Livestream e-commerce may be the future of online shopping

Combining celebrity, commerce, and design, livestream shopping events are catching fire.

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Livestream e-commerce may be the future of online shopping


Future. Brands are going live to sell their products, partnering with well-known creators to reach buyers. It’s a winning play for all parties — creators and platforms get views and ad/sponsorship revenue while brands cash in on engaged viewers. The blueprint has already transformed retail in China, where the livestream e-commerce market is projected to reach $171B. The US is following suit, and while livestreams aren’t likely to completely replace other forms of shopping, it certainly seems here to stay.

Real-time retail
Combining celebrity, commerce, and design, livestream shopping events are catching fire.

  • Snapchat’s original show The Drop, the platform’s first-ever “shoppable” series, focused on exclusive streetwear collabs with celebrities and designers like Ben Baller.
  • Short 4-minute episodes dive into the details, delving into the relationship between designer and celebrity as they crafted their product.
  • Since its November 2020 debut, millions have tuned in to watch; the series sold out each item featured during the show’s first five episodes.
  • Walmart has teamed up with TikTok twice in the past year to create a shoppable live stream event, harnessing viral creators like Gabby Morrison.
  • Petco teamed up with Facebook Live, a partnership that the pet company says delivered a 12% boost in traffic to its site.
  • Youtube is working on pilot testing live features for viewers to buy products directly from livestream videos.
  • Pacsun is debuting its first livestream shopping event, partnering with A$AP Rocky and TikTok star Mathieu Simoneau for its limited edition Vans shoe release.

Show us your haul
Chatty hosts selling products to viewers… sound familiar? Though some have drawn comparisons to late night infomercials, livestreamers are quick to distance themselves from the likes of QVC. For one, hosts for livestream events are typically creators who have already amassed immense audiences and who have the final say on what appears on their streams.

On the buyer side, shoppers encounter a fully immersive digital experience, where they can chat with other viewers, ask hosts questions about the product, and swipe up to buy and deliver products in two or three clicks. As the pandemic continues to impact brick-and-mortar sales, brands are turning to live events to close the gap.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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