Thanks to streaming technologies and new marketing strategies, more brands than ever are leaping into the live selling experience. With the right setup and methods, you too can create engaging, authentic live selling experiences for your target audience members with the correct setup and strategies.
If you’re not sure where to start, read on. We’ll break down the benefits of live shopping plus go over how you can create phenomenal live selling experiences in no time.
Live Selling Explained
In a nutshell, live selling is the act of setting up a livestream, which is live video streamed over the Internet, to show off and sell products directly to a live audience. It’s the natural evolution of the live shopping TV shows that were popular in previous decades. Now, though, people can ask questions and leave comments on the live stream at any time, making it more dynamic and interactive than ever before.
Live streaming has a lot of potential to help you make more money and grow your audience, especially if you host live shopping experiences with the right strategies.
The Top Platforms
Live selling can take place on almost any streaming platform. But the best live selling platforms are those that combine social media streaming with shopping opportunities. They include:
- Amazon Live – this is a great platform considering that Amazon accounts for about 38% of the US e-commerce market by itself
- Instagram – this social media platform is practically set up for online shopping already, as it’s the hub of influencer marketing. Did you know that 44% of people already use Instagram to shop every week? Keep in mind that Instagram may be removing live shopping, however there are ways to get around the restrictions.
- YouTube Live – streaming here will give you access to billions of worldwide users and the opportunity to link your e-commerce shop to your YouTube channel for easy purchases
- TikTok – TikTok users are twice as likely to purchase products that they see featured on the app, making TikTok a prime opportunity to market your product
The Benefits of Live Selling & Shopping
Brands aren’t jumping into the live selling arena for no reason. The truth is that live selling streams have many benefits, such as:
- You can advertise your products to a worldwide audience. Even if most of those prospects don’t make a purchase, they are now more aware of your brand and have engaged with your company in a novel, entertaining way
- Live shopping offers opportunities to provide customers with superior customer experiences, such as direct answers to their questions, immediate purchases, and so much more
- Live selling helps to build a community by combining the social aspects of live video streaming with the accessibility of online or e-commerce shopping. Lots of live selling stream watchers don’t intend to buy anything; they’re more interested in participating in the community and enjoying your brand as a place to hang out and have a good time
- Live selling is also highly cost-efficient. For a comparatively slight cost, you can set up a stream that results in serious profits and lots of sales
These benefits are more important than ever. Recent studies have found that over a third of small business owners are very concerned with the economic uncertainty looming over their businesses. Thanks to the advantages of live selling and shopping, you may be able to insulate your business from future economic uncertainty and make more money from your target audience members.
How to Successfully Engage Audiences with Live Selling
Now that you understand the primary benefits of live shopping streams, let’s look at how you may begin and successfully execute live selling experiences for your target audience members.
First and foremost, you’ll need to plan your live selling streams well in advance. The most successful live shopping experiences are those that are intricately planned right from the start, including:
- When they will occur
- How long they will be
- Who will host the live shopping experience
- What products will be promoted, and more
When it comes to planning a live selling stream, the more you plan, the better. This extends to preplanned answers to common questions you anticipate based on your market research and your understanding of your target audience.
You need to promote your live selling stream well before it arrives. Otherwise, your target shoppers want to know that it’s occurring when you start to stream. You should promote on as many platforms as you can, such as your social media networks and your email list.
Don’t hesitate to promote using personalized messages, as well, including personalized emails and even text messages. Surveys have shown that 9 out of 10 customers primarily prefer to communicate with businesses via texting, anyway.
Time Your Stream for Your Target Audience
Naturally, one of the most important things you need to plan for your live shopping stream is when you’ll host it. Your target audience may have one or more times when they are more likely to be online and available to tune in. Be sure to research this and schedule your stream based on your target audience’s schedule, not your corporate schedule or the schedule that you normally operate by.
Double-Check for Inventory
If your live selling experience is successful, odds are you’ll sell a lot of inventory. The worst thing that can happen is your customers place orders for more inventory than you have available. So, do yourself and your future customers a favor and make sure you have enough stock to cover the expected increase in sales right away.
Test Before the Stream Starts
Even the best live selling experiences can be hampered before they begin by faulty technical equipment, like a bad camera or microphone. Be sure to run a test of the live selling interface and technology before the event is scheduled to begin and you waste everyone’s time. Have someone on your team act as a Facebook audience, TikTok audience, or other audience members by asking a few test questions during this setup stage.
Choose the right host for your live selling experience. Ideally, you’ll want someone who is comfortable in front of the camera and chatting with strangers over the Internet.
But most importantly, your live selling host has to feel authentic to your audience members. Authenticity is key, particularly if you are trying to sell to younger audience members of Gen Z.
Take Live Questions & Offer Answers
One of the primary draws of live selling experiences is interactivity. Lean into this! Always take tons of live questions and offer answers immediately. That’s the best way to drive customer engagement and get people excited each time your “starting soon” sign appears on your streaming page.
Remind Customers to Take Action
Lastly, your host should remember to inspire customers or viewers to take action. Even simple things like, “check this out on our website,” or, “we have a special discount for this product if you order in the next 20 minutes,” will do tons to improve audience participation, drive traffic to your website and convince your viewers to take a chance on your brand, especially if they haven’t shopped at your store before.
Live selling is here to stay, so it only makes sense to take advantage of this new marketing craze and leverage it to maximize brand awareness, revenue, and audience loyalty. With the tips above, you’ll be ready to start making live sales streams that are both interesting and profitable right away.
Magnus Eriksen is a copywriter and an eCommerce SEO specialist with a degree in Marketing and Brand Management. Before he became a copywriter, he worked as a content writer for digital marketing companies like Synlighet AS and Omega Media, where he learned how to do both on-page and technical SEO. You can find Magnus at: https://magnuscopy.com/