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15.03.2021 | 3 minute read

Stream it like you mean it - the future of online retail

“Only lazy marketing people are not lobbying for Live Broadcast Shopping as the most powerful long-term instrument of online sales. Is it really so powerful as they say?”


Ask your friend, colleague or even just a random passer-by where they got those sneakers, new phone, sofa or whatever. The most common answer will be: online. It’s true that today basically anyone can do online shopping, so it’s no surprise that only lazy marketing people are not lobbying for Live Broadcast Shopping as the most powerful long-term instrument of online sales.


Is it really so powerful as they say? Even a brief glance at the China market case for it seems to prove the point immediately.  


90% of China's retail market is shared by 3 digital marketplaces & social commerce giants. Independent retail is basically non-existent in that market. These 3 players are being a one-stop-service not just for shopping, but for virtually everything – from social interaction and entertainment, to personal finance and dealing with all everyday routines.


The sheer amount of organic & motivated customer traffic on these platforms turns any interesting shopper feature into a thing, with a low price and high convenience for vendors. Of course, Amazon and other large digital marketplaces, as well as social media apps, are quickly picking up on this and will promptly offer you the same. So, should big brands go for it? Well, yes, would be weird if they didn’t.

“We see three main drawbacks for brands and independent retailers using Live Broadcast Shopping experience as the competitive instrument of growing sales in long-term”


However, big brands cannot ignore the fact that independent retail makes for a huge portion of sales. Obviously it is the strategic sales channel a brand wants to develop and empower in the long-term future. 


So, what does the Live Broadcast Sale look like in that light? We see three main drawbacks for brands and independent retailers using Live Broadcast Shopping experience as the competitive instrument of growing sales in long-term.


  1. Media advertising costs

It’s not a secret that each Livestream session, in order to really work and deliver conversions, needs a wide and well targeted advertising campaign done way ahead. To get the audience to subscribe and keep it motivated before the session, you will need the most engaging, creative storytelling ad formats. Meaning also the most expensive ones. So no wonder why your media advertising agency is probably already all over you with livestream shopping opportunities. But how many of such campaigns can you commit to annually?


  1. Content production costs

Yeah at first, production costs of a Livestream session seem quite attractive, but there is a catch. To stay in the game you will need to keep growing your spendings. Exponentially. Get better influencers, richer sets, brighter interactions, cooler entertainment. One day you’ll wake up and find yourself got dragged into this production value piss-contest. And the next stop of this amazing journey is likely to be – negative ROI. No matter what your digital and SMM creative partners are selling you on this one – we do remember what happened to last century creative superstar formats, don’t we?


  1. Brand image & reputation costs

Finally, do you really want all this army of essentially bloggers, whose influence and power will quickly depreciate, to stay between you and your customer? It’s just a soap bubble that will burst as soon as their social influence will fade away. It can hardly be a wise thing to hand over the only thing you have full control over and that can differentiate you the most – your customer relationship, the most intimate moment between your brand and your customer– to people who have their own wider social agenda. 



“We do believe that this new TV Shopping 2.0 (because that’s what it really is, right?) will work great in two distinctive use cases”


Still, does this mean that we think Live Broadcast Shopping is a bad thing to go with? No. We do believe that this new TV Shopping 2.0 (because that’s what it really is, right?) will work great in two distinctive use cases: 




“But, when it comes to strategic sales impact, we believe that the future transformation should be about Live Shopping experience happening on-demand, not being broadcasted.”



But, when it comes to strategic sales impact, we believe that the future transformation should be about Live Shopping experience happening on-demand, not being broadcasted. About recreating the long-forgotten brick & mortar experience. Personal, intimate, 1on1 experience between your customer and your product, mediated by the micro-influencer who is currently completely absent in your digital commerce equation – your salesperson, product consultant or in-store promoter. The one and only influencer that, for hundreds of years of retail history, can do one thing in 4 minutes that no digital influencer can do nearly as good – get up-close & personal, show genuine expertise, create trust and... close the deal!