – How To Get Started
Live shopping is changing the way people research and purchase products. It allows for one person to go live and share information and answer questions about a brand and products with the world. And for many, it’s really working. We sat down with Stu Conroy, Director, Innovation + eCommerce, Highlands, to get the down low on everything Live Shopping. Stu’s team recently outfitted the UK office with three live shopping studios and even received an award from TikTok for outstanding live shopping performance. Why should we be paying attention to live shopping? Let this sink in: last November, Austin Li, AKA the lipstick king, made a whopping $1.7 billion in sales in just 12 hours on Singles’ Day (Singles’ Day is like Chinese Amazon Prime Day on steroids). What live shopping platform makes the most sense for your brand? Currently, out of all the platforms out there, TikTok reigns supreme. This is mostly due to people dealing with unexpected glitches and technical difficulties through Facebook and Instagram, as opposed to TikTok which has created a slightly more refined system. That being said, improvements are made daily to the live shopping programs on all platforms. Another big name jumping on the live shopping trend is YouTube, which is becoming clickable with the help of shopping network QVC launching on the platform soon. This move comes as more and more people seek entertainment and information via social sharing platforms as opposed to other traditional outlets. Where should you start? Stu says the simple answer is to “just start.” However, there are a few helpful things to consider depending on how technical you are as a brand:
1. Live shopping is an entirely interactive experience, meaning you need everything from order management and customer service to planned price drops throughout the show and more.
2. Ask yourself, how formal or casual do you want the shopping experience to be? Is it better to set up your own studio, use a plug-and-play studio like Highlands, or simply hold your phone up and go live? Depending on your target audience, this answer may vary.
3. You’ll also need to decide who is hosting the event, is it an influencer whose audience aligns with your brand’s target audience or instead, an employee of the brand? Whoever you select, they should be familiar with the product, brand, be well-spoken, entertaining, and most of all authentic. Consumers watching want to believe that the host, whether an influencer or otherwise, actually uses the product and truly believes in it. Beyond the host, you can include additional guests as part of the live shopping experience to enhance the consumer experience and increase brand awareness.
Like any content you produce, you want to ensure that each person on the other side of the screen gets the most out of the experience. Particularly when setting up live shopping in a studio, it’s important to think about the production, like good lighting, camera angles, and the screen sizes of the people watching at home, such as mobile devices compared to desktops. Lastly, it’s important to host a Q+A throughout the live shopping event to answer any questions from consumers in real-time. This will allow them to leave the session with a deep understanding of your products, your brand, and personalized reasons why they should make a purchase. To learn more about live shopping and how Highlands can help you get started, contact us.
Bringing the In-Store Experience to Digital Channels
A study by Kameleoon discovered that time spent engaging with digital channels has increased by 37% throughout the pandemic. Although this change is not an indicator that in-store shopping is over, it does demonstrate that people are seeking to replicate the in-store experience online. In fact, 73% of consumers state that a good experience is a key influence on brand loyalty, pushing brands to consider the potential benefits of incorporating features of an in-store experience across digital channels. But how? Here are a few ways to get started: Personalize the Experience Personalization allows brands to refine users based on characteristics, interests, specific needs or previous shopping history as a means of establishing a journey that can help the shopper find the exact product they require or the products most suited to them. The data gathered is tremendously helpful when it comes to gaining insight and strategically segmenting new and existing customers, grouping them based on various factors such as average order value and more. Once segmented, brands can tailor content and messaging to suit the specific preference of each shopper to give them a custom, enjoyable shopping experience. Customers Want To Test Products It’s no secret that one of the most alluring aspects of in-person shopping is the ability to view, touch, and engage with the product before deciding to make a purchase. Augmented reality has become a digital alternative to this experience, and while it’s not always perfect, it does allow consumers to build customer confidence in your products. For brands seeking to replicate the in-store testing experience, livestream selling is a fantastic option for those looking to showcase products in use alongside tutorials and links to purchase. Enable Live Chat Options Customers want to be able to ask brands about sizing, color options, and pricing whether they’re in the store or online. A great way to fulfill this need is to implement live chat options on your digital store. By providing customers with immediate answers and help during various touchpoints of their shopping process, you will help to build brand loyalty. Stellar customer support, even online, is integral to success, as studies have found that 93% of consumers are more likely to become repeat customers with brands that offer excellent customer service.