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Live Commerce: The New Retail Trend Shaping The Future Of eCommerce

Live streaming is great for e-commerce, even if the two are not a completely integrated

Photo by Jacob Lund from Noun Project

What is Live Commerce? Live commerce is a combination of TVC or Asian Sky shop, plus Facebook live, plus an eCommerce platform, all rolled into 1 app. Alibaba has started combining live stream with eCommerce in 2016 and now it’s a USD 63 billion business in China.

In Bangladesh, sellers go on Facebook Live to promote items, respond to questions, and take instant orders. Some merchants/products attract larger crowds than others. On average, there are 100-200 live-streaming session performed in Bangladesh, which increased to 500+ during the festive season. Sometimes there are 1000-2000 viewers in each live session. Unfortunately, there is no reliable data on what amount of sales the merchant generated from each session.

Why is Live Commerce rising?

  • Human Elements: whenever you are visiting an eCommerce site, whether its Amazon, Best Buy or Daraz, you will see all the information in the text (product info and reviews) or images. Live streaming has completely turned the way you can learn about a product online. Basically, it’s like salesperson demonstrates all the features of the products, even sometimes in such a way which is not possible in a physical store. For example, in live streaming, you can ask/see the host try 15-20 different colours of lipstick which is most of the time is not possible to do in physical shops. Moreover, you can also take advice from the expert (usually the host is an expert of the subject matters) directly.
  • Branding Ecosystem: Usually the brand needs to go to Google or Facebook or other social media platform to do digital marketing. However, Live streaming in eCommerce could be more effective than the current methods. In China, all types of brands have introduced live streaming in the eCommerce platform. And the companies are giving more discount to the customers during live streaming to increase their viewers. So, more customers are watching live and buying products. As a result, more companies have started live streaming and more consumers have started watching those sessions to enjoy discounts and the cycle is ongoing.
  • Technology: Adoption of 4G increase the consumption of video content and the habit of mobile phone users. People now habituated to watch more videos than pictures and that’s why the rise of short video platforms like TikTok or Likee is on the rise.
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Why Live Streaming Growth Will Continue and Brand should use it?

  • 5G Technology: We all know that 5G enables a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices. 5G will make the internet more accessible, and an even smoother ride for those on mobile devices which lead to more consumption of the video contents and also the introduction of augmented reality and visual reality in eCommerce.
  • More Product Categories Online: Live streaming will open the door for more product categories to become available online. In Bangladesh, items like furniture, jewellery (expensive one) car, and high-end electronics items are low selling items online because customers need more visual and experiential information to make a purchase decision and which is exactly Live steaming can offer. Live streaming is created the 3-dimensional aspect of the online shopping – interactive, mobile and social shopping experience. Customer can say, “I want to see that function of the TV or let me show how quickly the laptop/computer starts.”
  • Supply Chain Efficiency: Live streaming will help to improve supply chain efficiency which will help to improve the product selling cycle too. Let’s assume, your store sells handbags, Today the product cycle might look like this – Design > Produce > Distribute > Display > and consumer make orders. From design to reaching end-users, it can take between 1 to 3 months. And then you find out that the mass customers actually don’t like the products, or the products are hitting the mark due to the lack of some features. With live streaming, you can get the customers to feedback fast, what they like and what don’t, and what more they want, you can actually make the overall process very faster and efficient. You can also get a pretty good estimate of purchasing intent from the customer and estimate how many quantities you should produce.
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Why eCommerce platform should include Live Streaming in their platform?

According to a survey conducted by wyzowl.com on online buyers, the majority expect to see an average of 6 photographs and 3 videos per product before deciding to buy. What’s more, 66% of users wishing to find information on products prefer to look at a short video. 84% of people say that they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video. Moreover, people are twice as likely to share video content with their friends than any other type of content.

In May 2020, I have conducted a study on Factors Influencing Consumers’ Attitude Towards Online Shopping in Dhaka Citywhere the most 3 influential factors customers considered before purchasing from any online page/website are credibility and trustworthiness of the seller, clearly stated information on pricing and shipping and image and description of products followed by previous customers’ reviews and testimonials, clearly stated return policy and after-sales customer services. All of these factors can be addressed through Live Commerce. By showing the products live, providing information and answering queries can increase the credibility of a seller. Moreover, during live, information like price, and shipping information can be explained properly to viewers and the viewers can ask if they have any queries. Moreover, there are more advantages to using video with eCommerce products –

  • It increases the amount of time the user spends on the page.
  • It increases the average amount spent per purchase.
  • It attracts new consumers with valuable content that answers questions.
  • It is taken into account by Google when determining search positioning.
  • It provides better click ratios and the content is shared more times.

Live Commerce can also help brands to –

  • Attract with a view behind the scenes. Behind-the-scenes live video is great for humanizing the business, but it also has an air of exclusivity, making it very engaging.
  • Close with a bang! Product launches are great events to stream if you want to boost sales. You can stream special programming in support of your flash sales, too.
  • Delight with extra valuable content. Provide that little extra to your customers with live-streamed training sessions or content centered around the community.

Wrap-Up!

The world of eCommerce and live streaming is incredibly dynamic, especially where they overlap. Live streaming is great for e-commerce, even if the two are not a completely integrated solution in Bangladesh yet. So far, the overall live streaming in Bangladesh is still Facebook and YouTube focused and mostly used by Facebook merchants. Some brands are also doing live on Facebook but mostly on marketing and awareness purpose.

Live commerce is still a very early stage in Bangladesh. Ajkerdeal.com recently has launched “Video Shopping” feature in their app which is kind of a step towards Live Commerce. Now need to see when the eCommerce platforms in Bangladesh start taking steps towards it. Combining this with low foot traffic on shops, as consumers feel more comfortable shopping at home, Live Commerce will get more popularity in near future. Those who get ahead will realise the benefits.

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Md. Rashedun Nabi
Written By

An experienced entrepreneurial professional with a vision for sales, marketing, new business development, and leadership, Rashedun is an impactor who loves learning, taking action, tackling new projects, and solving problems. Follow him on LinkedIn and website.

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