24 May 2024

How Fashion Influencers & Live Streaming Are Changing the Retail Game

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By Fiza Khan

In today’s digital-first world, convenience has become the new currency. Customers want what they want, exactly when they want it, all while enjoying a seamless and engaging shopping experience. This is where live shopping comes into play.


The COVID-driven surge in online shopping has pushed brands to innovate and create more engaging channels. Although live shopping has been around for decades, recent technological advancements and the rise of social media have fueled its growth, turning it into an essential tool for every marketer.


Brands are now asking: How can we meet customers' demands and maximize the potential of live shopping? The answer lies in influencer marketing. In this article, we'll explore the benefits and a little of the history of live shopping.


What is Live Shopping?

Live shopping, encompassing live selling and livestreaming commerce, leverages video content on digital and social platforms to promote or sell products and services in real time. Brands utilize live shopping to engage with customers and present products dynamically and contextually. Often, they collaborate with influencers who host the livestreams, leveraging their popularity and trusted reputations to boost sales.


The concept of live shopping dates back to the 1980s with home shopping channels on TV. Today, it has evolved into a digital format, enabling more interactive communication through modern platforms and social media. This allows users to engage with sellers and make almost instant purchases, simplifying the buying process significantly.


The Rise of Live Shopping

Live shopping has been immensely popular in China for many years. According to eMarketer, it will account for 19.2% of retail ecommerce sales in China this year, with total sales projected to rise from $562.62 billion in 2023 to $843.93 billion by 2025.



Outside China, the pandemic accelerated the growth of live shopping. Data from McKinsey shows that 75% of US consumers tried new shopping behaviors in response to economic pressures.


COVID-19 shutdowns and quarantines were catalysts for innovation in shopping methods. Once people experienced the convenience of live shopping, there was no turning back. The US livestream commerce market is expected to reach $25 billion by 2023, according to Coresight Research.


Live shopping has found success in various categories, with clothing standing out as the most popular in Europe, the United States, and Latin America, according to McKinsey.



Why Brands Are Investing in Live Shopping

Why are brands investing in live shopping? Statista reveals that over half (52%) of global businesses using live shopping aim to enhance the shopping experience and generate customer engagement and feedback, besides the primary goal of generating revenue.


Other reasons include:

  • Keeping up with digital trends (47%)
  • Customer acquisition (41%)
  • Collaboration with influencers (41%)
  • Co-branding with suppliers and brands (36%)


Publicis, an agency testing live shopping, finds it to be a more engaging, human-first way to sell to shoppers. Allysun Lundy, VP Head of Retail Media Strategy at Publicis Commerce, says:


Consumers are going to log in and watch [a livestream], versus going to… spend a lot of time on Amazon or Walmart and not have it feel so sales-y that it really drives that conversion.


The Profile of Buyers Interested in Live Shopping

Live shopping appeals to a specific demographic. McKinsey’s data shows the average age of live shoppers globally is between 33 and 36 years old, with those aged 25 to 34 comprising the largest share of frequent users. Brands targeting Gen Z and Millennials should seriously consider live shopping to drive sales.


Men and women participate almost equally in live shopping. In terms of income, most live shoppers in the US and Europe have incomes between $25,000 and $50,000. Brands targeting this demographic can use live shopping to connect with and inspire shoppers seeking a more engaging experience.


7 Benefits of Live Shopping for Brands

Marketers are in a race to keep up with channel-hopping customers. Live shopping offers an engaging way to meet shoppers where they are in real-time, bringing several key benefits:


1- Raise Brand Awareness

Live shopping events have the potential to reach a vast audience, significantly increasing brand visibility. By broadcasting live sessions, brands can capture the attention of a wider audience, including those who may not have been previously aware of their products. The interactive nature of live shopping allows for immediate engagement, making it easier for brands to convey their story, showcase their products, and create memorable experiences that resonate with viewers.


2- Offer Exclusive Discounts

Customers are always on the lookout for special deals, and live shopping provides an excellent platform to offer exclusive discounts. These time-sensitive offers create a sense of urgency, encouraging viewers to make immediate purchases. By promoting limited-time discounts during live sessions, brands can drive higher sales volumes and create a buzz around their products. This strategy not only attracts new customers but also rewards loyal ones with unique deals, enhancing overall customer satisfaction.


3- Help Customers Make Informed Decisions

One of the main advantages of live shopping is the ability to interact directly with customers and address their questions in real-time. This dynamic interaction helps potential buyers make informed decisions by providing them with detailed information about products. Demonstrating product features, sharing user reviews, and answering questions live can significantly boost customer confidence and reduce hesitation, leading to higher conversion rates.


4- Create a Personal Relationship with Your Customers

Building strong, personal relationships with customers is crucial in today's competitive market. Live shopping facilitates two-way communication, allowing brands to connect with their audience on a personal level. The conversational format humanizes the brand, making it more relatable and trustworthy. Engaging with customers through live sessions fosters a sense of community and loyalty, encouraging repeat purchases and long-term customer relationships.


5- Lower Your Return Rates

Product returns can be a major challenge for online retailers. However, live shopping can help mitigate this issue. By providing detailed demonstrations and answering questions in real-time, customers gain a better understanding of the products before making a purchase. This clarity reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings or unmet expectations, resulting in fewer returns. According to Coresight data, live shoppers are 40% less likely to return items than other online shoppers.


6- Broadcast to More Channels

Brands are always looking for new touchpoints to reach their audience. Live shopping allows companies to broadcast across multiple platforms simultaneously, extending their reach. Whether it's through their own website, social media channels, or third-party platforms, brands can maximize their visibility and engage with a diverse audience. This multi-channel approach not only increases the chances of reaching potential customers but also strengthens the brand's presence across various digital spaces.


7- Boost Your Conversion Rates

Increasing conversion rates is a top priority for ecommerce brands, and live shopping can be a powerful tool to achieve this. The interactive and immersive nature of live shopping sessions captivates viewers, encouraging them to stay engaged longer. This increased engagement, combined with the ability to address questions and concerns in real-time, leads to higher conversion rates. According to Mary Ghahremani, CEO of Bambuser, conversion rates for live shopping can be as high as 40%, making it an effective strategy for driving sales.


OFFPRICE Show & Live Selling

At OFFPRICE Show, we understand the critical role innovation plays in retail success. As a premier B2B trade show in the fashion industry, we offer retailers and vendors a unique platform to explore the latest trends and technologies. Live shopping is one such trend that perfectly aligns with our mission to help brands thrive in a competitive market. 


By attending OFFPRICE Show, you gain insights into cutting-edge retail strategies, including how to effectively implement live shopping and leverage influencer partnerships. Our event connects you with industry experts and peers, providing the tools and knowledge needed to enhance your customer engagement and drive sales through innovative approaches like live shopping.



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