COVID-19 changed nearly every aspect of our lives. In a very real way, the past year’s pandemic has created a permanent shift in how we interact on a daily basis, even with common tasks like shopping.

In the world of shopping, physical channels came to a crashing halt or are limited to a slow crawl.

Consumers have been rushing to digital alternatives that meet their need for in-store shopping. One such trend that rose out of 2020 is the demand for livestream shopping.

As of March 2020, 560 million people were watching shopping livestreams in China, an increase of 126 million compared to the summer of 2019. In addition, China’s livestream commerce market reached $170 billion in 2020, up from $66 billion in 2019.

Think of China’s live-streamed shopping platforms as the intersection of QVC and TikTok. Anyone can be an influencer, offer fan discounts, and promote flash deals in real-time. Spanning across the globe, in the U.S., Amazon launched an in-house QVC platform — Amazon Live — in 2019, and Walmart tested influencer-driven live shopping on TikTok in December 2020.

It’s easy to imagine that soon big players such as Nespresso, 1800flowers.com, dollargeneral.com, and others will soon also enter the market.

For businesses looking to improve their eCommerce strategy, developing a digital experience that includes livestream shopping can put them ahead of the curve. More than simply a way to shop online, livestream eCommerce offers consumers a hybrid of in-person and online shopping.

In the following article, we will explore how livestreaming will influence the future of shopping and how businesses can use this eCommerce strategy as part of an omnichannel approach to converting more business in the year ahead.

With livestream shopping, consumers already understand the tools necessary for engaging with your business. Think about all of the following digital tools that are now commonplace across almost all demographics.

  • Youtube and Twitch: YouTube and Twitch have made it easy for anyone to stream what they are doing live. From video gamers to stay-at-home moms selling products, these channels have made livestreaming accessible to all.