The Shop Studio Live team started developing our live shopping solution because we believe that human connections make better online experiences.
This became very apparent at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. As many people turned to ecommerce more than ever before, many merchants had issues authentically communicating their brand and showcasing their products. At the same time, shoppers (who were shopping almost exclusively from their couches) were missing in-person interactions they were accustomed to in malls and markets.
At the start, this seemed like a pandemic-era solution only; however, as we've stayed in touch with our community of merchants and shoppers, everyone was excited about the prospect of live shopping and could clearly envision it as part of the future of retail - humanizing the online shopping experience for both shoppers and merchants.
After almost 8 months of ideating, designing, developing, and iterating our solution, we're proud to announce that Shop Studio Live is finally available for all Shopify merchants through the Shopify App Store.
On this special day, we decided to have a brief conversation with Amer Abu-Khajil, Founder of Shop Studio Live, to talk about our journey to building and launching Shop Studio Live.
In the early days of Covid-19, our team was exploring challenges or problems that people were facing. We talked to people with many different backgrounds - including ecommerce merchants, lawyers, salespeople, parents (both regular parents and plant parents).
One theme that kept coming up is the lack of human connection in online experiences. As we dug into this problem more, it seemed most urgent with ecommerce merchants and shoppers. Small and medium-sized online brands wanted to sell more; their shoppers wanted to interact with their merchants through personalized experiences and see what they were buying.
At the start, this seemed like a pandemic-era solution only; however, as we've stayed in touch with our community of merchants and shoppers, everyone continued to be excited about the prospect of live shopping and could clearly envision it as part of the future of retail - humanizing the online shopping experience for both shoppers and merchants.
Not only that, but we have since been keeping track of live shopping trends across the world and have observed rapid adoption of live shopping apps by merchants and shoppers in parts of Asia and Europe.
Live shopping is the perfect solution for retailers looking to increase engagement and sales, whether you're a well-established brand or just getting started with ecommerce.
We've seen many global brands across a large variety of industries, such as Lancôme and Samsung, using live shopping very successfully and making it part of their marketing strategy.
We want to enable small- and medium-sized businesses to have access to the same live shopping technology at the fraction of the cost. When getting started as a small business, it can be nerve-racking to see live shopping events with a small number of viewers, but it's important to remember that even 10 viewers is a lot! Imagine if 10 people walked into your retail store at once.
Shop Studio Live differentiates itself from other live streaming platforms because of our merchant-first mentality. We've made it very simple for merchants to go live (scanning a QR code using a smartphone), understand their performance (track viewers and engagement), and measure their return-on-investment (measure adds-to-cart, orders completed, and revenue generated).
By embedding the live shopping event directly on the merchant's website, we ensure that all online store visitors get to experience the live shopping event instead of having the live event outside of the online store.
All this is done through our Shopify app with no coding required by merchants; we've made Shop Studio Live easy to install and use.
My favourite feature has to be the KPI metrics we've built into Shop Studio Live! While live shopping "makes sense" for most merchants we've spoken with, it's important for merchants to understand their viewership, engagement, and sales metrics during and after each event so that they can calculate their conversion rates or return on investment. That's why we've made real-time KPIs available in the merchant's Control Room during a live shopping event and a summary available in an Event Report after a live shopping event. Estefania Millan, our Product Marketing Coordinator, put together a great post about this if you'd like to learn more: Measuring Success: eCommerce and Live Shopping Metrics You Need to Track.
New product development is never easy but it's (almost) always fun. A few of our biggest obstacles were related to changes that happened with some of the third-party partners that we had to catch up to. For example, Shopify has been evolving very rapidly (as it always has been but even more so in the last 6 months). Some major updates in Shopify such as a revamp to their design system, required us to backtrack and update our designs. This is one of a few similar instances that were all difficult to predict.
While this was time-consuming, Shop Studio Live at launch is designed to fit within the Shopify admin portal and shopping experience because it was built specifically for that platform from Day 1.
More features for merchants and shoppers! I don't want to spoil some of the surprises, but our focus is to take Shop Studio Live from a great app for some users to a mind-blowing app for all users. We want every merchant and user that interacts with Shop Studio Live to have an "aha!" moment.
We want to make Shop Studio Live more streamlined for merchants (and their marketers or influencers) to use while making the shopping experience even more intuitive.
We're also very eager to hear from our growing merchant and shopper community as more of them begin to use Shop Studio Live. Have any ideas on how we can improve or new features you'd like to see? Reach out using our Contact page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shop Studio Live is now available for all merchants with a Shopify online store. Get started now on the Shopify App Store.