There’s a new buzz around the agency boulevard – and it just sold 1 300 hoodies in two minutes. Livestream Shopping has brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Rihanna playing for keeps, and is the ultimate gamechanger for agency marketing.
Live shopping goes hand-in-hand with the creator/influencer economy and is achieving incredible success overseas. The revolution of live shopping technology brings a unique opportunity to local agencies looking to elevate their brand portfolios with effective sales strategies, and to engage with customers in a more meaningful and lasting manner.
This rapidly developing trend is empowering brands and businesses to connect with consumers in real-time, while creating engaging content and, ultimately, driving sales. With a huge uptake by millennials and Gen-Z, who account for more than 47% of livestream purchases in the US and UK alone, it isn’t surprising that the live shopping market is expected to fetch $68 billion by 2026.
Thanks to campaigns like TikTok #mademebuyit, live shopping streams are rendering more instant, more engaging and more authentic experiences– which is what every advertising agency in their right mind should be chasing.
With fashion and apparel currently owning the lion’s share of live shopping real estate, and beauty products coming in a close second, the arena is growing, making room for more opportunities for influencers to introduce and promote products.
Buying in time
Since the shared categories are still finding their feet, local agencies would do well to innovate disruptive ways for their clients to leverage off this toddler phase, in real-time retail space.
Live shopping calls for a fine balance between sales and entertainment, giving brands and their influencers a chance to host experiences; this is an ideal opportunity to collaborate with, and educate, target audiences through interactive content that makes it easier – and often, more exciting – for consumers to make a purchase.
Imagine a tyre or a safari brand in the live campaign space… all it takes is creative currency, and the appetite to invest, with a reasonable budget.
Live shopping offers a space for conversation and entertainment, allowing a shopper to feel connected. It allows for a quicker conversion time too, with various marketing tactics being deployed by influencers and agencies to encourage limited offers. Conversion rates were nearing a 30% increase in 2023, 10 times higher compared to conventional e-commerce, according to McKinsey Digital.
KitKat Australia’s remarkable results best illustrates live shopping’s stellar success overseas. The brand has proven that a live shopping event is a natural fit for any paid social media campaign to drive both sales, and visits to brick-and-mortar stores.
Their campaign originated more than one-third of KitKat Australia’s annual sales, and delivered a 23-point uplift in brand awareness among 35-44 year olds.
Over in China, Li Jiaqi, a top content creator widely known as the ‘lipstick brother’, reveals impressive numbers in driving sales through live shopping events – online, too. On the first day of Alibaba’s annual shopping festival, Li sold $1.9bn in goods. Products ranged from Shiseido lotions to Apple AirPods, indicating that the live shopping medium can benefit most consumer brands.
Live shopping has grown extensively in the region in spite of hurdles such as ongoing Covid-19 restrictions – and Li Jiaqi’s live events alone record a daily average of 20-million views.
Credibility is key
Progressive agencies who merge tech capabilities with the creator/influencer economy are primed to boost sales through engaging digital shopping experiences. In particular, where new or finer features of a product or range would benefit from being explained, influencers-turned-live-shopping-event-hosts can engage with the consumer audience in a way that converts prospective consumer interest into real – and recurring – sales.
It doesn’t take much for a local business to give live shopping a try – but it does take a lot to remain authentic. Credible content is the key to any live shopping experience, which is where agencies can hone their ideation skills to make genuine marketing a non-negotiable on the content creation shopping list.
With local internet penetration at 72.3%, totalling more than 43.48 million internet users as of January 2023, now’s the ideal time for brands and businesses to experiment with, and benefit from, new digital commerce opportunities.
By facilitating an impactful collaboration between live shopping and the perfect host, local brands can expand their reach and grow their customer base, while delivering an engaging shopping experience that drives sales and keeps competitors at bay.
Start up, and go!
At Nfinity Influencer, we choose to stay close to new trends and partner with the best-in-class to offer our clients the latest, and the most effective, strategies.
Nfinity is set up to guide this process for agencies – as a third-party provider we facilitate orders, payments, and fulfilment without complex system integrations. This means we only need access to product (in varying sizes and quantities) on a consignment basis to get a live shopping experience up and running.
And because we already have the technology, tools, and educational capability to train creators, we can quickly broaden the pool of people who’re able to host a live shopping experience in a way that sees results – in sales, and brand affiliation.
As the world of online shopping evolves rapidly, it’s important for creative agencies to embrace the blend of real-time technology and human engagement. This is a means to standing apart from the rest, and also, to scaling business with wild and wonderful news ways to get in touch with markets, and to stay in touch.
For any brand or business wanting to stay ahead, live shopping is a must-do-now, not a must-try-later.
Pieter Groenewald is the CEO of leading Influencer Marketing Group, Nfinity Influencer, comprising various channels including Webfluential, Echocast, theInternship and Nfluential and theSALT, the first nano influencer channel in SA, which is currently being rolled out internationally as a technology solution.