Will Live Video eCommerce Shut Brick & Mortar Stores?

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Brick-and-mortar retail stores are shutting their doors. Online shopping is taking over. The total market share of sales done online was higher than general merchandise, including department stores sales, in Feb 2019.


US retailers have announced 5,994 store closures and 2,641 store openings. This compares to 5,864 closures and 3,239 openings for the full year 2018.

Online sales is now the fourth largest sector overall, bringing in about $59.8 billion in adjusted sales for February.

For malls today, the fine details of managing a physical space, including cleanliness and security, are taking a back seat for the need to create experiences that simply can’t be replicated online.

What is Live Video e-Commerce

Live streaming promises to transform e-commerce today. By fusing online retail with live streaming, today’s companies are attempting to bring consumers one step closer to the in-person experience.

The convergence of video and shopping helps improve engagement, close the gap between customer and product, thus driving sales.

It caters to what is called a “video first” audience, found largely beyond the bigger cities. These users do not necessarily read product descriptions. They like to be spoon-fed with information about the product.

Live Video e-Commerce | Benefits

If a product is complex, using video to explain how it works causes less friction than reading a bunch of text.
You can present a ton of information within a 30-second video – equal of at least half a page of text.
Telling a story will engage your audience.
Video has the ability to convey an incredible amount of information very fast.
Video will give your customer so much more information about the product.
It is also possible to strike an emotional chord and tell customers how they should feel about an item.
Consumers stay longer on pages with videos. Because they would rather watch videos than reading descriptions.
Videos help boost consumer confidence. 57% of consumers say that videos make them more confident in products they buy.

Amazon Live

Amazon launched Amazon Live in Feb 2019, a platform that lets merchants live-stream videos showing off their products.

Through the Amazon Live Creator iOS mobile app, US sellers registered in the Amazon Brand Registry can stream content on desktop, mobile, and Amazon’s mobile app.

video live ecommerce

Sellers can stream content directly from their phone camera or through an encoder using a professional camera. They can choose to go live or stream their content at a scheduled time.

The videos will appear on Amazon.com/live, as well as product detail pages and a seller’s Store. Sellers can pay to promote their videos and reach more customers. They can also interact with shoppers in real-time during livestreams.

During a livestream, Amazon will promote the featured product in a carousel next to the video, so shoppers can easily find it.

Bulbul & Simsim

live video ecommerce

Gaining significant traction in the e-commerce market in India are ‘live-commerce‘ apps Bulbul and Simsim.

These companies essentially provide users a service that combines live video streaming with the option to interact with sellers and to make their purchases immediately.

Bulbul hosts around 25 to 30 streams a day, between 12 noon and 6 pm five days a week

Live-interaction features offered by BulBul allows viewers to put forth product-related questions to its hosts.
Simsim is another live-streaming e-commerce app, which seeks to target the ‘video-first‘ audience who are often also language-first users to pitch its products.
video live ecommerce
The concept is a hit in China, currently the largest market for ‘live commerce’ (with a market size of about $4.4 billion). The country recorded around 456 million live stream viewers in 2018.

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