Live social shopping is taking 2022 by storm!
It started back in the 1980s with the Home Shopping Network on cable television. The old is now new again, with brands introducing new and exciting products through live streams to millions of followers at any time through a wholly mobile experience.
Picking up during the pandemic, live shopping has taken the social commerce world by storm. With customers being restricted from in-person shopping, they have turned to online shopping and are looking for more than just good product photography. Customers have flocked to live streaming through their favorite social networks like Facebook, Youtube, and Tiktok. Merchants have been able to give live product demonstrations and answer questions from potential customers live.
Merchants looking to expand their reach and grow their business by social commerce selling have to keep integration top of mind. Understanding how your data moves across applications and being prepared to handle increased order volumes comes down to having a tight integration strategy.
This article will take you through the important key considerations brands need to implement when embarking on live social commerce selling. Let’s dive right into it!
Is Live Stream Selling Just A Fad? The Statistics and Figures
Every year there is a new eCommerce fad, new tech or platforms that are touted as being the new “it” thing for brands to get on board with. More often than not, they fade out of existence and memory before the year is out.
Is live-stream shopping going the way of the Dodo bird? We don’t think so. “The expected revue of livestream shopping sales is $500 Billion dollars by 2023, with an 32% year-over-year increase in eCommerce sales in 2020”
It’s clear that live social media selling is not a fad at all, in fact, has been popularized in the East for a long time, and with the help of popular western social media apps like Tiktok, Youtube, and Facebook, live streaming selling will only increase in adoption across the eCommerce landscape. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, compared to other e-commerce formats, conversion rates through livestreams are ten times higher.
eCommerce giants like Shopify and Bigcommerce have seen this live commerce selling to be more than a fad as well, they have partnered with social media platforms to integrate Merchant’s product catalog onto their social media accounts. eCommerce platforms like Shopify are betting on connecting brands directly with consumers where they already spend their time creating user-generated content and giving Merchants the tools to sell their products on demand.
Shopify has recently bet on social commerce by investing with the top social media apps to expand into their creator economy. In an parthership with Youtube, Shopify is allowing creators can connect their Shopify stores to YouTube and tag products in their videos and live streams.
They have also made similar deals with Facebook and the mega-popular Tiktok allowing users to shop directly into the social media app in 2021. In the same vein, Shopify saw the potential in the music industry with merchandise commerce and teamed up with Spotify to allow artists to connector their merchandise Shopify store to their Spotify profiles, creating an end-to-end shopping experience designed by the Artist.
The Importance of Inventory Visibility and Multichannel Integration
With eCommerce platforms, like Shopify partnering with social media apps, like TikTok the direct integration of Merchant’s product catalogs into the app is taken care of with the introduction of in-app APIs. This will allow viewers to view our product catalog during live sessions. But the checkout process still remains within the eCommerce platform, as customers will be re-directed to the Merchants store to complete payment.
But at a greater vantage point, Brands who decide to invest seriously in social commerce, must treat these apps like any other selling channel. From an integration perspective that means strategy first with extra attention paid to understanding how your data moves throughout your technology stack when you add new channels.
Particularly, we would caution Merchants embarking on social commerce and live selling to pay attention to inventory visibility, scalable integrations that move with increased order volume, and a personalized customer experience that fits the social platform.
During live shopping sessions, an influx of orders will be coming through, and having very clear visibility on inventory levels must be accessible to all teams. Inventory updates through integration are key to keeping every application tightly aware of available stock and products that sell out. Having inventory updates in your integration package by VL OMNI helps you keep that visibility consistent across your sales channels.
The most real issue that will come with live social selling is the possibility of virality. Entirely possible, that a particular product or certain products will hit a nerve with online shoppers and you will be hit with an intense influx of orders.
Can your applications and current integrations handle an intense speak in order volume? If you even doubt that the answer is no. VL OMNI can ensure sure your integrations are agile and scalable so they grow and stretch with increased demand.
Personalized Customer Experience
With any sales channel, a consistent customer experience is what keeps bringing back customers time and time again. A live shopping experience is no different. Focus on how to personalize your live shopping experiences that fit within your brand. Providing an exceptional eCommerce customer experience involves creating meaningful events for customers which in turn, translate into increased brand loyalty.
Start your integration journey with VL OMNI to learn how we can help transform your business operations into the efficient and smooth-running business you know you can be. It all begins with leveraging the right integration platform.
Wrapping It All Up
New ways of selling and connecting to your customer will always appear, and taking advantage of them has to benefit your business rather than causing new and unexpected growth problems. Taking each new channel into your business must be done with strategic thought and consultation with your integration platform experts.
By connecting back-end applications, data can move seamlessly, quickly, and accurately. You can scale while offering the same level of care and dedication to your customer experience. Whether you have 10 orders or 10,000 orders, your customer experience will be the same and you’ll be able to scale that experience to enhance your brand image in the public eye.
With VL OMNI you can take advantage of our ongoing technical expertise whenever you wish to add new selling channels and confirm you can handle the potential for new growth and order scalability. We go in-depth in mapping data flows with your specific business rules in mind. Engage in testing and confirm if internal processes and APIs work before going live with your integration project.