2022 looks to be the year that Livestream shopping breaks into the mainstream in the U.S.
Ecommerce platforms in the past years have been preparing for Livestream shopping to take over—Amazon has operated Amazon Live, its Livestream shopping platform, since 2018—the model has remained relatively niche.
That's starting to change, and major social media companies are investing in their Livestream shopping technology.
TikTok first started testing Livestream shopping at the tail end of last yearand now even less-commerce-focused platforms like Twitter are partnering with Walmart to do their tests.
A couple of months before the holiday season, Pinterest also rolled out Pinterest TV, its live shopping platform meant to emulate the QVC style of selling.
Meta, the newly rebranded parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, announced in mid-December that it was enhancing its shoppable live streams' interactivity and functionality.
That endorsement from Meta seems to solidify that Livestream commerce will be the future of shopping in the U.S.
In China, after all, Livestream shopping is already a billion-dollar business. Southeast Asian and Chinese consumers have flocked to Alibaba's e-commerce sites—Lazada and Taobao—for Livestream shopping!
On Meta, influencers, and brands that launch their shoppable streams now have access to features like:
These are links to websites or online stores that viewers can pull up without exiting the live video.
Meta has previously allowed streamers to add one guest at a time to their streams, so they show up on a split-screen. Now, Meta is expanding its capabilities so that any live video can host up to three special guests simultaneously.
Meta teased a feature that first displays a live streamer's most dedicated viewers. That way, streamers can shout out and interact directly with the people who've been tuning in the most.
It takes a specific skill set to demo a product live on camera properly, plus react and respond to viewer inquiries in real-time.
Brands that want to host their live streams could look to their in-house social teams for an expert who can discuss products in a public setting. Brands can also build partnerships with external influencers to host shopping streams.
Startups like Buy with are designed to connect brands with influencers who know the ins and outs of Livestream shopping. Brands might also consider locating talent on streaming-oriented channels like Twitch or YouTube.
Influencer Marketing Tip: Find key opinion leaders whose following is your target audience. Younger influencers, for instance, may reach Millennials or Gen Z easier.
The Livestream shopping ecosystem is far more sprawling than many brands might realize.
Brands should focus their investment on social media platforms where their customers already are, but they might also consider external live streaming platforms popular in their category.
The shopping platform Newness, for instance, has gained traction among fashion and beauty brands, while the platform Whatnot is aimed specifically at collectors.
Other solutions, like the Livestream shopping platform created by the buy now, pay later app Klarna, can also target shoppable streams to specific audiences.
The shoppable streams that attract the most attention are the ones that turn each stream into a live event.
One small boutique, Mindy's MVP Boutique, has a weekly shopping event on Facebook Live in which it introduces all new products, most of which sell out in seconds.
Shoppers tune in every Thursday and rush to place their orders for checkout. That exclusivity helps bring more sales: Mindy's MVP Boutique said it now sells 85% of its products through Livestream events on Facebook.
While live stream hosts can answer many customer questions on air, they can't get to everything. That's why it's important to have a customer service team well-versed in operating on social media, like Chatdesk Teams, to convert viewers into customers.
To see how Chatdesk Teams can help your brand maximize online marketplaces, schedule a demo.