Many businesses have leveraged the power of videos to help achieve their business goals. Over the years, live streaming has been a fast-growing industry. A new report from Grand View Research revealed that live streaming is expected to reach $184.27 billion by 2027 at a compounded annual growth rate of 20.4% from 2020-2027. By the end of 2020, live streaming is expected to collar 82% of all internet traffic.
With COVID-19, video streaming is poised to become even more popular. Health restrictions associated with the pandemic forced businesses to devise ways to keep customers shopping without going to the actual store. For this reason, live streaming fits the bill perfectly as it offers an excellent opportunity for e-commerce companies to drive sales and thrive in the digital world.
Are You Ready to Join The Bandwagon?
While many have found marketing success with live streaming, you might be having second thoughts about joining the live streaming bandwagon. It may be a new technology that you are not ready to try out yet, or you might be unsure about your readiness for the competition.
To help you get started with deciding whether to try out live streaming or not, let us take a look at its pros and cons.
Benefits of Live Streaming
Many companies have acknowledged the effectiveness of videos as a marketing tool.
Statistics from Zippia shows that 79% of businesses go for live streaming because it creates more authentic interaction with the audience. While 63% say that live streaming adds a human touch to digital marketing.
Also, 61% of businesses say that the content they created for live streaming can be viewed or re-purposed for a later time and another 60% say that it allows getting real-time audience feedback. So how will your e-commerce store benefit from live streaming?
1. Boosts customer base
Streaming events like product launches, sale, or exhibitions provide the perfect venue for growing your customer base. With live streaming, it is now possible to reach thousands of new customers with just a few mouse clicks. A survey by New York Magazine and Livestream revealed that 82% of respondents prefer live video from a brand to social posts.
2. Reduces costs
Live streaming can help save costs on product training and information. Hosting a product launch can be costly when you factor in travel, lodging, and security expenses. With live streaming, all you need is a smartphone with a live streaming app like Facebook Live or Periscope. Once the app is installed, you simply tag target attendees, set location, add the activity, and that’s it, you’re ready to stream the event.
3. Increases profit
Consequently, the savings you obtained from live streaming can be diverted to other brand building and marketing activities. While your money has been allocated to these activities, your live stream can generate various forms of revenue such as tips from broadcast, patronage income, ad share revenue, pay-per-view, or charged channel memberships.
4. Creates audience interaction
Live streaming adds a human touch to your e-commerce business so you could connect with your audience instantly. You can incorporate a question and answer portion so your viewers at home can raise their concerns about your product and clear any doubts they may be having. Also, you can add viewer feedback to live streaming.
Disadvantages of Live Streaming
While live streaming has its advantages, it also has its drawbacks. Let us check them out.
1. Prone to technical issues
Live streaming requires a stable Internet connection because the audio and video data are being transmitted in real-time over the Internet. Your viewers can quickly lose their interest if your feed loads slowly or keeps buffering. It is recommended that your Internet speed should be at least 5 Mbps for HD quality video or 25 Mbps for ultra HD video.
Bandwidth is another important consideration in live streaming. This is especially true if you are aiming for high-quality video. While you can stream non-HD quality video, surely you wouldn’t compromise video quality for bandwidth. Check the amount of bandwidth in your venue and ensure that it is reliable enough for live streaming.
In addition, limited bandwidth and poor connection may also affect playback. According to EarthWeb, the most customers can tolerate in a bad stream is 90 seconds or less. So make sure that you cover the technical issues before streaming your event live.
2. No do-overs
The problem with live streaming is that you need to get it right the first time. The only way to improve is to have an actual streaming. Mistakes are bound to happen but as much as possible keep them minimal.
To ensure that your live video will run smoothly, you may prepare a script, have a dry run, and create a contingency plan. Lastly, evaluate the event so you can add improvements the next time.
3. Complication in schedule or time
One of the biggest problems of live streaming is when to schedule the event. If you have international customers in different time zones, this can be an issue. It is unlikely that they will wake up in the middle of the night to watch your live stream.
What most businesses will do is to schedule the live stream at different times to accommodate all customers. However, this is not always feasible, especially if you don’t have the luxury of time. The best thing to do is to check your analytics and see which time most of your customers are online, and schedule the live stream during that time.
How to Make Live Streaming Work For Your Business?
One cannot deny how powerful live streaming can be for your e-commerce business. With today’s technology, it is possible to watch a live broadcast on pocket-sized gadgets. Even sporting events such as the Super Bowl or March Madness are a testament to how engaging live videos can be when done right.
Using live streaming for your e-commerce call center can be a powerful tool for engaging with your audience. Besides, using the platform for your e-commerce products can help boost the buying experience and sales conversion rates. Live streaming has gained momentum especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which kept shoppers at home.
Whether it’s for boosting engagement or real-time connection with your audience, here are some ways you can maximize the effectiveness of live streaming for your e-commerce business.
1. Live events
Letting your customers in on your business’s latest happenings is a good way of keeping them engaged and connected. Do you have a new product to launch? Are there any announcements about your company? To make it more effective, don’t just broadcast the event, make it interactive. Whether it’s a product launching or company news, make your audience feel that they are actually in the event.
If your event is happening simultaneously in several locations, don’t focus on just one area. Show your audience what is happening in other places as well. Ask for comments and feedback and make sure to reply. You can use their responses to improve future events.
2. Q&A or interview
For increased customer engagement, you can stream a Q&A or interview portion. This is a good way to show the human side of your business. Aside from that, it will also provide customers with some personal ideas and opinions. For this to work, you should avoid becoming too promotional of your brand.
Always provide fresh content in every session. Again, you can make your audience part of the discussion. Invite them to ask questions and share their comments and feedback.
3. Product demo or review
If you have several product offerings in your e-commerce business, choose one to demonstrate or review. They might be interested in how your products work or how they are made. Usually, your audience will only see the final product, and content such as these can arouse stronger interest in your brand.
4. Behind the scenes
Another good idea for live streaming content is to show behind the scenes of a process or activity that your customers wouldn’t usually see. For example, you can show your audience the procedure for preparing an order for shipping and delivery. Or you can show them the steps after an order is placed.
Should You Try It For Your Brand?
Live streaming has taken the e-commerce industry by storm. It has gone a long way since Chinese e-commerce platforms Mogujie and Alibaba first experimented with it as revealed by Digital Commerce.
You may think that live streaming can be overwhelming for you and your team. It may be one of the reasons that keep you from trying it for your brand. The good news is that many live streaming platforms such as Facebook Live, Dacast, Vimeo Live, to name just a few, can make streaming content easy for you.
Streaming meaningful content can help your business stay competitive in the industry. Many e-commerce companies are already using it as part of their marketing strategy, so why shouldn’t you?
E-commerce is a dynamic and growing industry. There are many trends that continue to impact online sellers and keeping up with these trends is vital to grab the attention of customers.
At One CoreDev IT, we offer employer of record solutions. Our e-commerce customer service team is also knowledgeable and trained with the industry trends that would fit the needs of your e-commerce customer service call center. Offshore e-commerce customer service with us today and experience high-efficient service at low costs.