Large puffy hair and big smiles; with a product in one hand, showing it to the camera, while the index finger of the other points towards it; waxing lyrical about its attribute while energizing viewers, who are watching on their brown and bulky television set, to pick up their block phone and place an order. The ‘80s was a decade of terrible hair and punchy colors. And it saw the birth — or at the very least the popularization in the US — of the shopping channel.
Let’s flash forward 30 years and head east towards China. Jiaqi Li is dressed in a flashy lavender suit. His right hand is held up to camera, showing a similar colored lipstick. The social media influencer is livestreaming products on a TikTok-esque platform to millions. His boy-next door look and conversational tone has made him a millionaire, once selling 15,000 lipsticks in only 5 minutes.
So what’s the difference?
They are both shopping channels, but social media channels provide you with a potentially endless audience that holds fewer entry barriers to viewing, unlike paid-for-tv channels, with its much smaller audience share. And because livestream ecommerce is set on social media platforms, it is easy for a top class tech agency to install on an ecommerce website, whether it’s a simple WordPress site or serious Salesforce Commerce Cloud site.
The pathway that people like Jiaqi Li are taking is increasing. One part social media influencer and one part salesperson, livestream ecommerce is becoming ever more popular in selling anything from cheap lipstick to luxury brands.
The old concept of selling products on screen has gotten a fresh makeover, with early experiments on Facebook and TikTok, while Amazon Live lets sellers engage with shoppers in real time. The biggest difference between the ‘80s version and the 2010s version (the ‘10s? Does that sound strange?) is that the former famously pulls in an older crowd who know their way around a remote control. The latter draws in a much younger audience who are well versed in the diverse range of social media platforms.
Livestream under lockdown
When Covid-19 spread across the globe and lockdowns were enforced, shops shuttered and consumers stayed home. Leaving online the predominant avenue for sales. Livestream ecommerce was able to keep calm and carry on growing. In 2020 it is expected that livestream ecommerce will reach $129 billion. And if the pandemic persists this figure could grow by a few billion.
Whether you work with influencers to push your products or brand, or whether you want to cover all social media bases to expand your brand reach, livestream ecommerce can provide a healthy extension to your ecommerce strategy.