This article is based on a discussion between Bloom and Madison Schill from Livescale.
Livescale is a Montreal-based live shopping startup that is changing the way that brands are engaging with their customers anywhere. At Livescale, we combine live stream video and a seamless e-commerce connection that allows people to buy within an experience. That’s just really incredible when it comes to overall conversion rates and also the ability for the brand to have full ownership over all of this activity.
Livescale is a white-labelled SAAS and we work to give brands the tools to create events that look like them, that feel like them, that are fully owned and operated by them and that can live wherever their customers are. These events are super user-friendly, there’s no app to download, they can create as many as they want and it’s all connected to your e-commerce so they have full control. Plus, they can understand how their audience is using their products, talking about their products and shopping about their products, all thanks to the sales-focused and engagement-focused modules that we also built within the experience.
What is Live Shopping?
Live shopping is the seamless and simultaneous combination of social media and e-commerce activities. When they want to talk about a new product or connect with their communities, brands might do an Instagram or YouTube live, which is all about awareness. But, at the end of the day, if someone wants to buy something, they’ll have to leave the experience to make a purchase. That can harm your overall conversion rates. And, with how distracted the customer of today is, it’s not always recommended. Live shopping takes the friction out of that experience and also, it takes the ownership back to the brand. They have access to the data and the information around that experience.
During the live stream, users can scroll through products, learn more about products, talk directly to the people that are working for the brand and then buy what they are seeing in real-time, directly in the experience.
Live shopping is similar to the QVC model, where you only have 30 minutes to an hour to make a purchase, but for the TikTok generation.
How does live shopping integrate with e-commerce?
Depending on what e-commerce platform you’re on as a brand, it takes truly anywhere between two clicks to two hours to integrate live shopping. At the moment, Livescale can integrate seamlessly into Shopify and Salesforce Commerce Cloud, and we are looking to expand.
What does the integration look like for the consumer? They can buy seamlessly and the moment that you enter your information it connects directly to whatever information they may have already entered with that brand. For example, if the brand has a loyalty program, it’ll go through easily.
Brands focus on having a great live event and at the end of the experience all of those orders are already in their backend and they don’t have to do anything additional. What’s great also about the platform is that it gives you a URL that brands can integrate directly onto the banner of your home page and other areas to make it easy for users to join. This URL can be shared wherever their audience might be, whether that’s in a Facebook group, newsletter, social media or paid media. Brands can grow their new customer base in a really easy way, we see up to a 40 new client acquisition rate with a lot of our events. Learn more on how to promote a live shopping event, here.
The team at Livescale also created a dashboard where brands can choose their messaging and pick their brand colors, and voila you have a live shopping event.
Last year, Instagram rolled out live shopping, Facebook just did so recently… What, in your opinion, explains the rise in interest in live and shoppable content?
For the longest time, social media has really been a discovery tool, it’s really about raising awareness and top-funnel activity.
Now, our decision-making is getting faster and snappier. We see it now, and we want it now. It makes sense that these platforms would want to offer that final step in the funnel to their customers.
This quick emotional purchasing and that convenience is something that we’re seeing be adopted and quickly accelerated by what we saw happen in 2020.
It’s been really great to see social platforms jump in on this trend because it’s educating the consumer.
What value does going live bring to the brand?
Going live can be very scary in the beginning because, for the longest time, especially with legacy brands, we’ve gotten comfortable in the polished, clean, super aspirational commercials.
But, what we’re witnessing now is that fundamental shift where the customer just wants to talk and relate to a real person. That’s what drives sales, that’s what makes us feel good as a customer.
The live element is the thing that makes it so special because you’re able to see yourself in the brand, in a moment when some of the brands have never been given that opportunity before. You’ll see brands like Lancôme, who are not native digital brands, having incredibly successful events because they’ve got someone who knows the product, who can relate to the customer, showcasing actually how to use these products and making you feel like you can use them too.
The effect of the experience, having other people live, seeing them ask questions, being part of it and seeing first hand like the owner of a company or the founder of a specific product like that really does give the consumer that added value. When was the last time that you had access to a brand’s founder when you were shopping at that brand? Even with things like webinars or masterclasses we had some compelling data come out from one of our clients, Dermalogica in Canada. They said that in just a one-hour Livescale event they were able to generate more sales than they did in their nine masterclasses they had done in the past combined.
Allowing the viewer to purchase while they’re being inspired actively is the game-changer.
Going live can be challenging, so what advice would you give a brand looking to go live?
Start small. Just start small and incremental and don’t be afraid to test and learn. I hearken this back to what it felt like when Instagram was first starting or Youtube was first starting and people were trying to figure out what this new sales channel was. Start small and understand that you’re building something that’s not a replacement for anything that you’re currently doing but something new.
Also, let go of any expectations, focus on one thing that as a brand you want to get out of each of your live shopping events and then really celebrate that if it happens. Do not put too much pressure on yourself.
Authenticity is going to take you a long way and also thorough education. With a live video, you’ll see that you’ll have three times more time to talk and educate your consumer than you would with a piece of standard content. You’ll have time to say: this is why this innovation is great, this is why what you might be using currently may not measure up, here’s our solution and here’s the deal, you can buy it now.
Where do you see things going for live shopping in the coming years?
I see a lot happening in the next few years. It’s been very inspiring to see specifically Canadian brands just take live shopping by storm and become leaders in the space. For example, we’re seeing live shopping festivals happen now. L’Oréal Canada is partnering with Sephora and launching a week of live shopping festivals with all of these different brands, there are over 20 events hosted by TV personalities and TikTok stars, the melding of worlds in a sense.
I also see the opportunity for a lot of media brands and publications to get in on the mix and enhance their advertising collaborations in this space. There is also a really interesting way to see internal events, masterclasses and training sessions. Maybe wholesale will become a really big thing for live shopping where you can train all of your retailers at once as a brand and have them order their inventory through this platform. The limit does not exist.
In China for example the most popular category is produce and agriculture. We are seeing a lot of Chinese farmers selling their goods and their wares through live shopping and that’s something that I would have never believed. Other categories could include automotive, travel, cooking classes, and daily household goods.
To learn more about live shopping, visit Livescale’s website.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marie-Joelle works at Bloom, a digital marketing agency, as the Marketing Manager. She's passionate about digital marketing tactics (from social media to web design) for B2B businesses looking to grow online.