Live streaming has emerged as a major player in the world of eCommerce, revolutionizing the way we shop online.
In the past, online shopping often involved browsing through static product pages & making purchases based on photos & written descriptions. While this method of shopping has its advantages, it can also be limited in its ability to provide a fully immersive & interactive shopping experience.
Enter Live Selling
Also known as “flash sales” or “product launches”, live selling is a popular method of selling products online. This approach has had a significant impact on the world of eCommerce, as it allows businesses to generate excitement & bring forth sales in a short period of time.
By allowing retailers to connect with customers in real-time through video, live selling provides a more personal & engaging way to shop. Shoppers are able to ask questions, see products in action & even interact with the streamer, creating a sense of connection & trust that can be lacking in traditional eCommerce transactions.
Advantages of Live Selling
The benefits of live selling go beyond just creating a better shopping experience for customers. It can also be a valuable tool for retailers.
Live selling allows businesses to create a sense of urgency and exclusivity
Yes, that’s correct. One of the key benefits of live selling is that it allows businesses to create a sense of urgency & exclusivity, which can help drive sales.
When customers see that a product is only available for a limited time or in limited quantities, they may be more likely to make a purchase right away rather than waiting & potentially missing out.
Additionally, by offering a limited quantity of products at a discounted price for a short period of time, businesses can encourage customers to act quickly & purchase the product before it sells out. This can lead to increased sales & customer loyalty, as customers are more likely to return to a business that offers unique & exclusive products.
Live selling can create a sense of community & connection with the business & its products, which can make customers feel more invested in the business & its offerings.
Live selling can also be an effective way for businesses to test the market for a new product or to clear excess inventory
Live selling can be used to showcase new products, demonstrate how to use them & even offer special promotions or discounts to viewers
Offering a limited quantity of products at a discounted price whether through a live video stream or in-person event, can help businesses gauge the customers’ interest & demand. As a result, they can make adjustments to their product line or inventory management accordingly.
It can also be a good way to sell excess inventory, as it allows the business to reach a large audience in a short amount of time & potentially generate a lot of sales.
Live selling can be especially effective for businesses that sell physical products, as it allows customers to see the product up close & ask questions about it in real-time.
Live selling can help businesses to reach a wider audience and tap into new markets
By promoting the event through various channels, such as social media & email marketing, businesses can attract new customers & increase brand awareness.
Research has shown that live selling can drive online sales, with some retailers reporting a 20% increase in revenue from live streams. This is likely due to the interactive & personal nature of the shopping experience, which can encourage viewers to make purchases they may not have otherwise made.
However, while live selling has many benefits & has become an important tool for businesses, there are also some potential flaws that may hinder this selling method from reaching its full potential.
Some Challenges of Live Selling
As live selling continues to grow in popularity, it is also important for businesses to be aware of the risks & to take steps to minimize these risks in order to protect their reputation & maintain a positive image.
The potential for technical issues
Live streaming relies on a stable internet connection in order to provide a smooth & seamless viewing experience for the audience. If the internet connection is unstable or slow, it can cause interruptions or delays in the stream, which can be frustrating for the audience & negatively impact the viewing experience.
In addition to issues with internet connectivity, technical difficulties can also arise with the streaming software or hardware. For example, the streaming software may crash or encounter an error, or the hardware may malfunction or fail. These types of technical issues can disrupt the stream & negatively impact the viewing experience.
To minimize the risk of technical difficulties, it is important for businesses to use reliable streaming software & hardware & to ensure that they have a stable internet connection. It is also a good idea to have a backup plan in place in case any issues do arise, such as using a backup internet connection or having a backup streaming setup. By taking steps to minimize the risk of technical difficulties, businesses can help ensure a smooth & seamless live selling experience for their audience.
The risk of inappropriate or offensive content being broadcast
One of the risks of live streaming is that inappropriate comments or actions may be shown to the audience in real time. Since live streams are not pre-recorded & edited, there is a chance that something inappropriate or offensive could be broadcast to the audience. This can be especially concerning for businesses, as it can damage their reputation & lead to negative consequences.
There are a few steps that businesses can take to minimize this risk. One approach is to use moderation tools to monitor the comments & interactions during the live stream. These tools can help identify & remove inappropriate comments or users in real-time, helping to ensure that the live stream remains appropriate & respectful.
Another approach is to establish clear guidelines & expectations for audience behavior during the live stream. By setting these expectations in advance, businesses can help ensure that their audience understands what is & is not acceptable behavior during the live stream.
Live streaming requires a significant amount of time and resources
Setting up & running a live stream can be time-consuming & resource-intensive, especially for businesses that are not familiar with the process. There are a number of tasks that need to be completed in order to set up & run a successful live stream, including choosing the streaming platform & software, setting up the hardware & equipment, testing the connection & audio/visual quality & promoting the live stream to the audience.
Further to the setup process, running a live stream also requires ongoing management & oversight. This may include monitoring the comments & interactions during the live stream, responding to viewer questions & feedback & addressing any technical issues that arise.
All of these tasks can be time-consuming & require a significant investment of time & resources. This can be a challenge for businesses, especially small ones, as they may not have the staff or resources available to devote to live streaming. However, with careful planning & the use of tools & resources like moderation software & social media promotion, businesses can streamline the process & make it more manageable.
Live streaming may not be suitable for all types of businesses or products
It is important for businesses to carefully consider whether live streaming is the right fit for their product or service & whether they have the resources & expertise to run a successful live stream.
One of the key considerations is the type of product or service that the business offers. Live selling works best for businesses that sell physical products or services that can be demonstrated or showcased in real time.
For example, a business that sells clothing or beauty products may be well-suited to live to sell, as they can showcase the products to the audience & answer questions in real-time. On the other hand, a business that sells digital products or services that cannot be demonstrated in real-time may not be as well-suited to live selling.
The impact of live selling on eCommerce is indeed undeniable. It has become an even more integral part of the online business landscape in helping drive sales, test new products & reach a wider audience, all while creating a sense of urgency & exclusivity for customers.
Although live selling can be an effective way to increase conversion, it is also important for businesses to carefully consider the potential drawbacks & whether it is the right fit for their products & business model.
Meet the Author
Stacey Chan is an eCommerce seller, who has always been passionate about using technology & the internet to connect with her customers & drive sales. She began her career as a small business owner.