Are shoppable livestreams the next wave of ecommerce innovation?

Brands looking to be at the intersection of shopping and entertainment are eyeing the opportunities of social ecommerce

The pandemic has accelerated the shift to online shopping, and with it has come innovative ways retailers and brands are connecting with consumers. Livestreaming is one of the growing new ways consumers can shop in real time while watching live videos.

Avionos digital strategy practice lead, Mousumi Behari, said that while big retailers are eyeing the opportunities with shoppable livestreams, newer brands looking to make an impact have a unique opportunity to test and build awareness in front of a wide audience.

“A brand could use several different influencers to hit different audiences and determine where their brand resonates best. Once they have that in place, they can revamp their strategy to take a more personal approach to the consumers their brand resonates best with and create a more personal one-to-one feel during the live-streaming experience,” Behari said.

In the US, Nordstrom and Macy have embraced shobbable streaming, while in China's livestreaming is well established thanks to quicker adoptiong of new ways of buying and Alibaba's successful push around the emerging commerce approach.

Behari said it all shows the market is ripe for ecommerce livestreaming to take off. "The pandemic has permanently shifted consumer habits, as well as where, when and how they choose to shop. As bigger brands, such as Amazon, get in on the livestreaming action, this adoption will only accelerate,” Behari said.

The rise of social ecommerce

Whether or not it’s part of a larger trend, it’s clear consumers are welcoming social platforms becoming more of an ecommerce environment. Next&Co head of organic search, John Vlasakakis, told CMO shoppable livestreams are growing in popularity because it eliminates a lot of the steps to find a specific product featured by a specific influencer.

“It provides immediate access for someone to purchase these items,” Vlasakakis said.

Vlasakakis believes that for brands, shoppable livestreams are an avenue that can really drive ROI from any social activities which traditionally haven't yielded hard ROI for brands previously.

“It is an excellent awareness and revenue opportunity at scale for brands to facilitate partnerships with the right people and drive these commercial outcomes,” he said.

Yet he cautioned it’s still early days. “Best practice is what I would call an evolving process. Brands and marketers need to be brave enough to enter into this and be willing to learn fast."

Related: Report: 10 digital commerce trends here to stay

Smartzer founder and CEO, Karoline Gross, told CMO the trend towards shoppable livestreams is part of the pandemic alongside changing shopping behaviours.

“It’s part of the rise of 'shoptainment' first mentioned by Connie Chan at Andreessen Horowitz in 2020, where shopping and entertainment are no longer separate activities, and are merging. We have already seen platforms like Instagram in the West introducing shoppability to some of the content formats. Even before the pandemic, live streaming started gaining popularity, and adding instant shoppability to this was just a natural next step,” Gross said.

In addition to livestreaming runway shows, established brands outside of China started experimenting with the idea of livestreaming in 2020 by running private Zoom sessions for a select group of customers where a designer would be discussing the latest collection for example. This would then be followed by an email with details about the featured items and links to shop. A local brand that has also capitalised on Zoom sessions and virtual engagement as part of the commerce experience during lockdown is beauty retailer, Mecca.

However, the shopping journey here can be long and a lot of conversion opportunities are missed. This trend has now quickly evolved into creating 'one-to-many' live shopping experiences where a live stream is directly shoppable.

Gross pointed to the ease of creating the livestream itself and that tools to add engaging shoppable elements to the livestreams are inexpensive. “Video is a very powerful way of communicating your brand story and showcasing products,"she said.

"However, creating beautiful campaign films can be expensive and therefore a limiting factor in the content creation process of a young brand. Whereas creating shoppable livestreams is a fantastic low-cost, high-impact way for up-and-coming brands to communicate about their products and build up content quickly."

Up next: How TikTok is bringing shoppable livestreaming to life, plus tips on embracing this new ecommerce channel

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Launch Marketing Council Episode 3: Launching in the technology sector

Our multi-part video series, Ready to Launch, is focused on unlocking the secrets of launching brands, products and services by exploring real-life examples from Australia’s marketing elite. The series is being produced as part of the Launch Marketing Council initiative by CMO in conjunction with independent agency, Five by Five Global.

More Videos

NetSuite started out as a cloud-based provider of Enterprise Resource Planning software or as NetSuite solution provider, which companies...


NetSuite to acquire Bronto's digital marketing platform for US$200m

Read more

Thanks for sharing this post, its really good information I get through this blog.CDPO Online Exam Training


3 ways is improving its B2B marketing game

Read more

Time is of the essence, especially for customer service teams. With chatbots, you can interact and assist customers at a larger scale, al...


Triple-digit customer database growth, personalised engagement become reality for Stone & Wood

Read more

Hey Emilie - great read, and I particularly liked the section on the pressure of having brand purpose/Gen Z spending habits. It's great t...

Chris Thomas

Have customers really changed? - Marketing edge - CMO Australia

Read more

Extremely informative. One should definitely go through the blog in order to know different aspects of the Retail Business and retail Tec...

Sheetal Kamble

SAP retail chief: Why more retailers need to harness data differently

Read more

Blog Posts

How the CMO can get the board on the customer’s side

For some CMOs, it’s easy to feel alone in the undying quest to better serve the customer. At times, it feels like the marketing department and the boards are speaking a different language, with one side trying to serve the customer, and the other side more focused on the shareholders and financials.

Jeff Cooper

CMO and board, Business Excellence Australia

The Secret Ingredients of a CX-Led Company Culture

When I talk to organisations around the world about their customer experience strategy, it is often the CMOs and their marketing teams who take the lead. They’re keen to improve the ways they attract and engage customers, and they want to understand the technologies that can help them make their customer experience truly outstanding.

Steven van Belleghem

Author, CX expert

The Future Of Social Is Joyful, Pass It On

2019 was a horror year for social media. But in 2020 something different emerged that has shifted the tone, format and intent of the medium. A new social vibe born out of the pandemic and fuelled by the emergence of a platform tailor made for the next generation of consumers.

Dan Young

Managing director, Pulse

Sign in