Livestream shopping isn’t necessarily a new phenomenon. In fact, it’s been making waves in China since 2017 when Alibaba launched “See Now, Buy Now” during Singles’ Day. And while the influx in social media content, particularly as it pertains to social commerce, has accelerated over the years, awareness around livestream shopping is still—surprisingly—low.
Nearly a third of adults in the U.S. have heard of live shopping events, per Morning Consult data. And more than three-quarters of respondents surveyed said they’ve never participated in livestream shopping, highlighting the opportunities retailers and content creators have in attracting more followers.
What’s more, separate data from Insider Intelligence, referenced in an article from LA Business Journal, also shows how few people in the U.S. are shopping this way. Just 17% of U.S. adults shop through livestreams, which is “a long way compared to consumers in China where the live shopping industry makes up over 10% of the entire country’s commerce market.”
Part of the appeal of livestream shopping is that it makes the overall shopping experience more exciting. Unlike traditional e-commerce—where you’re mostly looking at static visuals of products you’re intending to purchase—livestreaming events give consumers a further glimpse into a product. In many cases, it feels like a QVC or HSN event hosted by celebrities or influencers who are pushing out a variety of products in real-time. And unlike traditional e-commerce, consumers experience livestream shopping with other consumers, making the overall experience more conversational and engaging.
“Livestream shopping has found major success in China, where social commerce has become a booming industry,” Says Daniel Keyes, Research Analyst at Mercator Advisory Group. “Social commerce is yet to reach the same heights in the US market, which may mean livestream shopping in the US won’t be able to match its popularity China. But as platforms like TikTok and Twitch attract more users and interactions it’s clear that the industry has potential in the US.”
There’s no doubt that livestreaming holds a lot of opportunities for brands and content creators, but it’s crucial that it becomes a staple in their marketing efforts. Because as more content is pushed out in this new channel, more consumers will be drawn to it.