What Is Live Shopping And How To Use It For Business?

What Is Live Shopping And How To Use It For Business?

Live shopping is an instrument that allows brands to connect with their audience in real-time and sell their products during a live broadcast. It integrates two key features: live streaming and the in-video purchase option. 

What Is Live Stream Shopping? All You Need to Know!  

Live shopping is a skyrocketing e-commerce trend that emerged in 2016. Live stream shopping engages customers and makes them feel included. It’s not just adding an item to the cart and filling out the details. To fully grasp the idea of this notion, we’ll need to go back in time.

Remember the days when you used to turn on the TV, put up your feet, and watch some TV host showcasing all sorts of things, from kitchenware to jewelry? Time has passed, and the trend which emerged in the late 1980s started to wane in the 2000s.

But trends do tend to come back. The Chinese marketing transformed the good old Shop at Home Network into a new format. And now, dozens of live stream apps and platforms allow businesses to host professional live shopping events on their own. The core idea became untouched, incorporating entertainment and interaction into shopping.  

The Benefits of Live Shopping

According to the research, in 2021, sales in retail e-commerce constituted 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars around the world. The benefits of live streaming shopping are impressive and enticing. Let’s dig more into them. 

Lower Number of Returns

Surprisingly, it’s a fact. Live shoppers return items 40% less frequently than regular online shoppers. We believe the secret lies in the live stream shopping format — you can take a closer look at the product (its actual size or color) before buying. Users can appreciate the product’s appearance, dimensions, and aesthetic qualities in real-time.

Brand Awareness Boost

Live shopping events boost brand awareness. How? People tend to share helpful and engaging content. Besides that,  live shopping events will make your brand more memorable and recognizable among competitors. Especially if you invite a celeb who’s on the A-list of your target audience. 

Immersive Experience

Live stream shopping with all of its perks gives customers the feeling they’ve actually been to the store, interacted with a shop assistant, and left happy with full shopping bags. 

Increased Engagement in Social Media

Live shopping provides an engaging experience as

  • When the host demonstrates an item, the viewers can react instantaneously to what they see;
  • Every user can leave comments or questions and get a response from the host during the live session. 

It’s a two-way street. Both customers and hosts interact with each other.

Promoting Low Performing Products

Identify your underperforming products which bring low profit and showcase them at your online live shopping. It’s a great sales move. Presented and advertised by a host, your customers will have a fresh look at what you’re offering.

If you have goods sitting in the back, try giving them a second chance. Feature them live, and you’ll get a shot to increase live sales


Live shopping is a new way of remote shopping, especially when offline shopping is impossible. With the decline in offline shopping, live streaming increased in conversion. And it’s much better than usual online shopping. Anyone from anywhere can join and make an order. All your customer needs is a mobile phone or a laptop,  and the internet.

Impulse Purchase 

Without giving many pre-shopping thoughts, people tend to buy on impulse. And this is where FOMO (fear of missing out) comes into play. It provokes a desire to latch on to an opportunity and get the best deal. 

FOMO might favour live shopping in the following way:

  • A special deal is only valid during the broadcast;
  • Limited collection for stream’ audience only;
  • Early-bird access to upcoming collections.

This is not the time when you can table purchasing decisions. So, it’s basically now or never, and customers choose “now” over “never.”

How Does Livestream Shopping Begin?How Does Livestream Shopping Begin?

Now that you know what live shopping is with its key benefits, let’s get you started. Before launching your first live shopping stream, you need to take care of a few things. It all begins with two significant steps – determining the in-house process and choosing a live stream platform.

What’s your plan?

Before digging into live commerce solutions available and other peculiarities, you need to figure out a few strategic things within your company:

  • Where do you want to host your live shopping events – on your website or in the app?
  • Do you want to multi-stream to social media or not?
  • How many streams a month do you want to host?
  • How fast do you want to implement the solution for enabling live shopping?

By answering these questions, you’ll have a full grasp of your plans. It will also ease your future communication with live streaming platforms’ representatives. 

How to Choose a Live Stream Solution  

When it comes to live stream solutions – there are several things to pay attention to: 

  • Features. Shoppable streams aren’t only about in-stream purchasing. It’s also about engagement, interaction and performance.
  • Pricing. To know the price, you’ll need to contact the team directly. This information usually isn’t disclosed publicly. 
  • Communication with the team. If it’s fast and easy – you got into the right hands. 

Here are some features you should look for when picking the best live stream platform for your brand:

  • “In-video” Purchases. Easy interface and well-thought UX of the shoppable video let customers fill out the deets right on the spot.
  • Live chat. It lets customers send messages and reactions. The host can see those and communicate with the audience in real-time;
  • AI Technologies. The easier your stream production process – the more you can focus on sales. For example, Be.Live lets retailers manage comments and reactions effortlessly and show the relevant comments right in the stream with the power of AI Technology;
  • Easy Interface. The more intuitive interface your team works with, the more comfortable and effective they’ll be.

If you are reading till this sentence, you’re probably ready to implement a live shopping solution on your website. With Be.Live you can create professional and well-looking shoppable videos that will help skyrocket your sales. If that sounds like something your brand is interested in — request a demo with Be.Live to find more.

What do People Usually Buy?

Live shopping is not that much different from regular online and offline shopping. People buy all sorts of things. From luxury fashion and home decor to vegan stuff. Everyone can promote their products. And everyone is welcome to hop on live shopping sprees.

 Here are some statistics on what’s featured live:

  • The leading position takes the fashion industry — 35,6%;
  • Beauty products and fresh food account for 7.6% and 7,4%;
  • Electronics has 4.6% of the share;
  • Last, but not least. 3.6% go to home decor and furnishing.

For instance, Nordstrom debuted their first stream featuring José Ramón Reyes, a fashion designer who demonstrated and styled how to wear Burberry clothes and accessories. 

Another great example is Macy’s. Their shows are mostly about beauty, fashion, or home decor. And if you visit their website, you’ll see the list of all upcoming and recorded shows. 

Walmart went big to celebrate one year of live streams and broadcast on CyberMonday via multiple platforms — Walmart website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Jason Derulo hosted the pre-Cyber Monday show, showcasing apparel, decor, electronics, goods for home, etc.

How to Host a Successful Live Shopping Session? Step-by-Step Instructions to Get Started

Having worked out the live stream shopping strategy? (by analyzing two key points in the How Does Livestream Shopping Begin? section of this article), let’s see what steps to follow next:

Choose the Right Live Streaming Platform or App

Before getting started, you’ll have to decide whether you want to stream using a live shopping app or a platform. The benefits of a live streaming platform are obvious — users can access your stream from any possible device. 

If you think you’re ready to kick off your store’s live streaming event, request a Be.Live demo. We are a Live Shopping solution for retailers and brands that allows in-stream purchasing. No matter if you’ve just started or done live streaming before — we’ve got you.

Audience Matters

Catering to every audience is a mission impossible. What will appeal to Millenials of Gen Zs might be of no interest to Baby Boomers.  

Create a marketing strategy around one segment of your target market and plan all of the assets solemnly for those, since the host, the studio look, and the products will be specifically picked for the target audience.

Who Can Host The Show?

As discussed before, it’s an excellent idea to invite an expert, a celebrity, or an influencer to do the honors and host your event. The host or hostess is the one who sets up the atmosphere of the live event, interacts with the viewers, heats up the live sales, and keeps the stream dynamic. They are in the spotlight, and so much depends on them.

When hiring a host, you may consider this:

  • Level of their expertise;
  • Experience in hosting live stream sessions in your niche;
  • How charismatic they are;
  • If the host is an influencer or celebrity and can inspire your customers to purchase during the event (in China, almost each live streaming host is a famous person).

The host’s pay is usually commission-based, they are interested in better engagement and conversion rates. 

How to Set Up a Live Shopping Event?

How do you create a great live shopping experience? 

Suppose you’ve picked the best live stream, defined your target audience, and hired a charismatic host who can promote your product. What’s next? 

  1. Pick the date for your first live video event;
  2. Work out your marketing strategy around it;
  3. Schedule your event;
  4. Start promoting your live shopping show on social media/via ads/by mailing your customers;
  5. Do a test run;
  6. Run a final tech check before going live; 
  7. Enjoy your live shopping event DAY!

How to Host a Live Shopping Event In Your Own Store 

This option gives you more freedom — you’re in control of customizing your channel the way you want. More and more retailers are switching to this model. A great example here is Walmart.

Self-hosting live streaming events lifts many restrictions. For example, you can record the live stream and repeat it later. And the numbers are striking: 70% of sales occur after the lifestreaming event.

Is Live Shopping Worth It?

Definitely. It’s a superb way for e-commerce retailers to get closer to their customers like never before. It encourages brand awareness and promotes your products.

You can go creative all you want to appeal to your audience. You can invite an eccentric celebrity, have a shop assistant helps the influencer, let the customers tell what to show next, or whatever comes to your mind. 

Live Shopping Platforms Versus Apps 

Due to the fast-growing popularity of the trend, we’re spoilt for choice when picking the best live shopping apps and platforms (which are prevailing in number). 

Here are two main differences you should consider before choosing:

  • Live shopping apps are tools that allow businesses to set up live shopping features in their shopping apps. They are quick solutions. However, the main drawback is the lack of customization within the app and the inability to run the streams on desktops; 
  • Live shopping platforms let you host streams on your websites (eCommerce platforms). This customizable integrated solution enables live shopping on your webpage with your own rules and audience. Here, you can customize all you want.


What Are Live Shopping Apps?

Live shopping apps are third-party apps that allow businesses to have built-in streamable features that let the sellers demonstrate their products in real-time on the one end. On the other end, viewers can join, interact, and buy products via such shopping apps with live streams. 

How Do You Use Live Shopping?

  • If you’re an SMB

You might consider using Facebook, Instagram, or Amazon Live for selling your products. However, with Facebook and Instagram, you won’t be able to add an in-built payment option to the stream since these platforms don’t have this feature, but it’s still a great way to sell to your customers. 

  • If you’re a big retailer or an eCommerce company

consider using a third-party solution like Be.Live to integrate a player to your website and allow your customers to shop right in the stream.

How Does Live Selling Work?

You can either stream pre-recorded content or have your hosts show the products live, demonstrate your services or products in real-time, or focus on audience engagement using a chat. To live-sell, you’ll need to use a live shopping software or platform with an option to make purchases in the live stream window.

What is Real-Time Online Shopping?  

Real-time online shopping is like a virtual shop. You can come in (in this case, browse online) and take a closer look at what’s on the shelves or on sale. You’ll have someone recommend and help choose. This makes real-time online shopping the future of retail. 

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