COVID-19 took many industries by storm and completely shifted the way they operate, with retail being no exception. With limited in-person shopping and the second round of stay-at-home orders, online shopping sales have risen dramatically. Retail e-commerce sales, as a percentage of retail sales, surged to 11.4% in April 2020 from 3.8% in April 2019 (a 3x increase in a year). According to Statistics Canada, e-commerce sales hit a record of $3.9 billion in May 2020, with an overall 99.3% increase over February. Although we are getting closer to the end of this pandemic (hopefully), experts believe that this surge in e-commerce adoption will have lasting effects beyond the pandemic as consumer behaviour “sticks.”
While it is more important than ever to have a strong digital presence, online retailers often struggle to fully showcase the best aspects of their products. One industry that struggles with this problem is fashion as it can be difficult for the customer to envision themselves in the clothes purely based on a picture. Now that more shoppers are forced to go the online route to make their purchases, it’s crucial for merchants to deliver a more immersive experience for their customers.
Livestream shopping (live shopping) is a phenomenon that has taken Asia by storm and has demonstrated rapid adoption by shoppers and success for retailers, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Livestreaming alone is nothing new, as various sites such as YouTube and Twitch deliver this service. However, as seen in Asia, the integration of livestreaming and shopping seems to be the perfect combination. One live shopping provider in China generated over US $449.5m in sales in just one day!
The potential for live shopping in Canada (and globally) is substantial – and as TTT’ers we’re on a mission to create software that impacts a billion lives – and with that, Shop Studio Live was born.
Shop Studio Live is a Shopify App that allows e-commerce merchants to overlay a live shopping experience on top of their online store that includes a live video, featured products, and live chat. Our goal with Shop Studio is to take an innovative approach to shopping and integrate it directly into an e-commerce website to elevate the overall customer experience.
Video marketing has and continues to be an impactful way for marketers to deliver their message, with 92% of marketers saying it’s an integral part of any marketing strategy. A subsection of video that is still relatively foreign to both marketers and consumers is live video, and although many applications offer live streaming, its potential is still untapped in e-commerce.
I’m certainly not the only one who has returned something from an online purchase because it wasn’t what I expected. It can either be the wrong size, bad fit, or not what the product looked like on screen. This goes one step further as sometimes the sale isn’t even made – online cart abandonment rate from 2012-2019 being ~70% with 15% of that being due to the preference for in-store shopping. With the wild success it has seen overseas, live shopping has the ability to bridge the gap between the increasing number of undecided shoppers who aren’t able to (or don’t want to) shop in-store and e-commerce retailers that are seeking to improve the shopping experience.
We wanted to transition from only using video to drive awareness and in addition use live video to drive conversions. Merchants can utilize Shop Studio Live as a way to highlight events that are happening in their business, such as; product launches, flash sales and fashion shows. We hope that Shop Studio Live can be an integral part of any e-commerce marketing strategy and be able to transform the shopping experience for the customer and nudge them towards clicking that “Add to Cart” button.