5 Live and Social Commerce Trends On the Rise
Live shopping or social commerce is not a buzzword anymore, it has become a goldmine of opportunities for both large and small retailers to sell their products directly to consumers. Although the phenomenon of selling products online through a live interactive session started in China in May of 2016 with the launch of Alibaba-owned Taobao Live, the rest of the world truly tapped into the potential of live commerce during the pandemic. With physical stores shut, brands had to think of an alternative way to enhance the customer experience and live commerce seemed like the right answer.
It was also around the same time, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram started supporting Live selling on their platforms. In December 2020, US retail giant Walmart successfully hosted a holiday-themed live-stream shopping event via TikTok. Since then Walmart has aggressively pushed live shopping by partnering with social buying and selling platforms like talkshoplive and buywith alongside social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
In the Indian context, Myntra’s M-live is one of the largest live commerce platforms today, especially in the genre of fashion and lifestyle. Flagged off in November 2021, within six months of its launch, the platform witnessed a 5x+ growth in traffic. In June last year, M-live had a successful run with the end-of-summer sale by roping in 2500+ content creators who hosted 40-50 Live sessions daily.
The traditional e-commerce experience allows customers to view static images or pre-recorded videos of the product. However, during a Live commerce session, customers can not only view the product in real-time but also get tips on styling and usage. They can also ask questions in real-time and get a good discount from the limited-time deals which is the highlight of such sessions.
Live commerce has become a consistent channel for brand promotion and sales. In the coming years, it is predicted to grow at an unprecedented rate. As per a Forbes report, the size of live commerce is expected to reach $600 billion in China and $25 billion in the US by the end of 2023. This is a huge growth for the US market, considering the channel was non-existent until three years back.
Keeping these trends in mind, here are 5 live shopping or social commerce trends that will be widely seen in the coming months-
# 1 Increased use of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
With the advancements in technology, live commerce platforms may incorporate AR and VR to enhance the shopping experience. Customers may be able to virtually try on clothing, see how furniture looks in their homes, or even attend live events in a virtual environment. Many beauty brands and content creators are incorporating AR and VR to create features in their apps that allow customers to virtually try on the make-up on themselves. This will ease the customers buying decisions and enhance the overall shopping experience. YouTube already launched this feature on their platform in 2019 and with the popularity of live-stream shopping, this will become the necessity of the hour.
#2 Integration of Social Media
There is a phenomenal rise in social buying and selling platforms. In addition to that, retailers have their own platforms. For Instance, Myntra conducts live streaming sessions via Mlive on their app. Similarly, Amazon conducts live streaming on Amazon Live. All these platforms will become more integrated with social media platforms, allowing for easier sharing and promotion of products.
# 3 Personalized Recommendations
Live commerce platforms may use machine learning algorithms to provide personalized recommendations to customers based on their preferences and purchase history. This could lead to a more engaging and efficient shopping experience.
# 4 Emphasis on Sustainability-Focused Products
Right now, live commerce is dominated by beauty, fashion, and consumer-driven products. But there is no doubt that the platform will be useful for other industry verticals as well. Brands are expedited to showcase their efforts toward sustainability and there will be a rise in the selling and promoting of sustainable and eco-friendly products. This will allow consumers to make conscious choices.
# 5 Growth of Live Commerce in the B2B sector
For brand discovery or sales, Live commerce will prove to be highly effective for the B2B sector as well. It will allow businesses to showcase their products and services to potential customers or clients. Live streaming will also prove to be cost-effective for businesses and can be successfully done on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Businesses can also interact with customers in real-time and answer their questions on the go.
Technological innovation and customer experience will go hand-in-hand with the growth and popularity of social commerce. The customer today is better informed and wants a complete demo of the product they are looking to buy. Content creators, with their ability to promote their product, while showcasing the product feature are a great way to boost sales and help brands grow.
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