When buying online, whether through a social media channel or the Internet, what makes you trust someone enough to buy from them? What makes you care enough to stop the infinite scroll?
Connection—when you connect with the person behind the brand or product. One of the fastest ways to make that connection is through live selling. When done well, live selling gives you the opportunity to speak to your audience directly, create a compelling story, and boost your bottom line. It’s no wonder, then, that live selling is a growing phenomenon.
The live-selling e-commerce market in the United States is expected to grow to $35 billion by 2024, according to Coresight Research, making it a critical component of any brand’s sales strategy. The highest-earning sellers use live selling strategies to turn their products from an object to obtain into a story to become a part of, according to a recent survey of small- to medium-sized U.S.-based retailers conducted by Switcher Studio Inc., a leading content creation and video production software company.
Crafting this story and presenting it is a big part of successful live selling. When pairing a strong brand story with targeted marketing and a seamless sales experience, live selling can take your strategy to the next level.
Ultimately, with the direction things are headed, if you’re not going live, you’ll be left behind.
Selling the Story
During the height of the first surge of the pandemic in 2020, there were massive numbers of closures. 1.9 million store-based retail employees were sent home. And when stores began to open back up, many saw significantly less foot traffic than before. Customers were—and are—still cautious amid the uncertainty of the economic recovery.
Some retail store owners and employees got creative and began live streaming on social media sites like Instagram to showcase merchandise and build a following. As a result, many retained or improved their commissioned sales, proving that live selling works.
But that’s just one example. Solopreneurs have been using live selling as a substantial part of their marketing efforts to such success that larger companies have noticed. Nordstrom has recently embraced live selling to boost sales while enriching customer relationships through chat. The survey by Switcher found that three-quarters of higher-earning sellers used both live selling and recorded videos. Additionally, 59% said their brand’s interesting stories had attracted customers.
It’s through the story that the connection between seller and audience is built. It can be used to show buyers the humanity behind the business and the uniqueness of the product. The key is authenticity, knowing your customer, genuinely wanting to help them, and communicating that. Here’s how:
- Connect with your audience. Interact with them during the live stream. Host Q&A segments, respond to questions in the comments section, create live polls to gather customer insight, and more.
- Talk about the benefits of your product, don’t just list features. Ask yourself what the product is going to do for your customers and craft your story around the answer.
- Invite your customer into the story, use language that helps customers picture their experience with the product, like “imagine yourself in this car” or “can you see how this item would fit in your home?”
Best Practices for Going Live
Switcher’s survey found the best live sellers have several characteristics in common. When crafting your live selling strategy, be sure to include the following parameters:
- Going live frequently, at least every other day
- Keep your live sessions under 30 minutes (research shows the average session lasts 26 minutes long)
- Making sure you have the right subject matter: ads, new product announcements, contests, and giveaway videos
Live selling doesn’t require studio, lighting, or professional camera work. Sure, those are all nice to have, but they are not necessary. You can download a streaming platform directly to your phone. Make sure you use a live selling app that integrates with your social media channels, so you can go live on each platform you use.
With some simple planning around your messaging, equipment, and strategy, your live selling streams can take your sales to the next level.