Brands turn to live shopping to build communities among consumers

The insight: Live shopping is beginning to gain traction with US consumers.

  • Nearly half (46%) of consumers are interested in livestream shopping events, according to a survey by Agora.
  • Unsurprisingly, younger shoppers are more receptive to the format, with 61% of respondents under the age of 55 expressing interest.

A personal connection: While live shopping is far from a mainstream success, retailers are finding pockets of opportunity by cultivating connections with small groups of highly engaged shoppers.

  • Poshmark’s “Share Shows” allow brands and Poshmark users to partner to sell products, while viewers can chime in with questions or comments, or place a bid. The events have been a hit for brands like Rothy’s, Pact, and Christy Dawn, with Rothy’s CMO Jamie Gersch telling ModernRetail that the format “really let us engage the community in a way we hadn’t before.”
  • That sentiment was echoed by Vincent Yang, cofounder and CEO of live commerce platform Firework, who noted that livestreaming offers brands an opportunity to form connections with shoppers and engage with them in a deeper, more authentic way.
  • Community is also at the heart of Fanatics’ approach to live shopping. The company decided to focus on the collectibles market precisely because of the tightly knit communities that already exist, Chris Lamontagne, president of Fanatics Live, said at NRF 2024.
  • And Fanatics Live is helping to build that community on the platform by enabling livestream viewers to interact with each other and the host, while focusing on high-quality content that engages users and sparks conversation.

The big takeaway: Brands that are serious about live commerce will have to invest in building communities before they can focus on driving sales. That means finding the right talent—creators who are capable of both getting shoppers to tune in, and of finding new ways to connect with them day after day.

  • While it seems increasingly unlikely that live shopping will reach the same heights in the US as in China, brands can use the medium to deepen engagement and loyalty.

First Published on May 15, 2024

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