Brands, retailers, and digital platforms explore blending entertainment with instant purchasing. Live shopping is a new sales channel with enormous potential.

China proved that the next wave of shopping is livestream

According to a study by McKinsey, livestream social commerce has evolved rapidly in China and has reached an estimated $170 billion annual revenue in 2020. The growth took less than five years to develop into an innovative sales channel and has only been intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two-thirds of Chinese consumers in a 2020 survey indicated that they had purchased products via livestream in the past year. While brands and retailers overall in the West still lag behind China in the pursuit of live commerce, early movers are gaining sales momentum.

Top Livestream Shopping Categories in China 

Western brands, retailers, and platforms make their move

Western social media platforms led by Meta’s Facebook and Instagram have been testing the US market and perhaps other regions of the world to uncover the potential of live commerce.  

Brands and retailers such as Tommy Hilfiger and Walmart have been keen to establish their own live shopping ventures and events to promote their products. Considered as early adopters, their forays into livestream were quite successful. Tommy Hilfiger reportedly attracted an audience of 14 million and sold 1,300 hoodies in two minutes. 

Livestreams powered by influencers

We know that brands are increasingly investing in social content especially in influencer-based marketing. Consumers today trust influencers as they see them as peers, friends, or whom they aspire to be like. Brands recognize this and see influencers or creators as a more authentic source of shopping inspiration and are migrating towards an ‘always-on’ strategy – beyond long-term, costly influencer partnerships.

Social Native, a Meta Business Partner, has collaborated with brands and major retailers to deliver engaging live shopping events on Facebooks’ platform. Creators that were selected as hosts for the livestream events were curated based on brand affinity, lifestyle and other attributes that matched the target audience of the brands and retailers. The storytelling, how the products were applied in the lives of these creators were key factors in delivering an engaging and compelling live event to drive business KPIs.

If you wish to leverage the creator economy to power live shopping on Facebook, Instagram, or any other platform, just reach out. We would love to hear from you!