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Live shopping: Empowers, connects, engages and drives sales

A rapidly emerging new commerce trend, live shopping, empowers brands and businesses to connect with consumers in real-time, while creating engaging content and ultimately, driving sales.
Image supplied. Live shopping empowers brands to connect with consumers in real-time
Image supplied. Live shopping empowers brands to connect with consumers in real-time

Live shopping calls for a fine balance between sales and entertainment, as it gives brands and the influencers they work with, as the hosts of the live shopping experiences, the ideal opportunity to collaborate to entertain and educate the target audience through interactive content that makes it easier – and often, more exciting – for consumers to make a purchase.

Pieter Groenewald, CEO of influencer marketing group, Nfinity Influencer, says: “Live shopping goes hand-in-hand with the creator/influencer economy and we’ve already seen it achieve incredible success overseas.”

KitKat Australia

An example of live shopping’s stellar success overseas is the activities by KitKat Australia, which have yielded remarkable results.

Demonstrating excellence by adding live shopping to their broader digital strategy, the brand has proven that a live shopping event is a natural fit for any paid social media campaign to drive sales and visits to brick-and-mortar stores.

The results of the live shopping events were impressive, originating more than one-third of KitKat Australia’s annual sales and delivering a 23-point uplift in brand awareness among 35 to 44 year olds.

Benefit to most consumer brands

Over in China, Li Jiaqi, a top content creator and ‘salesman’ widely known as the “lipstick brother”, has done impressive numbers when it comes to driving sales through the medium of live shopping events.

On the first day of e-commerce marketplace, Alibaba’s, annual shopping festival, Jiaqi sold $1.9bn in goods.

What was Jiaqi selling? It ranged from Shiseido lotions to Apple AirPods, indicating that the live shopping medium can benefit most consumer brands with products to sell.

Live shopping has grown extensively in the region in spite of hurdles such as the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, and Li Jiaqi’s live events alone record a daily average of 20 million views.

Unique opportunity for local brands

With South Africa’s internet penetration rate at 72.3%, totalling more than 43.48 million internet users as of January 2023, it’s the ideal time for brands and businesses to experiment with, and benefit from, new digital commerce opportunities.

By facilitating an impactful collaboration between live shopping and the perfect host, local brands can expand their reach and grow their customer base, while delivering an engaging shopping experience that drives sales and keeps competitors at bay.

“The revolution of live shopping technology brings a unique opportunity to South African brands looking to elevate their sales strategies and engage with customers in a more impactful and meaningful way,” says Groenewald.

He maintains that it doesn’t take a lot for a local brand or business to give live shopping a try.

“We’ve set things up to facilitate orders, payments, and fulfilment, without complex system integrations. This means we only need access to product (in varying sizes and quantities) on a consignment basis to get a live shopping experience up and running.

“And because we already have the technology, tools, and educational capability, to train creators, we can quickly broaden the pool of people who’re able to host a live shopping experience in a way that sees results – in sales, and brand affiliation.”

Crossover between live shopping and creator/influencer economy

The crossover between the technology of live shopping, and the capabilities of the creator/influencer economy, is perfectly primed to help brands that are looking to boost sales through engaging digital shopping experiences.

In particular, where the new or finer features of a product or range would benefit from being explained, influencers-turned-live-shopping-event-hosts can engage with the consumer audience in a way that converts the prospective consumer interest into real sales, keeping them coming back for more.

As the world intertwines with the digital through rapid integration with continually evolving technology, new commerce trends are emerging faster than ever, disrupting traditional commerce and ultimately changing the way that consumers shop


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