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September 8, 2022

Live shopping: a passing trend or the new Eldorado of e-commerce?

Although live shopping is still relatively new in France, it is estimated that it will represent up to 20% of global e-commerce by 2026! This is hardly surprising: in China, where live shopping was born, this new purchasing method has seen a dazzling growth rate, reaching 280% between 2017 and 2020. Philippe Petit, Generix’s Product Marketing Director, shares his views on this live shopping surge.


Can you explain what live shopping is?

Philippe Petit: “Live shopping consists in presenting and highlighting, via a live video broadcast, one or several products that the Internet user will be able to buy during the event. This concept is not so far from the camelot who sold his products in fairs. We could say that it is an old commercial process that has been digitalized. One of the major interests of live shopping is that it makes the customer want to buy more strongly than traditional channels – its conversion rate is 10 times higher according to Fevad – notably by playing on the famous FOMO1: the fear of missing out on a good deal.

Why do you think it is so attractive to consumers?

Philippe Petit: “I see several reasons. First, because it allows the return of the human element in the e-commerce relationship.The presenters of live shopping events are often employees of the retailer who present the products: they are not smooth actors who recite a text, they are like you and me, natural, relaxed… There is a real closeness, which transcends the salesman/customer relationship.

Live shopping is also an event that takes place live, at a specific moment, in front of a voluntary audience. There is therefore a notion of exclusivity and community, the idea that we participate together in a privileged moment, but also a pleasure dimension, because it is an entertainment, not only a sales act. It’s also a moment of comfort and relaxation in front of the screen.

Another advantage for customers is editorialization. Faced with the millions of references on marketplaces, we sometimes lose our way. With live shopping, customers see in action products that have been carefully selected and presented to them in great detail. In addition, the customer has a new and precious possibility, that of interacting live with the salesperson, of influencing the live shopping process: by commenting, asking for details, participating in votes… The act of selling becomes a real exchange and no longer a simple demonstration as in the era of TV shopping.”

Is it imperative for companies to engage in live shopping?

Philippe Petit: “Yes, I think so. Because in addition to the commercial challenge I mentioned earlier, there is a strong image challenge. Let’s take the example of the big brands: those who don’t take the live shopping turn risk appearing outdated.

On the other hand, those who do live shopping, and do it well, have an important differentiating element. And it is a way for them to enrich both the customer experience (proximity, immediacy, interaction, engagement…) and the knowledge of their customers. It is also possible to use influencers, whose image will allow brands to acquire new customers.

On the other hand, it is essential to think about the live shopping experience from start to finish: upstream, with an efficient marketing campaign; during, with a smooth, entertaining and engaging process; and downstream, with a perfect order processing. Otherwise, beware of bad buzz on social networks!”

How can Generix’s Omnichannel Sales (OCS) offer support companies doing live shopping?

Philippe Petit: “Generix Omnichannel Sales will allow to make dynamic promotion, in a very flexible way, all along the live shopping. This promotion, set up before the show, can be modulated in real time. We will determine in advance, for example, that the first 50 buyers will benefit from a 20% promotion, the next 50 from 15%, etc. It could also be decided that a high promotional level will apply during the first 15 minutes and will decrease over time.

One could even imagine the opposite, i.e. promotions that become more and more interesting as the event progresses, for example if one feels that the live shopping is not going as well as expected. These smart promotions can also be linked to other factors, for example the joint purchase of several products in the form of “promotional packs”. We can also draw on our knowledge of the customer to offer a personalized promotion – a customer who recently bought a Blu-Ray player, for example, will be offered a special promotion on a TV. And why not take into account the live vote of the viewers, deciding that the most liked product will be subject to the highest promotion rate… The possibilities are immense!

Sources: 1Acronym for Fear Of Missing Out Figures from Fevad

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