Here’s Why Live Streaming Could Help Scale Your Startup
Are you looking for new, affordable ways to reach your customers?
When the world entered lockdown last year, the phenomena of bulk-buying and online shopping boomed. In the confusion of the pandemic’s early days, grocery e-commerce soared as people began to embrace the safe, distanced advantage of electronically buying products via online services. The thing is, online shopping is just so easy; the seamlessness of hassle-free checkouts, free delivery, and the ability to see every possible product laid in front of you, without having to repeatedly trod up and down isles.
Nearly half of this boom in e-commerce is set to stick, and for good reason. Yet, with recorded highs in online-activity history, startups faced a contemporary dilemma. How do you provide consumers with an online shopping experience, interchangeable with one as exciting as real-life?
In-steps Live Streaming. Live streaming is the online streaming of media – simultaneously recorded and broadcasted in real-time.
Live television, reinvented
Live streaming is the evolutionary descendant of live TV. Television revolutionized the twentieth century world of news and media by allowing exploration of a realm beyond the living room. Commercial TV as a medium for advertising generated greater revenue than ever before. In a similar way, livestreaming has advanced the concept of instant access by surpassing the limited mobility of a physical television itself. What livestreams provide, is a far more portable version of the traditional QVC and teleshopping model.
The human aspect of live streaming
if navigated successfully, the livestream model is a virtual browsing platform heavily reliant on the leverage of social media influencers. The human aspect of live streaming is key to its triumph; a relationship fostered between influencer and viewer is a way of reeling-in potential consumers, who, once tuned-in, are fed information about a product and brand that replace a flat online description. The turn of the decade has advanced e-commerce at groundbreaking speed, but consumers are still craving a ‘human’ buying experience that retailers have been driven to recreate online.
Businesses should therefore consider influencer and livestream marketing in growing their business, as well as the challenges this brings. For example, Chinese live-streamer, Huang Wei, known more commonly by her performance name, Viya, hosts livestreams which attract up to 37 million viewers at a time. On Singles Day alone, China’s biggest annual shopping event, she generated 3 billion yuan (£330 million) in sales.
Her popularity (80.9 million online followers) has shown that live streaming product recommendations can work. However, the recent ad fines against her also act as a reminder that individuals and businesses should be be aware of regulation and policy around selling to social media audiences in real time, the potential for slip ups and the extra need for quality assurance checks.
Online streaming is one of the fastest growing global industries
For the most part however, the success of online streaming hasn’t gone unnoticed by global media brands, namely TikTok and Instagram. Both are set to double their e-commerce integrations through livestreams. Currently worth $30 billion, the video streaming market is predicted to reach a massive $70 billion by the end of this year. The ability to reach a wide audience at a relatively low cost is perhaps the main reason for live steaming’s exponential growth.
Whilst the return to normality will predictably result in the pent-up demand for tangible shopping, live-streaming isn’t going anywhere and may just be key to helping your small business scale, grow and thrive.