4 Reasons To Keep Your Live Shopping Plans
Since last year, live shopping has been a hot topic on the minds of marketers, brands, and influencers alike. After live stream shopping took off in China, it was anticipated to be a highly utilized method for brands to sell products and partner with influencers, with social platforms launching initiatives to help capitalize. But instead of taking over social media, live shopping is being pulled from some platforms’ plans.
TikTok and Meta pulled their plans for live shopping upgrades in order to focus on other initiatives. YouTube, however, is just ramping up its plans with a Shopify partnership motivating its progress. Pinterest has also been throwing its hat into the metaphorical ring with a TV studio app that broadens existing live shopping efforts. But why are some platforms abandoning live shopping, while others keep forging ahead?
Some experts suspect that economic pressures, budget cuts, and layoffs have pushed TikTok and Meta to cut their live shopping programs. Others weren’t willing to contribute the funding necessary to make live shopping a priority. In fact, the chief commerce strategy officer of Publicis Groupe (a multinational advertising and PR company) estimates that brands would have spent “roughly 1% or lesser from their marketing budget on Facebook’s live shopping feature.”
Live shopping is not something that can be achieved without properly funding projects and allocating resources that set it up for success. For brands who have the budget to make live shopping happen, why should they keep their plans in motion?
1. Creators are still interested in live shopping
According to a recent creator survey conducted by MRM Commerce and Mavrck, 78% have not yet participated in a shoppable live stream in conjunction with a brand partnership before. However, 86% of those respondents are interested and willing to try a live shopping partnership with a brand. Since there is still interest among creators, there are still ample opportunities to expand existing partnerships. Creator-hosted live streams, especially those with strong audience connections, are still a valuable and interesting way to incorporate creators into new types of collaborations.
2. The early adopter gets the worm
Just because some social platforms like TikTok and Meta are dropping their plans doesn’t mean that live shopping should be forgotten. These organizations are operating with big expectations and fewer employees than usual. There’s potential for live shopping to be the next sleeper hit in the United States — and for brands that get on the bandwagon first, there are plenty of learning opportunities to help them reach expert level before the competition enters the playing field.
3. Failing to plan = planning to fail
Testing live shopping is a valuable exercise before going all in. Some verticals may lend themselves to better results than others. We always recommend a beta testing phase for something as involved as creator-hosted live streams. Treat it like a live event by incorporating dry runs, frequent communication, troubleshooting sessions, and lots of input from your host.
4. Anticipate a possible pivot to something new
According to Forbes, shoppable video — which is oftentimes hosted on a brand’s website as opposed to social platforms — is a growing trend that results in video content receiving more traffic than videos hosted on social channels. If this new method takes off, it could fuel live shopping on social platforms in a roundabout way. Don’t be surprised if an adjacent strategy takes off — instead, adapt your efforts and adjust to changes in the space.
Live Shopping’s Future State
Despite fluctuating opinions on live shopping and its long-term viability, one thing is certain: it’s still a new method that isn’t as well known in comparison to other initiatives. According to a recent Omni Talk podcast, 97% of e-commerce transactions still occur on websites as opposed to social media. But there is constant change in the world of e-commerce, social media, and creator marketing — and where there’s change, there’s opportunity.
The uncertainty around live shopping also doesn’t change the estimates for a bright future, regardless of how they’re achieved. Coresight Research estimates that by 2026, social commerce will hold a 5.2% share in all U.S. e-commerce and be responsible for more than $60 billion in overall sales. As brands and creators alike take live shopping one step at a time, one thing is for sure: ingenuity, creativity, and business savvy will lead to a live shopping success story.
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