The rise of live e-commerce - the top digital marketing trend of 2021

Live e-commerce has been earmarked to be one to be a top digital marketing trend of 2021 by Ashley Friedlein, CEO & Founder of Guild, the messaging app for professional groups.

Put simply, live e-commerce is a bit like the QVC home shopping channel reimagined for the social media age. In China during 2020, it’s estimated that 9% of its $1 trillion online sales were from live streaming, and that’s up 100% from 2019.

If you want any proof that this looks like a trend that’s actually going to happen, rather than one of those that sounds far-fetched straight away and never makes it to real life, then you only need to look at who’s getting behind it.

Google Shoploop

Shoploop was born out of observational research, that found users were finding out about great products through watching online video, going to a different site to check reviews and finally visiting a third site to purchase them. The Google platform was designed to bring these things together, removing friction from the journey and bringing content producers closer to the point of purchase.

All videos are 90 seconds or under, and the creators are all ‘real people’ rather than celebrities or existing influencers. There’s a focus on making the content fun, so it perfectly suits cosmetics and beauty products. The big question is whether people we actively visit a separate platform (albeit one that’s integrated into the Google ecosystem) knowing they’re being sold to?

Google Shoploop

Facebook Live Shopping

Facebook Live launched in 2016 and to date has seen a 400% increase in its daily watch time. They have less of a challenge than Google as they’re simply adding a shopping feature to an already successful platform that has its own community of content creators and viewers, and a mature management system.

There’s a much wider range of products that can be bought and sold through Live Shopping, for example someone who streams about business advice can directly sell their paid for courses or content from the video. This immediacy means people are more likely to purchase in the heat of the moment, and the ability to stay in the stream means the content creator can tee up multiple purchases in a video rather than holding on until the end so they don’t lose their audience midway through the broadcast.

Facebook Live shopping

Amazon Explore

Amazon Explore is a little different to the other two offerings, as it’s not about simply adding an e-commerce function to live video. Explore video experiences come in 3 categories: Learning & Creativity, Personal Shopping, Culture & Landmarks. The Learning and Culture categories allow you to pay for a personalised one to one live video experiences where you can learn new skills or visit (virtually) far off lands. The Personal Shopper category is different, as you can pay for a personal shopper to take you on a trip to a particular city or market, letting you pick out products through the screen, pay for them through your Amazon account and have them shipped straight to your door.

Amazon Explore

Wondering how your brand can take advantage of live e-commerce?

We’re a creative agency that uses behavioural science to make marketing more effective with extensive experience in working with retail brands.

If you’d like to discuss how your brand may take advantage of live e-commerce, or about the behavioural science principles that underpin its appeal, get in touch with us today

James Kay Senior Account Director

By James Kay

Senior Account Director