1. Social media
The most popular and perhaps most straightforward way to start with livestream shopping is going live on popular social media apps. Luckily, most social media platforms have introduced livestream and ecommerce functionality in response to the video shopping trend.
Instagram, for instance, has added built-in checkout capabilities throughout its apps, including Instagram Live, which, by the way, has seen a 70% increase in the number of viewers in 2020. Facebook, too, is developing native livestream shopping tools. In turn, TikTok is partnering with ecommerce giant Walmart for the latter to market their products online.
The critical advantage of turning to social media is the possibility to team up with influencers, who play a crucial role in the success of livestream shopping, right where their audiences are. A study from Adweek reports that 49% of respondents actively follow social media influencers and have made a purchase
based upon an influencer’s recommendation. So, having influencers as hosts may help in developing trust and loyalty among customers.
However, as social media platforms generate income via media buy, they focus on being social. So, ecommerce functionality is still limited to select brands. As a result, shoppers have to be routed to other platforms or websites to finalize purchases, which disrupts the whole retailtainment experience.
2. Out-of-the-box live shopping apps
Another way to start capitalizing on the video shopping trend involves joining an existing livestream shopping platform or an ecommerce marketplace with livestreaming features. And these span from video commerce giants like Amazon Live and Taobao, live shopping startups like Bambuser and Spin, and niche live commerce apps like NTWRK.
The essential advantage is that most out-of-the-box video shopping apps feature built-in integrations with popular ecommerce platforms and payment gateways as compared to the previous option. So, users don’t have to be routed to other sites to complete a purchase and can enjoy an uninterrupted video shopping experience.
The fundamental limitation is that some livestream shopping platforms, especially larger ones and those with established audiences, expect a brand to meet a range of requirements, like having a steady business history, and charge commissions. Amazon Live, for instance, charges up to 10% on each purchase. Another downside is rising competition — with millions of livestream views, it can be tricky for retailers to stand out.
3. Custom live video shopping applications
Retailers who seek to make video shopping an essential part of their marketing kit may consider developing a custom retail solution
with livestream functionality. Going custom is undoubtedly more effort-intensive than the previous two options. But a custom app can let retailers take maximum advantage of the video shopping trend with tailored functionality, high-quality streaming, advanced analytics, and maybe even some extra features, like AI-powered video content personalization.
If you do opt for a custom livestream shopping app,
we recommend starting with an MVP. However, it is essential to plan for the future and make sure your app will handle the growing number of shoppers. For that, make time to choose a reliable content delivery network (CDN). Looking for the perfect CDN, make sure it has a robust server infrastructure close to your target locations and pay attention to the bandwidth.
With the basics in place, you can think about MVP features. The essentials to include in the first app version are: