The Rise of Live Selling in eCommerce
Online shopping is a win-win for customers who have embraced the comfort and ease of shopping from anywhere, access to a wide range of products and services, customer reviews, price comparisons, and convenient delivery and returns. eCommerce sales in the US are poised to top $1 trillion for the first time in 2022. Worldwide eCommerce sales are estimated to hit $5 trillion in 2022 with researchers predicting that by the year 2040, 95% of all sales will be online.
While the power wielded by giants like Amazon is significant and has led to the untimely downfall of several retailers, it can be argued that many have been late to the eCommerce party. Seventy-one percent of small business owners do not sell their products online. While the future for eCommerce may be beyond what we can envision, one clear trend has emerged as a power move for retailers looking to grow their business immediately – live selling.
What is Live Selling?
Live selling enhances interactive live video or live streaming and makes it possible to buy featured products in real-time. It makes it possible for any business owner or influencer to turn their social media page into a shopping channel and then directly sell to viewers, beyond just receiving likes and engagement.
Live selling has grown over 76% during COVID, with millennials and Gen Z customers expressing a clear preference for shopping on live stream channels, which also provide entertaining content. It has already changed the face of eCommerce in China and other Asian countries. The market size of live commerce is expected to reach 300 Billion USD by 2023. According to a report by Statista, the US market for live commerce is estimated to cross 11 Billion USD by 2024. While major retailers like Walmart, Nordstrom, and Macy’s have made huge investments in their live commerce platforms, businesses of every size can leverage the power of live selling at a very low cost.
The Next Essential Channel for Business: Going Mobile
Most retailers believed that creating a website or running ads on social media was enough to stay competitive in the world of eCommerce. In fact, even business owners who recognized the importance of selling online were not able to do so because of a lack of information or tech know-how or the inability to afford expensive software development tools. Many retailers did the bare minimum only when it was absolutely critical, and in some cases too late.
Today, live commerce brings the advantages of selling online to businesses of all sizes, at a fraction of the cost. eCommerce apps are now available at low monthly subscriptions or affordable one-time costs. Without any technical knowledge or a single line of code, any business owner can create an attractive mobile app with the extensive functionality of a major brand. In addition, live selling features, customizable design, product catalogs, image search capabilities, push notifications, app-only discount features, and many other functions make engaging customers online simple and dynamic. Social selling features can enable business owners to create exciting retail content and stream it live through any of their social media platforms, making sales in real-time. It’s as easy as ‘drag and drop’!
Seventy-eight percent of online shopping traffic comes from mobile devices. 66% of all online orders are made on mobile devices. Mobile apps see three times the conversion rates as mobile websites do. For business owners ready to start their eCommerce journey and get the maximum results for their efforts, a mobile app creator may be the way to go. Channeling influencers or creating your own entertaining video content can be a great way to convert viewers into customers. Using the app features to offer app-only discounts or special offers for a limited time can also drive sales.
With Gen Z, the first completely digitally native generation emerging as the largest group of consumers, brands must discover new ways to connect and engage with customers. Live selling is a retail revolution that lets Gen Z customers experience brands online, at a whole new level. With the pandemic changing the retail paradigm permanently, there has never been a better time for businesses to update themselves. Sellers that embrace live commerce and the demands of the new online marketplace will create greater value for their customers and incredible opportunities for themselves.
Baskar Agneeswaran is the CEO of Vajro. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Vajro is a mobile app platform exquisitely crafted for Android and iOS apps that brands can use to build native Android and iOS apps in just sixty minutes without writing a single line of code. Learn more at www.vajro.com.