How is Live Commerce Transforming Online Shopping?

Avatar for Wouter Maatman
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Live commerce
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E-commerce has already transformed everyday life. Some brick-and-mortar stores have to shut their doors for good in 2020, confirming that ‘business as usual’ is no longer an option. To clarify, chatbots and mobile apps make online customer support seamless. Machine learning technologies provide the personalized recommendations that we have all come to expect. And overnight, next, or same-day delivery is common. Now that online has become the predominant place for consumers to research goods and services, retailers are struggling to replicate these material aspects of shopping. For example sight, touch, sound, smell, and taste. But what about engagement? Also, will a visit to any local or worldwide marketplace ever be as fun as a trip to a store? With live commerce, the best of both worlds can be combined. With live streaming companies are attempting to bring consumers one step closer to the in-person experience.

Different Types of Live Commerce

Will live commerce change e-commerce as online shopping transformed retail? In short, Live commerce is all about streaming, and shopping to improve engagement. But more important to close the gap between customer and product. Let’s take a look at some of the most common formats for live commerce.

Online Marketplaces

Online marketplaces ranging from Alibaba to Amazon and eBay and local marketplaces like Bol, allow online shoppers to buy and sell products without ever leaving their homes. But the addition of live video streaming is proving vital to keeping buyers interested. Why? The ability to purchase online is no longer a novelty. Without new layers of engagement, online marketplaces will become a thing of the past.

So, by integrating live streaming into the platform, these marketplaces can deliver the closest possible experience to ‘being there’ for those tuning in from their living room. Real-time interactivity replicates the urgency of a real marketplace, prompting immediate action and enhanced community participation.

Live Auctions

Online auctions are big business, and real-time video delivery is critical. Whether auctioning off livestock or fine art, any delay in a live stream could prevent bids from being recorded properly. Fractions of seconds can translate to billions of dollars in lost revenue when deploying these formats online. Live video streaming enriches digital presence. Companies connect bidders worldwide with the excitement of the saleroom. Live streaming opens up the bidding pool to those unable to physically attend, reaching participants with varying interests and ensuring that each item sells at its proper valuation.

Influencer Streaming

Today’s celebrities are not necessarily on the big screen. Reality television puts media personalities like Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, and many more on the map. And the number of stars rises via social media each day. With an already captive audience, influencers can use their personal brand and the power of live streaming to promote their favorite products in an interactive format. Influencer streaming originated on social media but has now become common across e-commerce sites as well. The format converts younger demographics at the highest rate.

Live Events

There is plenty of overlap between live events, influencer streaming, and online marketplaces. But, newsworthy events such as product launches, limited edition drops, and retail holidays like Singles Day or Black Friday do incredibly well when it comes to shoppable live broadcasts. This allows online shoppers to purchase items in real-time.


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