What brands need to know about live-stream shopping

28 May 2024 | By Robert Norman, Senior Content Marketing Manager

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The next stage in the evolution of shopping has arrived in the U.S

Shopping has been a part of everyday life for years and continuously adapts to meet the needs of consumers. With live-stream video’s increasing popularity, the shopping experience is evolving yet again with the emergence of live shopping.

Live-stream shopping, or live video commerce, combines the immersive experiences of in-store browsing with the convenience and reach of online shopping. It’s an interactive shopping experience where shoppers can learn about products and services, see hands-on demonstrations, ask questions and make purchases – all in real time.

As live-stream shopping becomes more common, Twitch Ads, Amazon Ads and Publicis Media worked together to learn how consumers feel about live video commerce, how they’ve thus far integrated live-stream shopping into their lives, and how brands can best show up in the live-stream shopping world. Insights from our research study, Live-stream Shopping, Today and Tomorrow, reveal how brands are navigating this emerging format at the intersection of content and commerce.

The current state of live-stream shopping

According to a 2022 survey from Coresight Research, roughly one-third of adults in the U.S. have watched a shoppable live-stream.1 While live-stream shopping is already quite popular in Asia, it is still a relatively new concept for most consumers in the U.S. The format has tremendous potential to grow and transform over the coming years. In our research, 79% of adults who typically shop online had watched a shoppable live-stream, including 39% who have tuned in and made purchases.

One of the most important benefits of live-stream shopping is its ability to shorten the purchase journey. About 83% of live-stream shoppers surveyed agreed that engaging with a shoppable live-stream makes it easier for them to decide to purchase a product, regardless of the product or product category.

How can brands make the biggest impact with live-stream shopping?

We asked study respondents to reflect on prior experiences with shoppable live-streams, watch and interact with examples of shoppable live-streams and complete a survey to better understand what works and what doesn’t work for them.2 If you want to engage live-stream shoppers, here’s how:

  • Lead with authenticity: Authenticity in live-stream shopping is key, especially if you want to reach audiences like millennials and Gen Z adults. A great place to start is securing the suitable on-stream talent. Study respondents cited the highest-rated shoppable live-stream examples as having enthusiastic, engaging and authentic hosts who genuinely use or believe in the products.

    On Twitch, brands should work with streamers who best align with their values and can sincerely speak to their intended audiences. By collaborating with live-stream services to find streamers who are the best fit, brands can create advocates who are equipped with the authenticity, product knowledge and passion that audiences seek.
  • Make it engaging: Live-stream shopping exists at the intersection of content and commerce, so your shoppable live-stream must be entertaining. More than a third of survey respondents agreed it’s an important consideration for purchasing a product from a live-stream.

    There are a lot of ways that brands can boost the entertainment value of their shoppable live-streams. Something as simple as reading messages and responding to viewers in the chat can help viewers feel more engaged and invested with the live-stream and the brand.
  • Provide demonstrations: Shopping in brick-and-mortar stores is a sensory experience. Live-stream shopping – complete with hands-on demonstrations and in-depth reviews – is among the closest shoppers can get to the brick-and-mortar shopping experience without leaving their homes.

    About 42% of survey respondents said that product demonstrations are an important consideration for purchasing a product from a live-stream, and they cited the highest-rated shoppable live-stream examples as what helped them learn about the featured products.
  • Offer promotions: Everyone loves a bargain, and live-stream shoppers are no different. With live-stream shopping still a relatively new method in the U.S. for making purchases, compelling incentives can help turn viewers into customers.

    Nearly half of survey respondents said that special offers were an important consideration for purchasing a product from a live-stream, and respondents rated shoppable live-stream examples that offered product deals and discounts as the highest. While exclusive deals can be a boon for brands and consumers alike, promotions don’t just have to be in the form of discounts – anything that adds value to how consumers experience your product can help.
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks: Live-stream shopping is still an emerging format in the U.S., and offers brands a lot of space – and grace – to experiment and iterate.

    Live-stream shopping is more than just a passing fad – it’s the next step in the shopping experience. As live video commerce gains momentum in the U.S., brands should take note and start planning how they’ll incorporate the format into their e-commerce strategies.

1 Coresight. “Which U.S. Consumers Are Embracing Live-stream Shopping,” Feb 2022, US; n=1638 respondents 18+
2 Amazon Ads and Publicis Media with Latitude Research. Live-stream Shopping, Today and Tomorrow. Fielded Jul–Sep 2022. US data. A18–54. n=2,000