Livestream shopping is set to reach $480 billion in China this year but only $17 billion in the US. That could change quickly, however, as Facebook, Amazon and TikTok amp up their livestreaming capabilities and activations.
Despite its appeal, livestreaming isn’t a top focus for brands, as a new joint study from MRM Commerce and Mavrck suggests. According to the research, 78 percent of influencers haven’t yet been tapped to collaborate for branded live shopping opportunities.
Creators are eager to partner with brands on shoppable livestreams and social platforms have narrowed the gap between commerce and content by adding shopping features to the user experience. According to McKinsey Digital, livestream shopping may account for 10 to 20 percent of all ecommerce by 2026.
A natural next step in the progression of ecommerce, live shopping fuses the convenience of online shopping with in-store engagement while also providing entertainment value. US brands are in the perfect position to experiment with this new tactic and can optimize their strategies by looking to online markets in Asia, which are seeing huge success with shoppable livestreams.
A crucial component of successful live shopping strategies will be influencers. To understand how brands can optimize their livestream influencer selection and content strategies, Mavrck and MRM Commerce surveyed over 500 US influencers. Here’s what the companies found.
Livestreaming And The Creator Economy
First, Mavrck asked influencers to share their current experience in the social commerce landscape. Some of the key findings include:
- 78 percent of influencers haven’t participated in a sponsored shoppable livestream but 86 percent are willing to do so.
- Almost 80 percent of respondents have never made a purchase from a livestream, but if they did, 45 percent would likely shop within the clothing vertical, 23 percent in makeup/skincare, 15 percent in home decor and 9 percent in food/beverage.
- Of those who have participated in a livestream, only one-third were shoppable.
- Two-thirds of these creators preferred Instagram and about one-third reported that TikTok, Facebook and Amazon Live were contenders.
- Overall, half of the respondents are interested in livestream shopping while 50 percent believe it to be a viable and fun method.
- Just over one-quarter lack enough information to form an opinion.
Livestreaming As A Brand Partnership
Brands seeking to leverage social commerce should incorporate influencers at the start in order to establish an authentic presence that matches their brand vision and help drive online sales. As creators’ most common monetization method, branded partnerships should be integrated into more strategic programs that include shoppable livestreams.
Personal Shopping Habits
Functionality, price point and brand vertical are some of the most important elements online shoppers consider. Brands, particularly those in the fashion and beauty verticals, should incorporate shoppable livestreams into their ecommerce strategies as soon as possible. Doing so and showcasing trending items, bestsellers and new releases would afford them the opportunity to establish themselves as early players in this new space, according to the study.
The companies suggest brands drive urgency and utilize the impulse-buying aspect of social media with a price point under $100—given over 86 percent of survey respondents felt that any item less than $100 would be a fair price point. Brands can also craft future streaming strategies by partnering with creators who already have experience watching and engaging with shoppable livestreams.
The Best Platform To Go Live
Apart from Instagram, TikTok was the second-highest rated platform with the ability to go live with 16 percent of respondents saying they had a favorable experience on it. Eight percent ranked Facebook as a contender while 6 percent felt the same about Amazon Live. YouTube’s live shopping experience was preferred by 2 percent of respondents, likely due to the fact that it is currently in its beta-testing stage.
Respondents who preferred TikTok were overwhelmingly Gen Z or millennials. A quarter of these individuals cited fashion/accessories as their top category. Of those who chose Facebook, slightly more than half were 35 to 44 years old, similar to that platform’s overall user base.
The Best Content To Watch Live
Fifty-nine percent of respondents reported that how-to livestreams and tutorials were the most engaging type of content to watch live. Twenty percent were most interested in styling livestreams followed by “shop with me” livestreams (14 percent) and QVC-like product highlight livestreams (7 percent).
Mavrck’s findings are based on responses from 535 US influencers, the majority of which were Caucasian, female, between the ages of 18 and 34 and identified as micro-influencers with between 10,000 and 50,000 followers. Slightly more than half identified as part-time content creators who may have also had other professional pursuits and most create content around fashion/accessories, home decor/DIY, cooking/baking, beauty, travel and wellness.