Live streaming has become an integral part of the way we consume digital content. The truth is, it's everywhere. From Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to sports matches and fashion shows, to now even e-commerce platforms. So, what's the big deal about this latest phenomenon? Well, for starters, live streaming is a brilliant marketing vehicle for brands across industries to interact with fans and followers, showcase new products and add a personalised, informal touch to their communication approach. But there's a whole lot more to it.
Join us as we walk through five sterling examples of how brands have sewn live streaming into their technology businesses.
An insight into live streaming for e-commerce
Unlike when it started out, streaming is no longer intertwined with elementary brand promotions. Instead, it has become a full-fledged digital property on many e-commerce platforms, allowing customers to purchase items directly via a stream. Even smaller e-commerce portals can now employ live streaming software on their sites with StreamNow. StreamNow, a product developed by Streamhash, is a superlative, powerful live streaming technology that allows you to set up a live video streaming platform for web and mobile, within a couple of days. The technology powers high-quality professional streams, and yet is incredibly light on your pocket. It comes as no surprise that more and more companies of all sizes are integrating live streaming platform into their core technologies.
Example 1. Kohl’s
One of the first retail chains to unveil its live streaming feature was Kohl’s. Before this launch, live streaming had been considered to be solely an engagement feature that brands could use to promote products. There was no way to sell products directly through a stream, and as a result, the marketing-to-purchase flow was rather long-wound and cumbersome. Kohl’s identified this gap and decided to introduce an instant purchase feature through its live video streaming platform. Its first initiative was a live stream held through Periscope, that showcased the New York Fashion Week. The broadcast was hosted exclusively on Kohl’s Lauren Conrad Runway-inspired site. As viewers watched the stream remotely, they could access items of clothing seen on the catwalk, directly on the site they were on. Kohl’s had masterly stitched product links into the live feed, directing viewers to relevant items and looks.
Example 2. Alibaba’s Taobao
One of Alibaba Group’s subsidiary e-commerce arms, Taobao, has launched its own live video streaming platform. Shops hosted on the e-commerce site are encouraged to hire influential streamers who command an existing fan base. By paying them to promote certain products and embedding each stream with product links, shop owners are seeing traction. The philosophy behind linking a live streaming software with shopping is simple: as viewers start following live streams of specific brands, their inclination towards these streams will translate to loyalty and trust for these brands. In China, specifically, where Taobao is headquartered, consumers are still quite wary of online shopping, and live streams are helping to build trust. Taobao has recorded a live stream conversion rate of 32%, meaning that for every thousand views, 320 products will be added to consumers’ shopping trolleys. The Taobao live streaming example is easily replicable for even a small e-commerce business. With StreamNow, integrating a live video streaming platform into your main website is easy and simple.
Example 3. Peeks
Peeks is a unique live streaming software underpinned by e-commerce. The service lets users communicate and make deals with their viewers in real-time, using real money. The platform was inspired by a lack of live streaming software in the payments space. Through a combination of the right social media tools and customer acquisition moves, the company has launched a live video streaming platform that works as an economic social network. The service can fulfil multiple purposes, but the company has witnessed a rising momentum particularly in crowdfunding. Many users post videos urging viewers to support a specific cause or story. This could be followed by a live stream to solicit donations. A live video streaming platform allows a broadcaster to be as creative as they want. In Shunya’s case, the company has seen a wide variety of crowdfunding formats, from routine causes to company financing rounds. The real-time experience allows viewers to feel involved.
Example 4. Shunya
Shunya isn’t your typical e-commerce service. In fact it is a communications company that provides services including brand communication, public relations, advertising, experiential marketing and data marketing, among others. In May 2017, the company announced that it would acquire China’s foremost live streaming software, Inke. But the question is, how and why did a B2B player like Shunya acquire a live video streaming platform? Well, the two companies had sealed a partnership in March to assess ad-based business strategies for live video streaming platforms and to link potential advertising clients. Live streaming has seen unprecedented success in China, even in the enterprise space, and Inke was actively looking for a partner to propel its enterprise business forward. Live streaming has become an essential pillar for every Chinese technology business and the Shunya-Inke deal has served as an example of how well live streaming can sit in the enterprise marketing mix.
Example 5. Hulu
Hang on, but Hulu’s a video on demand service, you must be thinking. You’re right, it is. But Hulu’s new live TV initiative has much in store for advertisers and shoppers alike. The live TV service will be equipped with dynamic ad insertion features, allowing advertisers to target specific segments of the audience. But what is unique about this live TV product is that it marries the attributes of television while harnessing the advertising power of digital media. In addition to this, Hulu intends to add an e-commerce entity in collaboration with BrightLine, that enables viewers to purchase items directly within a commercial. While Hulu will begin small by initially embedding only movie tickets into commercials, it will move onto other product categories such as retail and fast food in the next two years.
Regardless of the kind of e-commerce venture you have, live streaming is an ideal addition to your slew of marketing vehicles. Talk to the StreamNow team to see how you can link products to your live stream to enable instant purchases. This way, you can leverage users’ impulses to buy products that catch their fancy, immediately. Cash in on the stream dream; it’s the best thing you can do for your business.
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