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Brick-and-mortar to Livestream: The Evolution of Shopping

August 12, 2021

Editorials

Brick-and-mortar to Livestream: The Evolution of Shopping

Do you wonder why the brick-and-mortar shopping model continues to be more and more redundant by the day?


If the ever-advancing technology has taught us anything it’s that the only constant is “Change”.


We’ve seen a drastic change in consumer behavior just because there are more convenient alternatives now. Not necessarily because a brick-and-mortar shop lacked something.


In this article, we discuss how the brick-and-mortar shop transformed into an eCommerce store. And, how eCommerce is quickly taking livestream shopping under its umbrella.


Let’s start with what retail actually means.

Meaning of Retail


Simply put, retail is selling goods/services to customers with the goal to make a profit. It’s a broad concept that constitutes brick-and-mortar shops and eCommerce stores.

The Evolution of Retail


From mom and pops in the 1800s to big boxes like Walmart, the retail industry has seen quite a few shifts. But, recent digital transformation has changed the whole complexion retail industry.


Consumers can not only buy products in a physical shop, but they can also order them over the internet.


Before Amazon was a thing, nobody would have thought to get their favorite stuff delivered to their doorsteps from around the globe.
What started out as a simple online bookstore is now an eCommerce giant that sells everything under the sun.


Don’t just take our word for it. Look at this statistic: Amazon managed to generate a net income of 21.33 billion dollars in 2020.
And, as the online shopping arena continues to evolve, the eCommerce giant doesn’t shy away from integrating the latest tech into its selling strategy. The latest Amazon Live is clear evidence of that.


Plus, while people have been skeptical of online shopping initially, the inception of the SSL (secure socket layer) certificate changed the dynamics of online transactions.


Now, consumers don’t feel hesitant in giving out their debit card details to an online store as their information is encrypted.
And, with digital media, it’s not difficult to build a trust-based relationship with a particular audience. Livestreaming shopping is a prominent example of that (More on this later).


Let’s now see how the changing consumer behavior is affecting the retail industry.

The Changing Consumer Behavior and Ecommerce


We are living in an age where it would be nearly impossible to find a person without a phone and a computer.


Same as any other technology, these gadgets, and the internet have added great convenience to the lives of the masses.


With just a click of a button, they can now get their favorite products at their doorsteps. And, it’s not like they do not have the necessary information about the product they are investing in.


Online reviews and informational content greatly help consumers make well-informed decisions that they don’t regret later.
But, there is still an element missing in the eCommerce store retail model.  


While a one-click purchase sounds great, consumers do have to compromise on something, and that’s the intimate consumer-product connection. Or, in many cases, enough information.

The Introduction of Livestream Shopping in Retail


Livestream shopping has been a rising trend in China. Ever since Chinese eCommerce giants like Alibaba’s Taobao have started showing great results with livestream shopping, the rest of the eCommerce industry has followed suit.


And, the trend doesn’t seem to be limited to one industry. Before the pandemic hit, Jewelry, accessories, fashion, and skincare were popular on Taobao. The post-pandemic times have also attracted other industries like cars and home appliances to livestream shopping.


Not only China, but the US eCommerce companies and brands are also realizing the potential of livestream shopping.


Amazon, the eCommerce heavyweight, has started its own livestream platform “Amazon Live”, enabling brands to connect with their audiences.
With the amazing results that companies are seeing with livestream shopping, it’s going to move more into the mainstream. So, the trend is projected to go up in the future.

Why is Livestream Shopping Effective?


Livestream shopping is growing in popularity because it leverages one of the most impactful strategies in the business world.
And, that is “Educating the prospects about your brand and prospects effectively”.


Like a brick-and-mortar retail store, livestream shopping provides that intimate product-consumer connection that leads to confident buying decisions.


This is why China has been so effective at making its entrepreneurs and brands successful through livestream shopping.


There is another factor at play here. Fear of missing out (FOMO) can single-handedly boost sales for a brand if you leverage it effectively.


Livestreams are immediate and perfectly use the FOMO for any type of conversion. Consumers don’t miss out on good deals. An effective way to use FOMO in a livestream is by offering something that only lasts until the end of your stream.


This will get your audience excited and initiate a spark that can lead to a lot of conversions in no time.


Another reason why streaming helps with generating more sales as a retailer is that it allows you to show your products live.
When a potential customer sees a product in action, they can put their trust in it easily. Plus, it’s a great way to educate the viewers about any complicated features a product might have.


Moreover, livestream shopping allows a brand to connect with their dream customers one-to-one. It’s the host’s duty to make a livestream as impactful as it should be.


A host that knows how to engage their audience can help you get the most out of your streams. Which takes us to influencer marketing.
If you invite an influencer with a following over to your livestream, you can make it multiple times more effective.

Where We Headed?


The ease with which a consumer can get a product of their choice on an eCommerce store may be unparalleled.


But, you can’t ignore the impact live commerce can have on the future of retail. Livestream shopping combines the effectiveness of a brick-and-mortar shop and an online store.


As for an online store, consumers don’t get to see the product they are going to buy live. And, to have a feel of it, you need to go to the store.
Livestreaming lets you know about the product by showing it in action and you don’t have to go anywhere other than the product page.
On top of that, it has been quite effective. So, retail is heading towards a more livestream-centric shopping experience.


As a brand, it’s important to realize so that you can jump on the bandwagon with the right approach.

What Brands Need to Do


If you are a brand, you need to jump on the bandwagon of livestreaming as soon as you can. The potential is enormous, and you don’t need too many resources.


Let’s see how you can leverage livestreaming as a brand.


Prepare in Advance


You need the right equipment and a content outline before going live. As far as tools are concerned, all you need is:
• A computer
• A stable internet connection
• A camera and mic
• A livestreaming platform/software
As for the content, prepare an outline so that you don’t stray away from your business goal during the livestream.

Work with an Influencer


It might sound counterintuitive but hiring an influencer to do your brand’s livestreams is a good idea. Especially when you don’t have the experience of the livestreaming industry.
Influencers that often conduct livestreams would be perfect options. And, go with someone with a decent following in your industry and a fair engagement rate on their posts.
They have an audience already that trusts them. You can use that trust to accomplish your business goals.

Use Your Livestreams to Educate Your Audience
Probably the best way to build credibility in any industry is by educating the audiences about it. What you can do is go live and talk about the things your prospects want to know about.
You can also conduct live Q&A sessions and try to answer any questions your potential buyer might have about your industry.

Use Your Livestreams to Educate Your Audience


Probably the best way to build credibility in any industry is by educating the audiences about it. What you can do is go live and talk about the things your prospects want to know about.
You can also conduct live Q&A sessions and try to answer any questions your potential buyer might have about your industry.

Show Your Products Live


This strategy can generate a lot of conversions for your brand. If you have a product, you can show it in action so that your audience can have a one-to-one interaction with it.

Final Thoughts


The retail industry has seen quite a few shifts since its inception. This is clear evidence that we can’t rule out any further changes in the near future. Especially when everything is changing at an unprecedentedly fast rate.


The recent effective use of livestream by the Chinese as well as US eCommerce industries should be enough evidence that it’s going to be the future of retail.


Livestreams are effective because they leverage the power of one-to-one interaction. This could be the consumer-brand bond or the product-consumer bond.


As a brand, what you need to do is jump on the bandwagon of livestreaming. Fortunately, it’s pretty straightforward to get started with Jumble.
Start your journey with Jumble’s own livestream software that offers great control over your livestreams and is easy to use.

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