In the UK, among online shoppers, it’d be fair to assume that most don’t utilize live streaming platforms to get information, engage with a brand, or make purchases. This certainly isn’t the case on the other side of the world, though. In the Asia Pacific, businesses are going all-in on capitalizing on the advantages granted by integrating live streaming both as a method of shopping and as the product itself.
Back in the Western markets, the trend seems to be slowly catching on with pioneering businesses while social media platforms are essentially being given free rein to corner the market. To avoid the risk of being left behind, businesses should analyze how live streaming works for businesses now and then adapt it to suit their own customer bases.
Making a product out of a live stream
Arguably, Twitch is the ultimate platform from which people have made themselves and their offering a product through a live stream, but with some advanced tech applications, live streams can become interactive. Activating this in its most profound way is the online blackjack at Paddy Power. Through their selection of live table games, people get streamed to a croupier in real-time and get to bet on and call the shots of a blackjack game in real-time.
This relatively new ability to interact with a physical product on the other side of a live stream opens up a huge range of opportunities for businesses that have products that are experience-based. Being able to receive the funds for blackjack wins makes the experience real, even though it’s across the Internet, and it’s this element that created a company that can raise $7 million to expand a similar offering.
Making real arcade claw machines playable through a live stream, Israeli startup Gigantic Ltd has surpassed expectations. Through their clever bit of software, people can go on their phones, control a real claw machine with physical prizes on the other side of the world, and will then get anything that they win sent to them in the post. The live stream offers an immersive experience while the prizes being sent make it a real experience rather than any virtual or digital claw machine apps.
Selling live can make a difference
In the Asia Pacific, there are whole platforms dedicated to live shopping events that make billions. In the UK, as it stands, people are buying via social media live streams. As shown by the report from Statista, TikTok Live is, by far, the most popular form of live stream shopping right now. Interestingly, the fairly low-key efforts of Amazon Live look to have made up some ground, with the eCommerce giant being the second-most preferred place to live shop.
After Amazon Live, it’s Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and then Pinterest. While still a very small segment of the market, TalkShop Live ranks just outside of the top five. Scrolling through on any given day, you’ll see events of special signed editions of albums, lots of beauty products, and some live events that you can tune into via the platform for a price. There’s still a lot more that can be done to bring this proven method of sales to the mainstream.
A business may want to start off on social platforms as that’s where the crowd is right now, but branching off and hosting independent live shopping events should be the goal. It doesn’t just have to be shopping events, either. A live stream could be used to bring all of the additional value that customers crave, such as through interviews, tutorials, Q&A sessions, behind-the-scenes looks, and even competitions among those tuning in live.
Live streaming is expected to pick up a great deal as a method of brand engagement and purchasing in the UK over the coming years. Early adopters will only benefit by establishing themselves as the place to go while it’s still niche, then further developing the platforms and methods through the invaluable data generated.
Photo credit: All images used are symbolic. The feature image has been done by Joe Belanger. The photo in the body of the article has been done by Frimu Films.