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Social media, shopping, and real-time engagement: Live commerce is the future of retail

Online shopping will remain the top solution for most - be it groceries, an appliance or a new outfit

October 13, 2021 / 04:53 PM IST

Shopping used to be one of the world’s favorite pastimes. And it was not only about material pleasures; shopping was a chance to spend time with people we liked, browsing through stores and products until we found that one thing we were looking for, or a killer deal. All of that changed 18 months ago.

Before the pandemic, 85% of global shopping was being done in-store, and retailers knew precisely how to maximize the experience to make it more engaging. The allure of seeing a brand’s products in one place, in-person events, exclusive offers, and spending time with friends and family made shopping at brick-and-mortar stores more than simply making purchases - the experience always made it more than just the transaction. We’ve come a long way since, and we have a long way to go. We moved to online shopping from closed shutters, and now, after two brutal waves of COVID-19, some parts of the world are slowly finding normalcy.

The pandemic merely accelerated the behavior that was already becoming permanent. Online shopping will remain the top solution for most - be it groceries, an appliance or a new outfit. It is time for retailers to meet consumers where they are choosing to engage. Every other shopping app is doing the same thing - showcasing products through grids of images, playing up deals and discounts. When consumers are looking for experience as much as they’re looking for products, how do YOU stand out?

Live, shoppable ecommerce.

To some, that sounds a lot like “going live” on Instagram, doesn’t it You aren’t wrong. But there is so much more! Over the last few years, we’ve seen social media and ecommerce come together to create unique shoppable experiences through Instagram Stories, Facebook stores, and more. Shopping online got more accessible, faster, and almost as fun as it was in person. What improved the experience was the option to showcase products through videos instead of through a bunch of photos. Today, through the sight, sound, and motion of livestream and shoppable video,  but you can show them how it looks on a model and tell them how the material feels!

But where to go from here? Real-time shopping on real-time video streams - on your website where shopping intent is high, not a social app.

Shoppable live streams manage to bring together things that made shopping in stores fun:

  • • A whole range of products in one place

  • • The ability to see them with family and friends

  • • The perks of real-time events and deals

  • • Real-time interaction with a celebrity, your favourite fashion influencer, or the creator who made the wares.

Shoppable videos let retailers digitally - and prominently - showcase their products in a more immersive, wholesome way. Retailers can show shoppers what that dress they want looks like when someone wears it. Shoppers can interact with brands on these video streams, engage with other prospective buyers, and execute one-click purchases without leaving the experience.

Firework also comes equipped with the option to let you go live with shopping events through which customers can invite friends and family to shop together virtually. And the best part is, these videos can be created quickly and embedded seamlessly on any website or app within 30 minutes. Just share a QR code with your customers, and you are ready to go live. These live eCommerce videos are shoppable, swipeable, and interactive. Every part of the video is customizable, including the access to customer experience and your first-party data, so you can optimize as you customize.

Shoppable video commerce on your websites and  your owned apps is the way forward for brands to connect, engage and understand their customers in ways they never have before. At Firework, we are excited to ignite these authentic human connections brands have been craving with their consumers  but can’t receive while live streaming on social websites. We are calling on all brands, big and small, to reimagine online shopping. Own the connectivity to your consumers, rather than pushing them into an ecosystem you don’t control and will pay a large tax through which to transact.

This article is authored by Jason Holland President, Global Business-Firework, www.Firework.tv

Moneycontrol journalists were not involved in the creation of the article
first published: Oct 9, 2021 05:35 pm
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