How to Turn Viewers into Buyers via Live Commerce & Shoppable Videos

Marketers are increasingly presenting viewers with live-stream shopping to display products to a live, online audience that can participate in the experience. This approach, common on social media, is gradually finding new website outlets, enabling shoppers to communicate directly with promoters via online video and chat.

Beginning in 2016 with China’s Alibaba online shopping network, interactive live commerce is predicted to generate $25 billion in revenue by 2023. It could produce 20% of all e-commerce by 2026, according to industry analysts.

Shoppable and live commerce videos have the same purpose but have their own approaches to consumers. Live shopping probably may not grow as extensively with U.S. customers as it has in the Asia-Pacific, as reported recently. Still, merchants should discount the potential live shopping offers for growing e-commerce sales.

On the other hand, shoppable videos have a similar customer engagement role but are more limited. Shoppable videos feature embedded links and clicking on those links redirects viewers to a purchasing window without leaving the video page.

Shoppable videos’ “add to cart” feature, offered by Jennifer Silverberg, CEO of SmartCommerce, a consumer packaged goods digital marketing firm, “helps marketers create interactive advertising experiences that place consumers in the driver’s seat when it comes to engaging with content.”

Traditional video ad strategies rely on third-party cookies for targeting, while interactivity allows brands to measure authentic actions and use those metrics to optimize campaigns. Shoppable ads can unlock views into details that are relevant to specific groups of consumers without them having to leave the video.

An essential role of a shoppable video, which is recorded before posting, is to bring more customer engagement through the ability to buy instantly. Meanwhile, live commerce videos are real-time events with hosts. This approach brings entertainment, education, and product promotion at the same time.

One advantage to live-stream shopping is that online customers see products in which they are interested. Silverberg suggested the content is no longer displayed by a third party who decides what shoppers see.