Live-streaming commerce in the United States recorded an estimated $50 billion in revenue in 2023. As it gains global popularity, forecasts project that the sales will increase to $68 billion by 2026.

This type of e-commerce marketing provides the following benefits to consumers:

  • Access to exclusive discounts
  • Smart shopping and more informed purchasing decisions

Besides scoring exclusive or limited deals, live-streaming commerce is also about entertainment. This factor is essential for Gen Z consumers who value real-time interactions and personalized experiences through live-stream shopping.

However, like other marketing tactics, live streams require comprehensive planning.

This guide will provide the advantages of live streaming for e-commerce businesses. We will also discuss the best practices for integrating live streams into your e-commerce marketing approaches.

Advantages of Live Streaming in E-commerce Marketing

Live-streaming marketing is a “one-to-many” tactic demonstrating your products through live streams. This approach lets prospects and customers ask questions, see your products in action, and interact with your sellers in real time.

Here are the benefits of leveraging this promotional method:

Establishes a connection with multiple consumers simultaneously

Since live streaming is a one-to-many approach, its goal is to reach and establish connections with multiple consumers simultaneously.

You can achieve the connections in two ways:

  • Live streams have added human elements of visualized eye contact and body language, creating more personalized connections between the hosts and the audience.
  • Live streams have real-time chat boxes beside or under the main video content. You can use this to interact with viewers. For example, you can read the comments to acknowledge the audience or answer inquiries.

More affordable than video advertisements

Traditional video advertising is often costly because you hire digital marketing agencies.

Even with a DIY approach, you must consider the added cost of production, such as equipment and staff.

However, live streaming has been a game-changer for video advertising.

Business owners can now live stream their video content through social media platforms like Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or Periscope. You won’t necessarily hire an agency or establish a high-end production setup—you can stream from wherever you might be.

Moreover, because of influencers, many consumers are familiar with being addressed directly through screens—regardless of the broadcast setting.

Versatile format

Live streams are a versatile content format. Rather than expecting a polished, television-like production, viewers prioritize direct interactions.

For instance, traditional video ads must make an impression through appealing visuals, enticing narratives, and engaging editing.

But with live streaming, you have various advertising options that don’t require formal scripts and extensive editing. Examples include:

  • Product demonstrations – Showcase your products’ features, functions, and benefits
  • Q&A sessions – Interact with the viewers by answering their inquiries about your brand and products
  • Office tours – Showcase your company operations (e.g., how your products are made)
  • Product launch events – Create anticipation by unveiling new products or initiatives
  • Webinars – You can broadcast your webinars about educational sessions on social media channels to position your brand as a thought leader. 

Reduces the need to navigate product descriptions

Sometimes, more than photo captions might be needed for many buyers. They may also gloss over lengthy product descriptions.

Live streaming helps reduce the need for customers to navigate product descriptions because you demonstrate your products and explain their features in real-time. Then, customers can immediately provide feedback or inquire about other relevant information.

Additionally, viewers can discuss the products in the comments.

For example, when you showcase a moisturizer, many will ask about the ingredients and suitability for different skin types, while others will share their experiences using the product. These discussions create a sense of community because viewers converse and exchange insights about your products.

Social proof for building trust

Live streams can provide social proof for your brand. Once the real-time broadcasts finish, the replays will be saved on your profile so more prospects can view them.

Because you demonstrate your products, prospects can immediately see if their purchases will be worthwhile. At the same time, they can read the comments and understand how existing customers perceive your brand and service.

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How To Integrate Live Streams Into E-commerce Marketing

To implement live streams efficiently, follow these best practices:

Set clear promotional goals and understand your audience

Like other marketing tactics, you must define your objectives and understand your audience.

Do you plan to promote or sell your product, educate your audience, or build brand awareness? Whatever the goals, these objectives will ensure focused live stream content.

Meanwhile, understanding your audience involves understanding their demographics, interests, and problems. These aspects will help you tailor your live-stream content to their preferences.

For example, if you’re a fitness brand, most of your audience might comprise health-conscious individuals seeking healthy meal plans or exercise routines. Thus, you can plan live sessions around topics like nutrition tips or low-impact home workouts.

Choose the right live-streaming platform

Afterward, choose the live-streaming platform that aligns with your objectives and audience.

Each platform caters to distinct audiences, so consider where your target audience spends the most time.

Some popular live-streaming platforms to use include:

  • Facebook Live
  • Instagram Live
  • TikTok Live
  • Twitch
  • YouTube Live

For instance, Twitch might be your go-to channel if you’re a gaming company due to its gaming-centric community.

You can also use multiple platforms to maximize your audience reach.

Create a content calendar for consistency

A content calendar helps ensure consistency by planning and scheduling your broadcasts ahead.

  • Decide how often you’ll broadcast (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly)
  • Set times and dates for each stream based on your audience’s demographics, online behaviors, and peak engagement times on your chosen platform
  • Select times and dates to post your promotional materials to maximize visibility and encourage attendance

With a well-structured content calendar, you can maintain a regular online presence that fosters anticipation and engagement with your live streams.

Ensure technical stability

Technical stability is crucial in live streams. It ensures your broadcasts run smoothly without interruptions.

One essential aspect of technical stability is internet connection.

A stable internet connection helps prevent lags, buffers, or sudden disconnections during live streams. Before going live, you must test your internet speed to address potential issues immediately.

Other vital technical aspects are audio and lighting.

Proper lighting ensures your content is visible, while clear audio ensures viewers can hear your voice without distortions.

By ensuring the stability of these components, you can encourage viewers to tune in to future live streams.

Promote your live streams and engage with the viewers

Promoting your live streams is essential in maximizing reach and engagement. Advanced promotions allow your followers and potential viewers to plan and prioritize attending your broadcasts.

Craft enticing social media posts that highlight the broadcasts’ topics, dates, and times to encourage followers and prospects to anticipate and join the events.

You can also use emails to inform your subscribers and pique their interest. 

Moreover, to increase participation, integrate your live stream information into your website through banner ads, event pages, and blog posts.

Plan for contingencies

Despite meticulous preparations, sudden interruptions, technical glitches, and low viewer engagement may still occur.

Contingency plans can help address these challenges and maintain your broadcasts’ flow.

Here’s how to create your contingency plans:

  • Have backup devices, such as cameras, computers, and microphones ready
  • Familiarize yourself with quick fixes and troubleshooting techniques
  • Invest in backup power sources like generators in case of power outages
  • Prepare mobile hotspots or other alternative internet connections
  • Create plans for boosting engagement during broadcasts, e.g., encourage viewers to share the stream and reach a specific number of audience before starting

Boost engagement through post-stream promotions

Post-stream engagement is as crucial as real-time engagement. It would be best to capitalize on the momentum during the stream by continuing to entice the viewers afterward.

Examples of post-stream promotions include:

  • Sharing snippets of highlights to capture the attention of the audience who missed the broadcast
  • Promote the replays across social media platforms to encourage people who missed the broadcast to watch
  • Publish posts with interactive elements like polls and surveys to gather feedback
  • Create articles, blog posts, and newsletters to recap the broadcast
  • Leverage user-generated content by encouraging viewers to share their favorite moments using a branded hashtag

Measure and optimize

After each broadcast, measure and analyze metrics like watch time, viewer count, and engagement rates. These measurements provide insights into the stream’s success and help you understand what resonated with the viewers.

It’s best to create key performance indicators (KPIs) to guide the adjustments and optimize strategies.

Examples of KPIs for live streaming marketing include:

  • Conversion rates – The number of viewers who visited your website, purchased, or signed up for newsletters during the broadcast
  • Retention rates – The percentage of viewers who watched the entire stream
  • Audience demographics – The demographics of the audience who watched your streams
  • Brand perception after broadcasts – Qualitative feedback from comments, polls, and surveys

Leverage Live Stream Marketing Today

Through real-time interactions and immersive experiences, live streaming can engage consumers, drive sales, and build brand loyalty.

Incorporating this strategy into your e-commerce marketing approaches allows you to establish authentic connections beyond traditional advertising.

Therefore, you can unlock new growth opportunities, stay competitive in the dynamic digital marketplace, and foster stronger consumer relationships.