The Changing Role of Digital in the Customer Journey: How Livestream Shopping Can Drive In-Store Traffic

Before visiting your store, 90% of shoppers begin their purchase online, according to research from STORIS. While having an engaging experience on your website will start to build the relationship, you have another tool you can start to leverage—livestreaming. Today’s retailers are jumping on the novel strategy as a way to enhance the customer experience and drive in-store results.

In an article for Fortune magazine, Mike George, the chair of the National Retail Federation (NRF), defines livestream shopping as the “use of live video to share products, answer questions, and close sales with customers who are joining remotely to watch, chat, and buy.”

Your shoppers are already online. Livestreaming gives them one more way to engage with your brand, allowing you to showcase your merchandise to interested customers.

The Benefits

Livestreaming is becoming an important method of marketing and sales for retailers. NRF’s George calls livestream shopping one of the hottest trends in retail, bringing the best of physical shopping to today’s stay-at-home consumer. One of its advantages is that livestreaming bridges the gap between a physical and virtual experience. Real-time content helps customers connect with brands, as watchers can interact with the video by asking questions or sending feedback and emojis.

It also drives sales. It’s pretty common for a livestream to boost sales. Ash Crawford, co-founder of coffee and tea maker Quivr, told CNBC that sales increase by about 150% for the next 24 hours after a show. And Tommy Hilfiger predicts that livestream shopping will be another arm of retail. In fact, Coresight Research, a consumer market research group, reports that livestreaming generated $6 billion in sales in the US in 2020, and projects that the tool will drive more than $25 billion in sales by 2023.

Part of the success of the tool is that it removes friction in the shopping process. Shoppers can easily ask questions and they’re more likely to keep their purchases. Returns are 50% lower when items are bought in a livestream, according to Coresight.

How to Get Started

As you can see, there’s a strong case for livestreaming, and if you want to compete you’ve got to go where your customers want to find you. Getting started just takes putting a plan in place. 

You can set up livestreaming on your website or by using social media apps, such as Instagram Live. Anyone can host your livestream—from a CEO to a sales associate—as long as they enjoy being in front of the camera and have an affinity for furniture and home design. You may want to consider hiring a celebrity or influencer that can draw a crowd. While it can be expensive, it could pay off in higher sales and hype.

Kick off your first livestream with some of your most popular products. Choose a time when in-store traffic is low, driving purchases online where your associates can facilitate sales. A livestream has the added benefit of helping your team adjust to the increasingly digital world of retail.

Creating a fun livestream atmosphere will encourage shoppers to visit your store in the future. And offering limited time deals and exclusive products creates a sense of urgency and boost sales. While conversions are the goal, hosting an inspirational livestream that teaches shoppers great elements of style builds brand engagement and inspires customers to dream about their own spaces.

Shoptelligence Can Help

Shoptelligence helps retailers enhance the experience through some of our features. For example, presenting the inspirations your livestream host is showing onsite and powering those inspirations with Interactive Ensembles gives retailers a chance to showcase existing inventory while simultaneously allowing shoppers to customize the inspiration or an entire room around a single item they are viewing, piquing their inspiration and driving their engagement.

Inspirtainment Boards allow customers to save their customized ensembles, providing them with lasting inspiration. Shoppers can share this inspiration with livestream hosts, reinforcing their brand loyalty and inspiring additional shoppers. The tool gives sales associates a new resource as they grapple with the impact of digital changes upon their retail roles.

Livestreaming is an important marketing tool today and in the future. To learn first-hand how Shoptelligence can help you better serve customers online and in person, schedule a demo today.


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